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Mackenzie Campaign Accuses Simmons of Being ‘Never Trump’

Ryan Mackenzie and Eric Trump 10.24.16State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie’s (R-Lehigh) campaign for the 15th Congressional district is accusing state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh) of being ‘never Trump’ throughout the 2016 campaign.  Mackenzie’s campaign is citing an event in the capitol rotunda on October 24th, 2016 with Eric Trump.  

“Justin Simmons did not endorse President Trump. That’s a fact,” Mackenzie for Congress spokesperson Athan Koutsiouroumbas.  

According to the campaign, Simmons was in the Capitol on the 24th based off legislative records.  

“It is unbelievable that Justin Simmons was just steps away from where this press conference and rally took place and he choose to abandon our Republican candidate at this critical moment in one of nation’s most important elections,” Koutsiouroumbas said.  

Mackenzie did not speak at the event, but was on the list of state House members who endorsed Trump and attended the event.  

“I was proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for President and stand with his son, Eric Trump, and many of my State Representatives colleagues as we put Washington on notice that we were determined to fight to get our country back on the right track,” Mackenzie said.  

In a district that voted for Trump by 8 points, but Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) won by 20 points, two Republican candidates arguing over who is the more of a Trump supporter.  In a swing district like the 15th, that could create issues in a general election.

Update: Simmons responded to the accusations, saying that while he was not at the event, that does not mean he did not support Trump.  

“The hand-picked candidate of Never-Trumper Charlie Dent and the political establishment, Ryan Mackenzie is so desperate that they are resorting to outright lies and unsupported facts. Just because I wasn’t at a rally that day doesn’t mean I didn’t support him. This is absurd and desperate,” Simmons said in an email to PoliticsPA.

Simmons also cited that he voted for Trump over Clinton, and that Mackenzie did not say who he would support as a delegate to the RNC.

“Meanwhile, establishment candidate and Never-Trumper Dent’s hand picked candidate, Ryan Mackenzie, refused to support Trump when he was running for delegate but lied to Bobby Gunter Walsh the day he announced that he was first to endorse Donald Trump,” Simmons said.

Mackenzie ran for as a delegate in 2016, but did not commit to a candidate, saying instead he would support whoever won his district.  That position was taken by many of the delegate hopefuls, especially elected officials, but if Mackenzie was a Trump delegate he would have said so.

Simmons then went on the offensive against Mackenzie’s release.

“I knew Ryan and his team of sleazy lobbyists posing as consultants would be dirty, but I didn’t expect outright lies. I guess that’s what happens when you are losing.”

The list of speakers and attendees (provided by the Mackenzie campaign) can be seen below.

Trump Endorsment Legislators by Paul Engelkemier on Scribd

40 Responses

  1. Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that the HRCC is unlikely to allow a junior state House member to be the candidate for a highly competitive open Congressional seat.

  2. Simmons statements are rated PANTS ON FIRE!

    Simmons is caught lying again. First Simmons got caught lying when we saw his text messages where he was trying to remove Trump from the ballot. Now he is caught lying about Mackenzie.

    FACT: Mackenzie did endorse Trump in April 2016, we’ll before the convention, and the story was posted right here on PoliticsPA. Mackenzie then went on to serve as an Alternate Delegate at the convention.
    Simmons still can’t prove that he supported Trump during he Election and the fact that he has been caught lying multiple times makes his word worthless.

    Fact Check Source: http: // www .politicspa. com/hd-134-mackenzie-endorses-trump/75198/

    1. The degree to which — and the timing of– endorsements emerged last year was obviously off-kilter due to The Donald’s uniqueness; this contrasts with the fact that Brother Brian Fitzpatrick VOTED AGAINST him [writing-in “Pence” and, thus, effectively supporting Hill/Bill].

      Trying to adjudicate the levels of purity in this situation is a side-show, for this is OK political-dialogue but PALES in comparison with what was to be done surreptitiously by party officials.

      Thus, “Fact-Check” should address this concern — and whether it’s ok to adopt a dismissive “it was only a joke” posture — because this is what embodies THE SWAMP [here … and in D.C.].

    1. #YesPlease

      I love watching Republicans fall over themselves to talk about how much they love the Republican President. Please, say it loudly and proudly, and get it on the record: television, online videos, campaign websites, press releases.

      The new slogan should be: “The Party of Trump!”

  3. I don’t have a horse in this race, and I have spoken with two quality people who are in opposite camps; yet, it seems that this article and the anonymous comments contain nothing substantive.

    It also appears that the one key-concern that has been side-stepped is the acknowledged/unapologetic behavior discussed on an earlier PoliticsPa page:

    htt p://w m/simmons-leaks-texts-calls-for-the-resignation-of-the-lehigh-county-gop-chair-and-ed/84586/

    “Simmons Leaks Texts; Calls for the Resignation of the Lehigh County GOP Chair and ED”


    The core concern was documented elsewhere on the Internet:

    ht tp://ww m/news/lehigh-valley/tensions-arise-between-lehigh-valley-republican-candidates/621029394

    “Tensions arise between Lehigh Valley Republican candidates”

    Lehigh County’s Republican Chairwoman compares a photograph of Simmons to Hitler. It appears the image was a screenshot from a political event, in which Simmons’ arm was raised.

