By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Laureen Cummings, a nurse who founded the Scranton Tea Party, has dropped out of the Republican race for U.S. Senate. In a statement, she endorsed Washington County businessman and 2010 congressional candidate Tim Burns.
“Tim Burns is the right choice to restore our Republic and deliver a Constitutional Conservative to the United States Senate,” Cummings said in a statement. ”There is no doubt in my mind that Tim is the right choice for Pennsylvanian Republicans, and I’m proud to endorse him today.”
Cummings was not able to translate her grassroots credentials into momentum in the primary, nor compete with the financial advantages of the top tier candidates.
In her statement, she took a swipe at Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong Couny, and Steve Welch, an entrepreneur from Chester County.
“We need to nominate a consistent conservative who has never wavered, never supported Obama, and has never felt aligned with the Democratic Party. Tim Burns is a true patriot, and he is the candidate who can defeat Bob Casey, Jr. I look forward to working with him to restore our Republic.”
Welch has taken lumps for his vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, and Smith was former a Democratic county committeeman.
Cummings’ departure from the race follows that of Robert Mansfield, another conservative candidate who never broke into the top tier.
Brian Kelly, a Luzerne county software programmer who had announced a primary challenge to Casey, also ended his bid Friday.