Christian to Remain on US Senate Ballot

David Christian will remain on the ballot for U.S. Senate. Representatives of the Pa. Republican Party plan to withdraw their challenge to the nominating petitions of the Bucks County businessman and veterans’ advocate.

Christian characterized the challenge as mean-spirited.

“I don’t understand why state committee would target one individual, especially one who has paid so many dues,” he said. “They challenged my address where I’ve lived for thirty years. They challenged my sister who had a stroke – her handwriting.”

Christian is a combat veteran of Vietnam, where he suffered severe burns from napalm. He earned 7 Purple Hearts among numerous other awards. He ran for U.S. Congress twice in the 1980s. Since, he worked as an advocate for veterans and a businessman. He currently runs a business consulting firm.

His campaign turned in 3,177 petition signatures, the fewest of any Senate hopeful (Marc Scaringi, the nearest to Christian, turned in 5,500; Sam Rohrer turned in the most at around 13,000). The minimum required for U.S. Senate is 2,000.

Christian’s petitions were challenged by Roger Doolittle, Mary Patricia Freitag and Donna M. Cosmello in an effort coordinated by the Pa. Republican Party. Their counsel, Vic Stabile, is former chairman of the Cumberland County GOP and part of the PAGOP’s legal team.

The problem? On over half of Christian’s petition sheets – 130 of 254 – circulators had improperly filled out their affidavits. Rather than list the county of residence for petition signers, they listed their own.

“We had a legitimate challenge,” said Stabile. “The law is very clear about what is required in a circulator affidavit. There were mistakes in half of them.”

Since a judge’s ruling last week, Christian’s campaign reconnected with the 12 circulators in question and had them file amended affidavits. As a result, per an agreement between both sides, the challenge will be dropped. The deadline to file a challenge to Christian’s amended affidavits is Monday at noon.

“I fully expect Monday that I will be filing a notice with the court to withdraw the challenge,” Stabile added. “It would be tough to garner enough other challenges to strike him from the ballot.”

Primary voters will see Christian’s name at the top of the ballot on April 24. He drew top position in Senate race above four other candidates including endorsed Republican Steve Welch. Welch is an entrepreneur from Chester County.

More than any other candidate, Christian’s presence on the ballot threatens to syphon votes from Welch. The two draw from the same geographic base in southeast Pa.

Christian said the challenge from the state party had bolstered his standing among party activists, many of whom were put off with the manner in which state committee endorsed Welch.

“It’s bad enough when the party rebukes half of the party by saying no open primary,” Christian said. “We became the underdog of the campaign. I have a number of endorsements coming out; people who are upset with the leadership and the way they ramrodded this process.”

11 Responses

  1. to mblue. Sam Rohrer is almost as big a joke as Welch. Rohrer spent 18 years in the Pa. Legislature and never has a single bill passed. Just what we need in Washington, another do nothing US Senator. Wake up and smell the coffee. 18 years = a big fat zero. It is results, not a name that represents nothing that will win the primary and beat Casey.

  2. ER/JR – I just don’t think Christian is that well known whereas Rohrer has name recognition across the state the others are only known in certain regions and I really believe Welch’s political switching won’t fly even with Corbett’s endorsement. I see 4 unknowns vs Rohrer who has name recognition.

  3. Mblue your assumption is better applied to the general election where many of the voters get their info from sound bites and story banners. The super voters that come out for the primaries are much better informed, and support the candidate of their choice. Dave Christian appears to be the kind of fighter that we need in Washington to get this country back on track , and he won’t be pushed around be the opposition.

  4. Here is what is going to happen on April 24th. The best known name will emerge in a close race and it will be Casey vs Sam Rohrer in November.

  5. Corbett is a joke. Here is a guy who made a name for himself by prosecuting Elected Officials for using state funds to pay for campaigning while he himself had John Perzel trained, House Republican Campaign Strategist Brian Nutt, as his Chief of Staff in the attorney generals office. Brian Nutt, the non-lawyer, running the office of the State’s Chief Lawyer. That makes sense. Corbett used state funds to give his campaign manager a job until it was time to campaign. Now he wants to elect Dave Freed to cover his ass. And onto Steve Welch, are you kidding me? This guy is a joke. Again, if you’re in the Southeast, tell Southeast hating Tom Corbett to go to hell by voting for Dave Christian. If not, a vote for Tom Smith works too. Either way it hurts Welch and Tommyboy.

  6. What’s the deal with Corbett? Why is he so hell bent on Welch? Of all of the gop candidates, he is clearly the least popular in terms of the general public. I’m sure he is an alright man, but as soon as he was given Corbett’s stamp of approval, he lost my vote. I voted for Corbett, but I won’t next time. Corbett is bad for PA, he himself is a weak leader. What had he done for the state? His most news worthy articles cover not what he is doing for the state, nothing notable in terms of job creation or school vouchers, just stories of scare tactics and strong arming state committee to ensure “his people” get endorsed.

    If a vote for David Christian syphons a vote away from Corbett’s master plan, I’m in!

  7. The PA State GOP Committee has once again shown its ugly Chicago thuggery methods and voters will not tolerate it. It’s time for all of them to go. Corbett also has to go as he never was and isn’t a true conservative Republican – witness his recently taking Federal money for Obamacare among his many sins. He stupidly endorsed Welsh and State Committee meekly followed his lead.

  8. These Establishment petition challenges are also intended to distract the non-endorsed candidates and make them spend money. Even if the challenge does not result in taking the person off the ballot, the challenge is deemed a success by the Establishment for the reasons above.

    The rules need to be changed. Circulators should not have to reside in the district, all other states who have addressed this issue have found such a requirement to be unconstitutional. Unless the petitioner can affirmatively prove a forgery, a signature of a registered voter from the correct party should stand and to strike signatures because the person signed Mike when their Voter Registration Card says Michael or the signer forgets to write the year when the date is otherwise legitimate are ridiculous.

  9. Vic oh Vic, if the law was clear, then why is David Christian still on the ballot? If the challenge was legit, then why didn’t PA GOP fight it?

    You guys keep stepping in it. First you endorse Welch; a guy who supported two Lefties: Obama and Sestak; then you target Christian and can’t knock him off the ballot.
    PA GOP = Keystone Kops

    How can the PA GOP ask us to support a guy who saw political inspiration in the most Left-leaning Democrats of our time? Both Obama and Sestak side with the values of the Occupy movement. Anyone with half a brain and any political sense would never look to them for smaller government and common sense leadership. Welch is either the biggest fool out there or he’s the biggest opportunist out there.

    My mistake. The biggest fool is Corbett, when he says that Welch (who switched parties in 2005) switched due to Rush Limbaugh’s 2008 Operation Chaos campaign. Go back to sleep Governor, nothing to see here, especially Sandusky.

  10. Good for Mr. Christian! He’s the one guy who didn’t seek endorsement in Hershey bbecause it was clear it was going to be rigged. The others all wanted to try and win an artificial process. Let the voters decide!

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