    In the messages, chair Jessica Banotai suggested what she referred to as the “Hitler youth photo” be put on a billboard.

    In a statement to 69 News, Banotai said the comment was “in jest,” but added the photo was unflattering and “speaks for itself.”

    But Simmons’ bigger gripe is the part of the conversation he claims shows favoritism toward Mackenzie.

    Simmons called for Banotai’s resignation due to “implicit bias.”


    My prior comment stands:

    For extensive discussion of this issue, read the text [and ignore most of the anonymous comments] here:

    htt p://ww m/simmons-leaks-texts-calls-for-the-resignation-of-the-lehigh-county-gop-chair-and-ed/84586/comment-page-1/#comment-1184691

    This is what I wrote yesterday:

    Unfortunately, the prior postings fail to enlighten.

    First, the authenticity of any Nazi-Youth photo must be confirmed and/or denied by the involved parties.

    Second, it must be made clear that the above-documented dirty-tricks must be condemned if indeed the postings are accurate.

    Third, the “but-he-did-it-too” argument must be condemned as tangential; for example, taken @ face value, it doesn’t appear the Dent release injures Simmons’ credibility…noting the evolution of attitudes that transpired during the POTUS campaign.

    Fourth, the issue of endorsements affecting performance is always controversial, prompting some – for example – to seek to block them when the issue arises within the party structure; others feel such efforts deny free-speech rights and, thus, perpetuation of this chronic debate distracts from addressing the plain-meaning of what people say/do.

    Fifth, as I typed elsewhere, it seems contrary narratives are emerging regarding the degree of support rendered to The Donald that had been provided by these guys; that this may be a moot issue is dramatized by the overt behavior of Brother Brian Fitzpatrick, who admitted he voted for Pence [thus, “hillary”] instead of Trump.

    Sixth, it is also to-be-determined whether fealty to the Tea Party Movement has been demonstrated – or shunned – by each of them; although my bias is known, I’d want to hear full-throated support for the TPM’s principles from both of them, ASAP.

    These half-dozen thoughts are proffered to nudge people to remain on-topic…and for the principals to document assertions…so that clarity can emerge.


    THEREFORE, I would amplify one of the above-quotes, as the necessary first-step action-item that must be addressed, for claiming “it was only a joke” does NOT work:

    SKLAROFF callS for Banotai’s resignation due to “EXplicit bias.”

    1. A young woman’s private texts are released to the public without her consent or knowledge – and to quote Monty Python – “BURN HER”. She couldn’t possibly be venting to individuals she thought were friends, unacceptable!….. Unless it is the Trumpers’ beloved president or followers… then they can say anything, do anything, never receive criticism for anything and never be held accountable for anything.

      Remind me again who the snowflakes are?

      1. This has nothing to do with whether “sensibilities” are being challenged; rather, it is focused on whether the behavior of a party-leader is unduly biased…as it appears to have been…and portends to continue to be.

        I wrote this on a prior website, which provides a complete database.

        ht tp://ww w.politicspa.c om/simmons-leaks-texts-calls-for-the-resignation-of-the-lehigh-county-gop-chair-and-ed/84586/comment-page-1/#comment-1184863

  4. The best news about this campaign is that Justin Simmons won’t be my State Rep. anymore. He has proven himself to be lazy and a liar. He didn’t show up to a lot of events in our community and then broke his term limit pledge. I am sorry I gave him money in the beginning. He has been a huge disappointment.

  5. During the 2016 election, Simmons was writing to Charlie Dent trying to get Trump pulled from the ballot. And then Simmons got caught lying about it! The guy was clearly “Never Trump”, and now he wants the support of Donald’s voters?? Forget about it. Mackenzie was on the Trump Train so he has my vote!

  6. Sadly, if Simmons becomes the Republican primary winner, the Democrats will have a very easy time finding a lot of dirt on him. We Republicans need to stop talking about Charlie Dent . He isn’t our problem anymore! Simmons is a very weak candidate. THAT will be our problem.

    1. Dirt like what? Stand behind that remark. Don’t just sling sh…! Dent IS still a problem, because he is behind getting his hand picked golden boy to fill his seat. Dent IS the problem when he refuses to denounce his employee and county chair (same girl) for calling Simmons a Nazi! So yes, Dent IS still a problem!

  7. Well, this is interesting because Lou Barletta, one of Trumps BIGGEST SUPPORTERS…so big he was on the steps for the inauguration… is not on this list either! This is hogwash to accuse Simmons of not supporting Trump! How about discussing the attempt by the Dent/Mackenzie crew who wanted to put up a billboard depicting Simmons as Hitler. This was then followed by a FB post from former party chair Wayne Woodman who supported that behavior! These people are SICK, PATHETIC AND DEMENTED! Simmons has far more integrity and compassion and is the right choice for DC! Scum like Charlie Dent are dropping like flies! Dent supports Ryan. We don’t need anymore like Dent in DC! VOTE SIMMONS!

