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Columbia County GOP Endorses Rohrer

The Columbia County Republican Committee voted Thursday night to back Sam Rohrer for U.S. Senate. The unusual move comes in opposition to the PAGOP’s endorsement of Steve Welch. They also endorsed Frank Pinto for Auditor.

Rohrer served 18-years as a state representative from Berks County, and in 2010 went against the establishment to challenge Tom Corbett for the GOP’s nomination for governor. In so doing, he built a reputation as an outsider and won a following of conservative activists who oppose the party’s endorsement process.

Update: Rohrer was grateful for the support.

“I’m very, very glas that they decided to endorse me,” he said. “I think, in the face of all the pressure out of state committee not to engage with non-endorsed candidates, I think it speaks volumes to their courage and their process.”

“We’re very pleased to get any endorsement, and we think this one is critical,” said Rohrer campaign manager Zac Moyle. “That the Columbia GOP committee, who are not only grassroots but people who have studied the candidates, is willing to stand up and support Sam speaks volumes about Sam’s record.”

Columbia GOP Chairman Bill Toth said the decision had little to do with state committee.

“Our committee’s rule is that we don’t consider endorsements until after petitions are in. Then it’s conducted by secret ballot,” Toth explained. “The state committees decision is significant, and it’s considered. That’s just the way it came out.”

“Someone said it best last night: ‘If an endorsement comes from the bottom up, it’s good. If it comes from the top down, it’s bad.’”

It’s uncommon for county committees to endorse independently of the state party – let alone endorse against the PAGOP-supported candidate.

But it’s not against the rules.

“It’s not against any bylaws or rules,” said PAGOP Executive Director Mike Barley. But it is counter to party tradition.

“Our expectation is that state committee handles endorsements for statewide candidates. Our committee members have been very supportive of the ticket,” Barley added.

In January, at Corbett’s behest, the PAGOP endorsed Welch, a Chester County entrepreneur. It spurred backlash among anti-establishment activists as well as those who support Welch’s opponents. As have subsequent efforts by the party to remind members of its tradition of unity.

The Columbia GOP also endorsed Frank Pinto, who is running for Auditor General. Pinto is the former president of the Pa. Community Bankers Association. His primary opponent is Rep. John Maher of Allegheny County. Maher has been endorsed by the PAGOP.

“It really means that all politics is local,” said Pinto, the only statewide candidate to attend Thursday’s meeting in person. “When given the chance, they voted overwhelmingly to support the more qualified candidate.”

Toth said there are no consequences for committee members who choose to support other candidates.

“If you sit there and intimidate your people, the may say yes and vote for you, but they’re not going to work for you.”

16 Responses

  1. Sam DOOLITTLE is a loser! Boring Hippocrate! Scarengi, Christian, Smith and even Welch are more honest and accomplished than
    Sam BORE-R! Hope he goes home to the family fortune in the bus business after his butt gets kicked in the primary. He will not though because his agenda is for Rohrer Only! How anyone can buy into this maniquine is beyond belief!

  2. Amazing. 18 years in the Pa. legislature and he never had a single bill passed. So he wants to go from being a do nothing state legislator to being a do nothing US Senator. He’ll fit right in.

    How do people like him ever get into positions like this. All he will do is insure 4 more years of Casey and Obama. No presidential candidate has won the presidency in the last 50 years without carrying Pa. Look at how much Rohrer lost to Corbet and his clowns, 60+ % to 30+ percent. He will only insure 4 more year of Obama in the White House.

  3. Does anyone really think that Rohrer would have turned down his payraise (which he voted for) if the public didn’t get so angry over it? He got buyer’s remorse. It’s not like his vote was needed to pass the thing. He could have voted against it on moral grounds if he weren’t such a Charlatan.

  4. Well Sean Ryan, why don’t u share the whole story of the pay raise vote at 2am ? Facts are facts and here are the facts from those that were in the room. Sam and others that stood against the pay raise were told that the money was there to do it, then found out later that they were lied to and then form a bill to do away with it and were out voted. Sam and others did not take the pay raise increase, those are the facts.

  5. Only if more counties could be as bold to stand up against the governor! Congrats to PINTO – He’s my man. The governor is pretty arrogant to think that everyone will follow his lead. We were created with a BRAIN to make our own decisions. If people used their brains more often, we wouldn’t be in such a mess! Great job Columbia Co!!

  6. Fact, a roll call of the vote has Rorher cast a vote in the affirmative. Anything else is hyperbole or a story to try and pretend that the vote of affirmative meant anything else.
    Sam Rorher voted for increasing his own pension 50%. this coupled with the raise he voted to give himself a couple years later and you see the pattern. Sam Rorher is nothing more than a typical politico and will lose to Casey by double digits because of these two votes and their demonstration of his disregard for the taxpayers.

  7. WOW! Someone is drinking the Kool-aid and talking out their arse. Several of you mentioned the midnight pay raise. I challenge you to outline what happened during that vote. Do you know the facts or are you as ignorant as your post alludes As for the PAGOP endorsement procees re: the senate race in particular, again, were you at any State Committee meetings-did you see what went on? Or are you ASS U ming you know? I was there and I can tell you FIRST- HAND that there was arm breaking going on. Wake up!

  8. Everyone thinks that they have to out RIGHT each other. Conservative is becoming a BAD word to the rest of us moderates. The Republican party has lost its way. By the way “just close your eyes” so the governor said.

  9. Apparently Columbia County wants to lose the Senate election. Thjat is why the support the hypocrite Rohrer who not only supported and voted for the Pension increase but also the Midnight Pay Raise.

    Only a true party insider would support those measures.

  10. Finally – someones stands up with some courage and isn’t worried about favors ($$) or idle threats! All the people that have died and fought for this country and most people are scared of some bums at the state level who have no clue what is happening to the Country. Thank you Columbia!!!

  11. The establishment just hates it when they’re going to lose.

    Here’s a little tidbit for the establishment – you are your own worst enemy. The BIG PICTURE IS – the little guy is going to win this one. Little guy being the people of Pennsylvania who have finally woken up, smelled the rotting roses and said, We’ve had ENOUGH!!!!!!!

    Of course there is always the Governor not being able to keep his mouth shut. See the blog post below:

    264 Fans
    02:32 PM on 03/09/2012
    Advice for a dead guy and from a politician no less.
    Permalink | Share it

    Enough said. Our fine governor has just committed political suicide for the Republican Party.

  12. Rohrer is against endorsements when they go beyond a “vote of confidence” to effectively shutting its fellow Republicans out and off. The PAGOP is like a mother that picked its favorite kid, stopped feeding the rest, and locked them out of the house. It’s party abuse.

  13. so…sam is against party endorsements in the primary…but only when they aren’t for him?

    where’s ktp on this?
    york 9-12?
    don adams?

    didnt realize hypocrite was spelled R-O-H-R-E-R

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