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Lancaster GOP Chair Endorses Welch

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Are you a state committee member from Venango County? Odds are you’ve already taken a dozen phone calls. Allegheny County? It’s probably closer to two dozen.

With no clear front runner in the GOP primary to face Bob Casey, each candidate is diligently working endorsements from party leaders in every corner of the state.

Today, Steve Welch’s U.S. Senate campaign announced the endorsement of Lancaster Republican GOP Chairman Ethan Demme, who runs a small business in addition to his political work.

“Steve has the background as an entrepreneur that is lacking in Washington,” said Demme in a statement.  “He understands what it takes to create jobs and how damaging the policies that are coming out of Washington now are to businesses right here in Lancaster County.”

It follows up yesterday’s news that Pa. Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and Pa. Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) have thrown their support behind coal industry veteran Tom Smith.

Demme, 29, took over as chairman earlier this year. He is one of the new guard in the PA Republican party – someone who builds relationships with grassroots activists and tea party folks as well traditional party members.

He has more followers on Twitter – 9,610 – than any member of either party’s state committee, and more than the PA GOP and PA Dems combined.

From the Welch campaign release:

Mr. Demme said: “I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the candidates who are looking to be the Republican Nominee against Senator Casey next year. I believe they are all very good individuals.  However, after meeting Steve a number of times and listening to what he believes on a number of issues I feel Steve is the best person to join our other great Senator Pat Toomey in Washington.”

“Steve has the background as an entrepreneur that is lacking in Washington.  He understands what it takes to create jobs and how damaging the policies that are coming out of Washington now are to businesses right here in Lancaster County.  Steve will be a genuine leader, not a follower  who votes with President Obama 98% of the time like Bob Casey does.”

Steve Welch added: “I am very excited to have Chairman Demme supporting my candidacy.  Ethan is a great conservative leader not only in Lancaster County, but throughout the state.  Ethan has been a part of the resurgence of the conservative movement in Pennsylvania and is a great addition to our growing team.”

“Ethan is a small business owner who understands our current Senator has failed to lead on the economy. He has shown the ability to build a business and strengthen the Republican Party in Lancaster County. Pennsylvania needs thoughtful conservative leaders like Ethan to win the hearts and minds of voters.  We are excited to have him on our team.”

2 Responses

  1. PS Many of us are looking for “No Endorsement” contest. Let the Republican Voters decide whom they think should represent them.

    It is evident that Steve Welch is seeking the Establishment’s Endorsement and that would not, to my view, be a positive.

    I think Gleason’s Man, another wealthy self-funder, Tim Burns is also seeking Establishment Endorsement.

    Tom Smith, John Vernon and Sam Rohrer are clearly not Establishment. and clearly “No Squish”.

    I don’t know much about Laureen Cummings or Dave Christian.

  2. In this detailed and clever piece, Adam Taxin has expressed many of the reservations that make many of us uncomfortable with Steve Welch.

    PA GOP Senate hopeful Welch (recent Obama/Sestak supp’r) gets nat’l att’n for ad
    Continue reading on PA GOP Senate hopeful Welch (recent Obama/Sestak supp’r) gets nat’l att’n for ad – Philadelphia Jewish culture |

    My comment to this piece:

    One of your best, Adam. Good point about insulting Bob Casey personally with snarky names. And I liked the parsing of the poorly proofed email.

    Steve Welch’s team has produced a very, very clever ad that, with humor, dramatically, reminds of Sen. Casey’s 98% Obama record.

    Steve Welch is a person of accomplishment and great business success as well as a good family man with solid values. Steve is a decent person.

    I am not sure this translate into an ability to legislate and govern which require much different skills and political values.. As a businessman, Steve Welch, likely, is inclined to negotiate differences and compromise – like Arlen Specter. These are good business skills but one has to be able to make his case for a position and there are certain ‘deal breaker’ principles that cannot be negotiated away – unlike Arlen Specter.

    Steve Welch strikes me as a Mitt Romney Republican. Steve Welch’s consultants are BrabenderCox and his Fundraiser is Bob Bickhart, both are as Establishment as one can get.

    Sam Rohrer is authentic and experienced and has learned from that experience.

    John Vernon is impressive; a military man, who served as General Petraeus’ chief of operations in Iraq and has the directness and integrity we have come to expect of our military.

    Tom Smith is my guy and he has the resources to run a primary. One key question is “Will you run a primary without or against the State Committee endorsement?” Tom will. Tom is not only a very, very successful, self made multi multi millionaire but he is farmer who, regularly, wears cowboy boots and a suit. Tom is imbued with real deal, grassroots, authentic Constitutional Limited Government, Fiscal Common Sense, Economic Freedom Tea Party Conservatism.

    Tim Burns is from southwest and like Steve Welch a successful businessman although he is divorced. His consultant is Ray Zaborney, whose track record is less than stellar.

    The Senate 2012 race will have a synergy, positive or negative, with the presidential race.

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