    1. Barletta isn’t on the list because he’s a Congressman. The list is of State Reps. Get a grip.

      1. LOL people talking for no reason with nothing to say, they don’t even know where Barletta serves. Pretty sure the texts were a joke, but what isn’t a joke is that Simmons wanted Trump pulled from the top of the ticket and is now acting like he was the conductor of the Trump train. You can’t lie about things when there is proof Justin.

    2. Sheila- reading this I picture you screaming at the computer calling people demented and not making much sense. If you take a few breath and possibly a xanax, and read the article, you’ll notice that this is a list of state lawmakers – not members of congress. Mr. Barletta wouldn’t be on this list. I think it’s reasonable to hold Justin accountable since he wants more responsibility on our dime. If you can’t ask the hard questions without flying off the handle and just blindly support Justin. Then all you are is a sheep. That’s your choice. If I were him, I wouldn’t want people like you defending me, just makes him look bad. TBH.

      1. It’s interesting that MacKenzie wouldn’t come out and endorse anyone during the election. It just proves that he is an opportunist. He will follow anyone or anything,depending on which direction that the wind blows. Mackenzie is spineless and doesn’t have leadership qualities.

        1. What are you talking about? Mackenzie is on the Trump endorsement list during the election (that is posted above). Mackenzie stood up for our country and our President. Simmons was not willing to endorse Trump. Simmons is the spineless opportunist.

    3. Wayne Woodman is a good man. If there is anyone who has his fingers on the pulse of the LHV politically, it is Wayne. If he says Simmons is a flub, then I would take that advice. This is far from sick or demented, that’s for sure.

  8. It always seems like Simmons and his supporters make really nasty personal attacks about everybody. From other candidates to consultants to the people who like the other candidates! It is obvious that he doesn’t have much of a positive record of his own to back up his own record.

  9. Justin has been in Harrisburg longer, has missed more work and more votes – why would he be better for taxpayers? If I missed as much work as he has, I would be fired. Not feasible when you’re trying to feed a family. Must be nice, Justin. I voted for Trump to help the little guy, not so you could line your pockets!

      1. I love how you can tell every time Justin posts on here right away. He calls everyone Shawn or Jess and makes personal attacks at both of them. Someone with this little self control should not be in ANY public office, not to mention US Congress.

  10. Mackenzie trolls out in full force. pathetic. Half the GOP caucus didn’t attend the rally…does that mean they didn’t support trump. These worthless Mackenzie-Dent trolls are beyond sad. This is pathetic. Their candidate caught lying about endorsing Trump and they try using this.

    Mackenzie is hooked up with the sleaze of Harrisburg, Long and Sleazequist with their employee Athan working for Never Trumper Brian Fitzpatrick last cycle….hypocrites.

    1. Agree with pathetichacks! The Mackenzie-Dent trolls having nothing. So, they are resorting to lies and smears against, Simmons. It just proves that nothing flows out of their mouths, but lies and ignorance.

  11. What are the outright lies and unsupported facts that Simmons is talking about?
    It seems the facts are right there.
    He wasn’t at the rally supporting Donald Trump. His name isn’t on the list as being an endorser. Where was he ? Why didn’t he go and stand with Eric Trump?
    Why did he ask about having Trump’s name removed from tge ballot? I don’t think Simmons is telling the truth about a lot of things.

    1. A lot of people didn’t attend. It doesn’t mean that they weren’t a Trump supporter. Mac and his trolls are really reaching for this one.

      1. A lot of people did not attend, that I agree with. But a lot of people still endorsed Trump. So while I can understand why Simmons can say not attending isn’t a big deal (it isnt), the lack of an endorsement still is.

  12. Mackenzie endorsed Trump. He has my vote!

    Simmons was Never Trump and now wants to claim he is mini-Trump. What a hypocrite! We can’t trust Simmons! Drain the swamp! #NeverSimmons

      1. Seems like Mackenzie is right on this one and Simmons is caught lying yet again. Term limits pledge anyone, caught lying about trying to remove Trump from the ballot, etc. It’s a pattern with Dinmons that he lies. Also, Simmons didn’t produce anything to back up his claim that he supported Trump. That is what is sad.

        1. Angry in the LV, we all know that you are a pathological liar. The smear campaign isn’t working. Besides, MacKenzie is such a little boy. He is spineless and so, use to having people hand everything to him. So, he isn’t going to have this position handed to him either.

          1. He doesn’t need a smear campaign. Simmons (hey justin, how are you), is unhinged and peppering this website with comments constantly. A little boy? Didn’t Justin still live in his moms basement when he ran for State House??!?! bahahahah dude is a joke.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

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