By Alex Roarty
PoliticsPA Staff Writer
Republican congressional candidate Malcolm Derk said Wednesday night the news that national Republicans courted U.S. Rep. Chris Carney (D-10) to switch parties was “shocking” and “very disappointing.”
“It’s really a slap in the face to all rank-and-file Republicans working to take back the seat,” Derk said during a brief interview.
Carney said late Wednesday that he was flattered by the Republican overtures but would remain a Democrat.
Derk, a Snyder County commissioner, is the only declared GOP candidate in the 10th Congressional District. Former U.S. attorney Tom Marino is reportedly also considering a run.
Derk said he “absolutely” would have continued his campaign even if Carney had switched parties.
“I am disappointed if (U.S. Sen. John) McCain did choose to reach out in this way,” he said. “It’s obvious to me Carney is far from a Republican.”
The Pennsylvania Republican Party wasted little time Wednesday distancing itself from what it said was a solely national GOP effort.
1) Commissioner Derk all but describes himself as a “rank-and-file Republican,” which makes him sound like a follower, not a leader.
2) Commissioner Derk also talks about “Republicans working to take back the seat,” as if “R” or “D” is all that matters. “Taking back the seat” is obviously more important to the Commissioner than discussing the qualifications of the various candidates as PEOPLE and not just as party members.
3) Commissioner Derk says “I am disappointed if McCain did choose to reach out…” News flash, Commissioner: There’s no “if.” It happened. It was reported by Politico and corroborated by the Congressman’s office. Saying “if” makes you sound uninformed at best, and paranoid at worst.
4) Pet peeve of mine: Commissioner, in your press releases, please refer to him as CONGRESSMAN Carney. Whether you agree with his policy positions or not, he’s still the Congressman, and even if he weren’t the Congressman he’d still be MISTER Carney. (Actually he’d be COMMANDER Carney, but I’d let that one slide.)