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GOP Insiders: Barletta Could Lose Republican Seats in Southeast

Retiring state Rep. John Taylor and HRCC Chair Mark Mustio are worried about the consequences of the state Republican Party endorsing Congressman Lou Barletta’s Senate campaign could have on down ticket races. The House Republican Campaign Committee is tasked with electing – and re-electing – GOP candidates to the state House.

“Mark, I wanted to express my concern about the potentially negative effects of the top of our ticket to our House colleagues in 2018,” Taylor wrote in an email obtained by PoliticsPA.  

Taylor’s concerns stem Barletta’s emphasis on immigration and his close ties to President Trump.  Taylor believes that the election could become a referendum on Trump, hurting southeast Republicans.  

“I am concerned that Lou Barletta’s candidacy, with the media emphasis on immigration and the President, may cause each of our House seats to be a referendum on the President as well.  Our message, from the top to the bottom of the ticket, will be lost and it could be a straight party vote against up in the Southeast,” Taylor wrote.  

“I’m also concerned about the possibility of the 2018 election becoming more of a referendum on Donald Trump than on his policies of economic growth and a strong foreign policy that work for all of us,” Mustio wrote.  

Mustio and Taylor both confirmed the authenticity of the emails to PoliticsPA.

Both Taylor and Mustio have endorsed one of Barletta’s Senate primary opponents, their colleague State Rep. Jim Christiana’s (R-Beaver).

While few in the party have openly expressed concerns about Barletta, their worries about Trump echo those voiced by many Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Trump’s popularity in the Southeast has never been very strong, with Clinton winning all of the southeast Congressional districts, and a large majority of the state House districts in the region in 2016.  In 2017 Democrats made massive strides, picking up county and local seats that have been Republican for over 50 years, and in some cases seats that have never been held by Democrats.  

“All five of the counties in the Southeast were rocked in the election last November.  While results in Philadelphia were not surprising, the outcomes in Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery certainly were,” Taylor wrote.  

“We lost seats we have held for generations.”  

Down ticket races aside, Barletta’s less than stellar fundraising are raising eyebrows among Republican insiders.  Barletta is entering 2018 with just over $1 million on hand, meaning he only netted $50,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017.  Senator Bob Casey, who Barletta is running to challenge in the fall, entered the year with 8.6 million after raising $2.6 million in the fourth quarter.  

Barletta’s campaign responded to the concerns touting his history of defeating Democrats, and his endorsements in the race.   

“The reality is that Lou is uniting people across Pennsylvania behind his campaign to defeat Senator Casey. Lou has received 85 percent of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee straw poll votes, and just last weekend, Lou received 80 percent of the vote from the Southeast Caucus. Lou has a long history of uniting both Republicans and Democrats behind him and fighting for the people he represents,” Barletta’s deputy campaign manager Jon Anzur said.  

“In 2010, Lou beat a 26-year incumbent Democrat Congressman in a congressional district that was nearly 2 to 1 Democrat. That’s why Lou has broad support — from grassroots leaders, President Trump, Senator Pat Toomey, every member of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation, and dozens of state House and Senate members who have endorsed him. Lou is the only candidate who can beat Bob Casey this November. Period.”


31 Responses

  1. If the Republican’s continue to be a swarm of angry hornets and nominate Barletta and Wagner, it will be an entertaining disaster and meltdown. I personally can’t wait to vote against the clowns in the primary and then if, disastrously, the party nominates them, I’d vote Casey and sit the Wagner-Wolf mess out!

    The GOP needs to be free market, fiscal restraint, for family values, for limiting abortion, and limiting executive power and giving more power back to the States and the people — but the immigration and nativism and militant populist nonsense and insane foreign policy bellicosity is poison and is why I’m barely still a Republican! (not for long if the fake populists and anti-immigrant loons get their way!)

  2. Like the incumbent, Senator Duh is a self-motivated genius. Do you really think he would have gone anywhere politically if his name was not Bob Casey Jr?

  3. Much in the way the Republicans won seats in 2010 because BOO – There’s a black man in the White House, the Democrats will pick up seats in 2018 because there is a senile white man in the White House.

