GOP State Committee Summer 2011 Preview

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

It’s that time of year again. PA’s Republican insiders will visit the Hershey Lodge and Hershey Park to catch up on the latest party buzz (and ride the rides with a few elected officials).

It’s a chance for official party business, and a little of the business of partying. Prospective candidates will try their luck at courting the support of activists and insiders.

Here are the biggest questions at this weekend’s meeting:

Will any prospective Casey challengers attend? So far no candidate has emerged as the odds-on insiders’ favorite. Who will come to meet the party leaders this weekend? Ed Stack? Sam Rohrer? Tim Murphy? And it will be interesting to see how much time State Sen. Jake Corman spends at the meeting.

Let the AG battle begin. Forget U.S. Senate. The hottest GOP primary right now is the behind-the-scenes campaign for Attorney General. The two most likely candidates, State Sen. John Rafferty and Cumberland County DA David Freed are each sponsoring a reception in honor of the 2011 Judicial slate, and each building a little cred with the committee. And will Risa Ferman show up?

“I am looking forward to mingling with the ground troops and hopefully helping to motivate them for the Fall,” says Freed.

“The main goal of the reception is to have everyone focus on the importance of this year’s elections with the statewide judicial candidates and the importance of the party to get our candidates elected to the bench,” said Rafferty, who will be giving the state of the Senate speech. “I and the Senate Republican caucus have committed to making sure we do that.”

Will Cawley show his hand? Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley will host a discussion on Marcellus shale on Saturday morning. Will he let slip the disposition of Marcellus Shale Coalition members about one of the tax or impact fee proposals in the Capitol?

Will Pat Toomey ride the Great Bear? He’s taking on the national debt. He’s toured the troubled border regions in the Middle East. He’s beaten Pennsylvania’s Democratic voter registration advantage. But will Senator Toomey have the courage to ride Hershey Park’s scariest roller coaster?

You can check out the complete GOP schedule here, and these are a few highlights (Friday night and Saturday morning):

June 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | No Comments