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Burns Staying In

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Tim Burns will remain in the U.S. Senate race despite a disappointing third-place finish at Republican state committee, his campaign announced Sunday. The committee endorsed Steve Welch in a single ballot Saturday.

“Despite yesterday’s vote, I know that my candidacy offers our party a strong contrast to Senator Casey,” Burns said in a statement. “Yesterday’s results are just one battle in a long fight to defeat the Obama/Casey agenda.”

Burns finished a close third behind Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County. Both men trailed significantly behind Welch, an entrepreneur from Chester County.

The final vote for the top three was Welch 182, Smith 51, Burns 46.

Burns had never definitively stated that he would exit the race should the committee endorse an opponent, but he certainly gave that impression to reporters and committee members.

It’s unclear how much of his support (or his campaign team) will continue on against the state party and the Governor, who also endorsed Welch.

In his statement, it’s clear that Burns felt betrayed by the committee’s decision. An intense, last-minute lobbying effort by the Governor’s political team eroded much of his support.

“After establishing a commanding lead over Steve Welch in the caucus straw polls, I was certainly disappointed by the results of yesterday’s roll call vote,” said Burns. “It is clear that the endorsement of the Governor carries a lot of weight with the committee.

“I got into this race because I believe that I am the strongest candidate to defeat Bob Casey and in caucus after caucus, state committee members agreed.”

Four other candidates, who never seriously contested for the endorsement, remain in the race. They are Sam Rohrer, a former State Rep. from Berks County; Marc Scaringi, an attorney from Cumberland County; David Christian, a veterans advocate from Bucks County; and John Kensinger, a pharmacist from Bedford County.

9 Responses

  1. I don’t understand what it is with the Rohrer backers who claim to be conservatives.

    Let’s look at the truth:
    – He voted for the midnight pay raise and the pension grab. But he says he’s sorry…so did a lot of others who are conservative, why don’t you let them off the hook the way you accept Rohrer’s apology?

    – Rohrer’s most significant legislative effort (property tax reform) is designed to put ALL school tax dollars under the control of state government – opening school funding to the full brunt of Harrisburg politics. That is neither smart nor conservative. In fact, it is exactly what Ed Rendell would have loved to do. Again, supposed conservatives continue to back Rohrer though.

    – Rohrer is the antithesis of an someone looking to change government — he is just someone who always wants to be in government. If he really wanted to effect change, he should have stayed in the House. Instead, he continues to run for every office there is and promote himself. That’s called being (or wanting to be) a career politician.

    Quite simply, Sam Rohrer is the Jesse Jackson of the PA Conservative movement:

    – He talks the talk only to garner the support of people too blinded to see the truth about him.

    – He has no real job other than running for office and promoting himself.

    – He votes the opposite of what he claims.

  2. Will never, ever vote for Steve Welch. Ever! Why are they not considering Sam Rohrer??? He, by far, is the most Conservative candidate!

  3. Remember the 2010 Lt. Governors Race. How many counties did Cawley lose? Like Corbett said, Cawley would not be Lt. Governor were it not for the endorsement.

    More importantly, that race woke people up to what happens when the grass roots people reject the endorsement.

    This time around, with that in the recent past and candidates who are going to run hard against the endorsed candidate, there is a real possibility that the people can beat the party.

    Here were the results if you forgot:

    Cawley lost in 52 counties


    210,406 26.2%


    164,660 20.5%


    102,409 12.8%


    84,019 10.5%


    73,757 9.2%


    67,219 8.4%


    36,046 4.5%


    35,970 4.5%


    28,318 3.5%

  4. State endorsements don’t guarantee the nomination. At the beginning of 2010 Arlen Specter was ahead of Joe Sestak by a margin of 53-30. There is still time in this race for a lot of changes.

  5. Tim Burns, a conservative REPUBLICAN, had the support of State Committee until the newest bully on the block, Tom Corbett, decided to throw his considerable weight behind Welch. (Tom, you really should stop eating those doughnuts.)

    It’s incumbent upon the Squelch the Welch forces to coalesce behind one candidate in order to win the primary–and Burns is the clearly the best choice. (He’s phenomenal on TV, which is half the battle in a statewide contest).

    Should Welch prevail–and it’s far from certain that he will–you can just hear him in debate with Bob Casey:

    Welch: You, Mr. Casey, voted for Obamacare.

    Casey: You, Mr. Welch, voted for Obama.

    How embarrassing!

    And how damaging will Welch be to the rest of the ticket?

    Thank you, party boss Tom. Your brilliance radiates the Pennsylvania landscape.

    Thank you, State Committee–your independence and courage inspire us.

    It will be up to the grassroots Republicans to save the party. And that can only happen if Smith and Rohrer get behind Burns or vice versa.

  6. I wonder what Corbett and Gleason offered him? By staying in, Burns splits up the west and hurts Smith, thus helping Welsh.

  7. Thankfully I will not have to decide between voting for someone who supported Obama or someone who supported Obama.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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