  4. These “SE-PA” voters illustrate innate biases by, for example, claiming Barletta’s mien is comparable to that of The Donald; as long as The Dems are confronted with the task of voting against the amnesty they have long advocated, their hypocrisy will become as evident in November as was Schumer’s during the past week.

    1. Hey buddy, the state would not survive without the SE. We are the economic powerhouse of the state. It is no surprise that we’re also the most educated region in the state.

  5. SE voters know that Wagner and Barletta are clones of the orange clown. Ultimately, they want to make America white again and get rid of anyone who is not white. We don’t tolerate that Nazi stuff here.

  6. They better be scared. We in the SE have never been more pissed off and motivated to get rid of every single Republican in this region.

  7. Illegal immigration goes deep among working democrats, Barletta will carry NE PA and everywhere but Philly city. All he has to do is publicize the free schools, medical care and health care illegals are getting, then show a picture of Casey welcoming illegals at the Philly airport.
    He wont run scared. People reject Pelosi and Schumer and understand the media is after Trump.
    The Hilary elitists were shocked last year. They will be shocked again when the vote is in.

      1. Typical hypocrite liberal. Call someone a bigot in the same breath that you belittle the elected President of the US. Self righteous, egotistical, elitist anti Trumpers have no credibility.

        1. Hi Marla,

          What evidence do you have that immigrants are sucking up tax dollars? To the contrary, they are a net positive to the US and the economy. The irony is that Hazleton, the place where Barletta was a mayor, was a dying town until there was an influx of immigrants that totally revived it.

        2. That’s not hypocrisy. The President says and does a lot of things that one might expect of a bigot. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck….

  8. Way to get slow-played by Mustio and Taylor. An email “obtained” by PoliticsPA? I’ll bet these clowns put up a real effort to conceal that campaign tactic. Let me guess – they emailed it from a Gmail account instead their House account? Stop giving Junior Jimmy earned media. The guy’s toast.

  9. Barletta will lose because he’s lazy and dumb. He couldn’t even make it through Bloomsburg State College.

  10. RINOs will continue to be shocked by the capacity of The Donald to win…and to help others MAGA.

    1. If you’re so confident, why aren’t you trying to run for Congress this time? Ride “The Donald’s” coattails to defeat Brendan Boyle. Face it. Enough “RINOs” voted for Trump over Clinton last year because she was so dirty. They abandoned ship in 2017 and will again in 2018.

      What I enjoy about fringe Republicans such as yourself, without “RINOs” Republicans wouldn’t win. Have fun going down with the ship. At least have the guts to put your name on the ballot as tribute to Führer.

          1. watch Dean run. Watch Dean lose. You are advocating for something that has NO chance of happening and you seem happy to let moderate Rs lose rather than acknowledge the reality.

          2. you mischaracterize Brother-Brian; he is a lib, a no-labels progressive, a never-Trumper … but nOT a “moderate”

  11. DUH! Every SEPA elected R I talk to, which is a substantial number, is concerned with a Wagner-Barletta top of the ticket. Not only are we going to lose both races to Wolf and Casey, the Southeast is going to be decimated with losses by incumbent R’s in the state House and Senate.

    PA GOP doesn’t care and neither does the rest of the state. Everyone outside of SEPA is living in a Trump fantasy land. Well when we lose seats that are crucial for remaining in the majority, Val DiGigorgio, who couldn’t win his own races in 2017, is going be dumbfounded. Idiotic.

      1. Are southeastern PA Repubs actually Repubs? Or are we simply losing dead weight that votes with the D’s on everything that matters?

        1. You’re losing members who help to vote for the Republican caucus to be in the majority. So yes. You’re actually losing Repubs.

  12. I’d have the same concern about a Scott “Mini Trump” Wagner candidacy. There’s no way that guy has the appeal needed to win a general. As soon as the ads about his daughter filling a PFA for him choking her, he’d be sunk.

    1. you would think so… but the sheeple of the state party clearly do not care about losing the SE seats as it seems that Wagner will be the endorsed candidate. Have fun trying to claim to be an outsider now, Waggy

  13. “Both Taylor and Mustio have endorsed one of Barletta’s Senate primary opponents, their colleague State Rep. Jim Christiana’s (R-Beaver).” LOL

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