GOP Rumors Swirl About Top-Ticket Change

Tom Corbett portrait loresRepublicans have been talking a lot in the past few days.

Since Tom Corbett made national headlines by comparing same-sex marriage to sibling marriage, rumors have swirled about the possibility that the party will nominate someone else in 2014.

Many Republicans call the gaffe a catalyst for a movement to convince Corbett to step aside.

Talk is loudest among Republicans in southeastern Pa.

“The dam is breaking,” said one GOP official. “It’s just a matter of getting the right group of people in front of the Governor to say, ‘the party’s over.’”

“There’s a level of embarrassment and shame now that wasn’t there on Thursday,” said a GOP operative. “What he said yesterday will be shown on TV wall to wall in southeast Pa. next November.”

But the rumors should be taken with a grain of salt. The conversations have been off the record. No Republican of notable stature is willing to risk defying the Governor if there’s a chance of ending up alone out on a limb.

PoliticsPA talked with over a dozen Republican elected officials, party leaders and operatives since Friday, and none agreed to speak on the record.

“I think it would take someone speaking out against [Corbett] publicly, and nobody is willing to take that first step,” said a former House GOP staffer.

Would he like to be the first?


I would speak out “If I was further along in my career,” said another GOPer.

One operative dismissed the weekend scuttlebutt as “a few days of emotional reactions” and said it would take a few weeks to see if the anti-Corbett movement was serious.

Corbett’s campaign manager Mike Barley similarly dismissed the rumors.

“The Governor is running and he will be the nominee,” Barley said. “We’re looking forward to talking about his strong record in the general election.”

Indeed, by Monday the anti-Corbett momentum had cooled noticeably even among those who supported the idea fervently on Friday.

The closest thing to an on-the-record rebuke came from two local candidates in a press release.

“We strongly disagree with any comparison of gay marriage to incest,” said Delaware County Council candidates Mario Civera and Dave White. “There is no need for such remarks, especially while the issue is being debated in our courts. We think Governor Corbett was right to apologize and clarify his comment.”

It’s telling that two Republicans running for local office in 2013 would weigh in. It’s especially noteworthy in Delaware County, where the local party is powerful – and stays in line with state party leadership.

Their statement was vetted by the Governor’s office, said one GOP source. It was necessary because Democratic opponents of Civera and White have worked hard to link them to Corbett.

The unusual move underscores perhaps the biggest concern driving off-the-record critics in SEPA: that Corbett’s poor numbers will risk otherwise healthy down-ballot Republicans.

“The big concern is that he’s going to take state reps down with him,” said a GOP official.

“No state legislator or state senator running next year will want to be seen on stage with this guy,” said another operative.

“Republicans are now more concerned about preserving our legislative majorities than they are about preserving a failing candidate,” said another GOP official.

What’s next?

Almost all of the sources agreed that the anti-Corbett movement needs a legitimate alternative in order to be viable.

“You can’t replace somebody with nobody. Unless Pat Toomey wants to run, which is doubtful, there isn’t anyone with the statewide profile and fundraising ability to win with such short notice,” said an official.

Almost everyone interviewed by PoliticsPA named Toomey as the official who could best pull off a campaign, thanks to his name ID and fundraising skills.

Additionally, since he next re-election isn’t until 2016, he could run without giving up his seat in the U.S. Senate.

There’s a coordinated campaign to recruit Toomey into the race, said one operative.

Toomey has given no public indication that he is considering a bid for Governor and has already said he supports Corbett in 2014.

“Senator Toomey is entirely focused on getting the government in Washington re-opened, and doing it in a way that protects taxpayers and our economy,” said Toomey campaign spokesman Mark Harris.

Other possibilities mentioned include names PoliticsPA reported when the ‘replace Corbett’ movement first began stirring in July: Reps. Jim Gerlach, Mike Kelly and Pat Meehan and state Sen. Dominic Pileggi. Some include Lt. Governor Jim Cawley on the list.

26 Responses

  1. Perhaps it has to do with the moral issue of genetic blending which cause birth defects, retardation, and forms of insanity. For obvious reasons, gay marriage affects no genetic offspring in this manner. In fact, it has no real affect on anyone (except for the bigots of course).

    An Observer on October 8, 2013 at 10:45 am said:
    Why is what he said “reprehensible?” What is the difference? Both involve consenting adults. What makes one marriage material and the other not?

  2. I understand PA’s favorite Corporate welfare queens K 12 Inc and Vahan Gureghian spend millions in advertising in PA. I know this is not the business of PA taxpayers, but do they spend any of their advertising budget with Governor John Brabender? Shouldn’t someone in the Mainstream press or God-forbid our own legislature be asking the question if our Acting Govenor Brabender is re-patriating funds back to Loundon County, Virginia for the Corbett Administration support of Corporate Welfare queens K 12 inc. and Vahan Gureghian?

  3. Dear Budget Secretary and Shadow Education Secretary Charles Zogby: I need some practical advice on gaming the system. I have a friend in the SE that wants to have their child declared Special Education. The family’s school district won’t cooperate. I understand the Corbett Administration’s favorite Corporate welfare queens K 12 inc. and Vahan Gureghian love Special education students. What corporate welfare queen, K 12 inc or Vahan’s empire should this family contact to have their child tested and labeled for special education?

  4. The very independent Scott Wagner is running for state senate where he will be a menace to the Establishments of both parties.

  5. The Union Troll is attacking the bipartisan Vahan Gureghian for what reason? Vahan Gureghian is an opportunist who does what is legally necessary to protect his very productive business from union attack. And he is generous to both Rs and Ds.

    And attacking the Budget Secretary’s kids is low and not acceptable.

