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Burns for Congress Instead of Senate?

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Team Corbett is seeking to convince Tim Burns to run for Congress instead of U.S. Senate, several sources tell PoliticsPA. The Governor’s political team has been making calls in the wake of Rep. Mike Turzai’s decision to stay out of Pa’s 12th congressional district.

Up front, the Burns camp has said unequivocally that he will remain in the Senate race and plans to fight through state committee meeting this weekend.

But the conversations are happening.

Governor Tom Corbett endorsed Chester County entrepreneur Steve Welch in the Senate primary, but Welch has had a lackluster reception thus far. Thanks to a combination of committee politics and Welch’s vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, a tally of regional caucus straw polls to date shows Burns commanding first place and Welch in a mediocre third.

However, the state committee endorsement is looking increasingly unlikely for Burns. Sources indicate that the southeast caucus – whose decision not to hold an endorsement vote was the source of much consternation last week – is falling in line with the Governor and Welch.

All afternoon and evening, PoliticsPA heard from and about state committee members in SEPA and other parts of the state who had received – and in many cases succumb to – pressure from party Chairman Rob Gleason and Corbett’s political team.

It’s much tougher to oppose the Guv publicly than in an anonymous straw poll. Committee members will cast their on Saturday in Hershey, with Corbett or his team nearby.

If Burns decided to defer on the Senate race and run instead for Congress, it would allow everyone to save face.

That’s why similar efforts were made a few weeks ago to woo Burns into the race. However, at the time, it appeared that Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai was himself considering a bid. Turzai ruled out a run Tuesday.

Burns cut his teeth in politics during his 2010 special and general elections against now-Rep. Mark Critz (he lost by 7.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively). His residual relationships and name ID would help him overcome the fact that he does not live within the newly-drawn borders of the 12th district. He would face Allegheny County attorney Keith Rothfus, who also lives outside the district.

The Republican nominee will face the winner of the primary contest between Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz.

13 Responses

  1. If you think Welch confessed to Father Corbett all of his sins for his years as a Democrat, think again.

  2. The key is to support an Open Primary with no endorsement from State Committee. Let Republican voters decide who is the best Republican.

    Sam Rohrer is showing real leadership on this along with UnitePa and some southeast Tea Parties.

  3. Steve Welch is not my guy because he is too entangled with Establishment Republican Insiders, a corrosive influence. Instinctively, Steve is fiscal common sense business man and his mistake in supporting is far less a taint than the fact that Sen. Pileggi has supported everyone of Ed Rendell’s budgets.

    Steve Welch is not two faced.

    Tom Smith is INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP and, like Ronald Reagan, a former union Democrat. Tom supported Pat Toomey in 2004, 2010 and Sam Rohrer in 2010.

    Independence from the corrosive Establishment and their vote buying agents, like BrabenderCox, or the failed Ray Zabourney is key and a willingness to run a primary against the Establishment tells you a lot about character.

  4. Experienced eyes see the serpentine influence of the incompetent Ray Zabourney in this. As an agent of the Establishment and with a conflicting role as Tim Burns campaign consultant, he is a position to maneuver a rich man who wants political office on spending a lot of money to challenge a viable candidate who is INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP, Keith Rothfus.

    Of course, Ray goes negative against dr. bob with stupidly shallow insults because this is all he knows how to do.

    Steve Welch competent hacks BrabenderCox and bought himself the governor’s endorsement and Steve Welch has commissioned a very clever mockumentary.

    Closely allied with the as yet unindicted Senate Bonusgate babies, Ray Zabourney has consulted on what winning campaign? oh wait….there aren’t any.

  5. Note to the PA GOP: There are these people called “voters” who might want to have some sort of say in the matter.

  6. Bob, you are a nut. Prescribe yourself some meds and stay off political websites, and away from ladders and sharp objects.

  7. As per discussion @ a meeting of local republicans last night, there is considerable sentiment [recalling what happened to Rafferty] supporting a completely open primary [without endorsements for anyone statewide].

  8. I talked to Welch at length last night and do not believe he holds strongly enough to conservative values to be counted on. He says he changed to Democrat and voted for Obama in the 2008 Primary to protest big-government Republican spending, but had not thought of the values issues that the Dems represent. He apparently does not hold these values very deeply. He admitted he never planned on running for office or his actions would have been different. He then returned to registering Republican to vote for McCain in the fall election. The State Party leaders like his deep pockets, regardless of where he stands on the issues so that makes me untrusting of him and them.

  9. Why give welch a free ride appointment? No oneeven knows who he is in the western part of the state. Central-west votesgo to tim burns.

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