Justin Behrens Elected Luzerne County GOP Chair

Justin Behrens, a two time state Rep. candidate from Wright Township, has been elected as the new chair of the Luzerne County Republican Party, according to The Times Leader.

Behrens is succeeding Ron Ferrance, who held the position from July 2016 until his resignation in early November.  

Behrens, 40, told The Times Leader that he hopes to use strong grassroots effort to develop the county GOP.

“I especially intend to work with all Republican candidates and assist them any way possible,” Behrens said to The Times Leader. “Following the core beliefs of my upbringing, I will always focus on electing Republican candidates, while never sacrificing civility or truth in achieving our goals.”

Previously, Behrens launched two unsuccessful bids for Pennsylvania’s 119th House District, losing both times to incumbent Democrat state Rep. Gerald Mullery in 2016 and 2018. In 2018, Behrens closed the gap a bit losing just by over 1,000 votes, while his 2016 bid was a more comfortable victory for the incumbent.

Val DiGiorgio, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman, met with GOP leaders in Northeastern Pennsylvania to express his confidence in the new Luzerne County Republican Chair, The Times Leader reports.

“Justin has been a strong Republican candidate in the past and I look forward to working closely with him toward building on a strong Republican base in Luzerne County,” DiGiorgio said to The Times Leader.

Before his 2018 bid for state Representative, Behrens, an Iraq War veteran, touted his belief in putting “people before partisan politics” to The Times Leader.

“I have always lived by the principle of public service over self-service as a social worker and veteran,” Behrens said. “I will work tirelessly for common sense policies that aid our families and seniors. There has to be compromise, but I understand that people can’t just keep paying higher taxes for failed projects or politician’s pet projects. Families are forced to cut out wasteful spending when times are tight, and so should the politicians.”

Democrats currently hold the registration advantage in the county over Republicans, 106,237 to 76,226, but the GOP is gaining momentum in the county The Times Leader reports.

Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf cruised to double digit reelection victories this year, but in Luzerne County, Wolf captured 52% of the vote, while GOP challenger Rep. Lou Barletta, a Luzerne County native, won 54% of the vote over Casey there.

Ferrance, the previous county chair, described the county voting for President Donald Trump in 2016 as one of the things he will “always remember” to The Times Leader.

In 2012, President Barack Obama won Luzerne County over Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  

6 Responses

  1. Justin is a nice guy but isn’t inspiring, has little charisma, isn’t financially connected to raise big money, and his political instincts are weak at best. Not the guy to lead the charge. Good thing Luzerne is so die hard Trump, makes his job easy. Whose brain child was this bad move?

  2. Ok. Here’s the deal. Trump wins Luzerne County by 26,000 in November 2016. Wolf wins Luzerne Conty by 5,000 in 2018. We have a swing of 31,000 votes between Trump in 2016 and Wolf in 2108 favorable for the Dems. The new chair is talking grassroots. How about “re-route”? There was an incredible swing to the Dems last cycle boding badly for R’s.

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