    Daylin Leach uses his kids in his campaign. No mention that PSEA financed Democratic Senator Daylin Leach who+sends his kids to the very exclusive, very white, very rich, very private [redacted] School as he rails against government financed charters..

    Sec Zogby has done a great job but his kids are hardly campaign issues but the attack does demonstrate how vicious union Democrats are.

  6. Why is what he said “reprehensible?” What is the difference? Both involve consenting adults. What makes one marriage material and the other not?

  7. I agree that politics needs to focus more on substance than on pettiness. But that’s a straw man in this instance. Referring to loving LGBT couples as equivalent to incest is reprehensible.

    If you think focusing on Corbett’s comments is ‘petty’, I ask you to watch the interview. Corbett was not making a scholarly point about how the state has an interest in defining marriage, but rather making an off-the-cuff joke about how gay sex is icky just like incest. He laughs, and the poor interviewer is left literally speechless. The only other time I’ve seen an interviewer have such a reaction is when Foster Friess told Andrea Mitchell women could access birth control if they just held an aspirin between their knees.

    This is not ‘petty’. It’s offensive, and we should expect better from our elected officials than jokes you would here in a 1950s frat house.

  8. This latching onto and elevation of pettiness is exactly what causes dysfunctional government. Meanwhile there’s this pension mess that could swallow our children and many other issues of genuine importance.

  9. “No Republican of notable stature is willing to risk defying the Governor if there’s a chance of ending up alone out on a limb.”-PPA

    This may win the Democrats the Govenors mansion in 2014.

  10. Why isn’t anyone from the Brabender/Corbett Administration or the PAGOP, even anonymously, defending the great pubic servant and Pennsylvanian, Charles Zogby?

  11. Would Corbett Budget Secretary and Shadow Education Secretary Charles Zogby allow his children to attend a Cyber Charter School of Corporate Welfare Queen Vahan Gureghian or the Agora Charter school that has a 300-1 Student Teacher ratio? K12 Inc. IMBED CHARLES ZOGBY MUST RESIGN!

  12. Every Republican Budget during Corbett Cawley Administration has increased spending.

    The Republican General Assembly has voted for three budgets since Corbett Cawley took office that have increased spending and debt.

    Republican House and Senate Leadership voted YEA to add $4.6 Bbillion to Pennsylvania Debt in Session 2011-2012. Republican Gov Corbett signed onto more debt for Pennsylvania Taxpayers.

    The YEA vote on Act 130 of 2011 added $2.3 BBillion to Pennsylvania Debt Burden

    The YEA vote on Act 193 of 2012 added $2.3 Bbillion to Pennsylvania Debt Burden

  13. I think trash man Scott Wagner should throw his name in the ring; after all he has the cash to make a run. Heck, he is even arrogant enough to think he could win. If he were to get his teabag friends and those Glenn Beck disciples on board, who knows he might actually win an election for once.

  14. Vahan Gureghian: The price of poker has gone up, but your money can save Tom; it’s just going to require a great deal more. Mr. Gureghian, you are Pennsylvania’s favorite corporate Welfare queen. Vahan, Give until it hurts-DO IT FOR THE KIDS, VAHAN. DO IT FOR THE KIDS!

  15. Daryl Metcalfe does not have one drop of RINO blood in him. Will COS Gromis-Baker apologize for the Hit job the Brabender/Corbett administration ordered on Rep. Metcalfe.

  16. State Rep Daryl Metcalf is the Perfect Person to take on Corbett Metcalf is From Allegheny County Right away that gives him 51 % Of The Vote without even trying

  17. Breaking News; My researchers have been in touch with Insiders of the Paterno family. I am pleased to announce that Bryan Cranston, the emmy winning star of BREAKING BAD has agreed to play Governor Corbett in PATERNO the film. Al Pacino has already agree to play Paterno. We will all enjoy the PATERNO film,especially acting Governor Brabender.

  18. I predicted in December 2012 that Corbett would not stand for re-election. Looks like that is coming true.

    A Castor/Cawley ticket would be very impressive against the Democrats. They would take both Montco and Bucks and if the Democrats nominate a far left East Cost more liberal candidate like Schwartz they will run up the numbers in the Southwest as well.

    Perhaps flipping it the other way Cawley/Castor would work just as effectively.

  19. Toomey wants the job and is quietly gathering support. He’s frustrated in the Senate as a minority player. Toomey says he will campaign on taking Medicaid funding without strings to woo moderates and independents. He also reports an “open mind’ about same-sex marriage in light of the recent Supreme Court decision.
    Toomey will be tough to beat.

  20. Is Bruce Castor behind this nonsense. Corbett is going down the toilet, but he has damaged the brand to the point that none of the replacements would have a chance.

  21. List of viable nominees:
    -Former Governor Mark Schweiker (Popular)
    -State Senator Kim Ward (Young, ambitious, considered running for US Senate in 2012)
    -Congressman Dent (Moderate, from Lehigh Valley)
    -Congressman Gerlach (Experienced)
    -Congressman Shuster (Moderate)
    -Congressman Kelly (Name recognition after making TV rounds)
    -Fmr. Senator Jane Earll (Experience, Name recognition from Lt. Governor run in 2002)
    -Montco Commissioner Bruce Castor (Name recognition from 2004 Attorney General run)
    -Fmr. State Rep. Sam Rohrer (Name recognition from multiple statewide campaigns)
    -Fmr. State Rep. and 2000 Auditor General Nominee Katie True (Experience, Energize Base)

Comments are closed.

  • Who Will Be Speaker of the PA House on February 28?

    • Joanna McClinton (68%)
    • Mark Rozzi (27%)
    • A Republican TBD (5%)

    Total Voters: 315

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