Last week, we reported that at a DCCC meeting party leaders expressed disappointment in Santarsiero’s campaign and were prepared to try and push him out of the race.
First, his team recounted all the advantages the State Rep. enjoys in his Democratic primary against Shaughnessy Naughton.
Santarsiero’s team also asserted they are “on track to lock up the Bucks County Democratic Committee endorsement by the fall”.
Finally, they took some direct shots at Naughton.
“The ridiculous claim that the Democratic Congressional Campaign wanted Steve out of the race was debunked by the DCCC itself. We’ve spoken with them and it is obvious that this is the handiwork of our opponent,” said Santarsiero campaign manager Gabrielle Quintana Greenfield. “We have seen this type of rumor-mongering from the Naughton campaign before.”
Greenfield referenced Naughton’s efforts last year to pressure Democratic State Senate nominee Steve Cickay to drop out of the SD-10 race.
“The congressional primary was barely over when rumblings started that, instead of helping the Democratic nominees, Shaughnessy wanted to replace Cickay on the ballot to challenge McIlhinney,” stated Ron Smolow, chair of Cickay’s campaign. “The theory was that after a yearlong losing race, she had better name recognition and would make a stronger candidate than Steve Cickay, a newcomer. Her team falsely claimed that the Senate Dems had asked her to run and had a poll showing that she could beat McIlhinney.”
“I had déjà vu reading that article with ‘unnamed sources’ attempting to undermine a strong Democratic candidate like Steve Santarsiero,” Smolow continued. “It looks like there is a pattern here of Shaughnessy Naughton’s handlers trying to undermine an opponent’s political campaign based on rumor instead of fact.”
The Santarsiero campaign concluded with a statement from Bill Ritter, Democratic Chair of the 143rd district.
“I was a strong supporter of Shaughnessy’s in 2014. She worked to earn the support of Democratic committeepeople throughout the district last time,” Ritter said. “But when I saw how this played out and the interparty strife it caused, I could no longer support her. We need a united party if Democrats are going to win in Bucks County and that is why I am encouraged that we are lining up with Steve Santarsiero.”