PA GOP on the Road to NY-26

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

The Pennsylvania Republican Party is hitting the road.

Coming off a primary election where both of their endorsed candidates secured nominations, the PA Republican party is setting their sights on New York.

PoliticsPA has learned that the PA GOP will send about a dozen staffers to help their New York counterparts in the hotly contested NY-26 special election for the vacant seat of former Rep. Chris Lee.

The district is based in upstate New York between Buffalo and Rochester, and has long been regarded as safely Republican. The forthcoming election pits Republican Jane Corwin against Democrat Kathy Hochul against self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate Jack Davis.

“After speaking with NYGOP Chairman Ed Cox, Chairman Gleason decided to send a dozen seasoned staff members up to New York to help with Jane Corwin for Congress’ final GOTV push in that important special election,” said PA Republican Party Communications Director Valerie Caras.

“The PA GOP has always looked for ways to help in special elections.  Last year we sent a bus to Massachusetts to help with U.S. Senator Scott Brown’s (R-MA) campaign and we are eager to help in this race as well.”

The PA Republican Party often highlights its 72-hour GOTV program, and that appears to be part of their appeal in New York.

“The PA GOP will have a significant presence in out get out the vote operation,” confirmed one national GOP insider.

It’s yet more evidence that the May 24 election has national implications.

All the national stakeholders are involved in this election. Republicans have rolled out a vintage 2010 campaign message: the Democratic candidate = Nancy Pelosi. National Democrats, meanwhile, are testing out their 2012 election strategy that the House GOP budget (which Corwin supports) threatens Medicare.

Davis’ entrance into the race and the Democrats’ Medicare messaging caused the Rothenberg Political Report to reclassify it as “Toss-Up/Tilt Democratic.”

Some PA Democratic volunteers are also making the trip, but there is no official push from the state party, says spokesman Mark Nicastre. Instead they plan to highlight Monday’s budget vote in the PA House.

But Nicastre was quick to emphasize the election’s importance in PA.

“Even in a district that is very red, and by every measure should not be competitive, the Republicans’ actions in Congress – to end Medicare, repeal health reform, and ignore job creation – have created new opportunities for Democrats,” he said.

“In Pennsylvania, we’ll use this as a blueprint to hold Republicans accountable for their votes.”

May 20th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | No Comments