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PA8: Gloves Come Off in GOP Primary

The most competitive primary in Pennsylvania is officially heating up. 

After months of Republican campaigns taking shots at Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), several frontrunners are now taking aim at one another starting with the release of an internal memo. 

Jim Bognet, a former Trump administration appointee and one of the six Republicans seeking his party’s nomination, released a “State of the Race” campaign memo boasting about his 1st quarter fundraising, while delivering direct shots to a few of the other perceived frontrunners in the race. The memo was first uncovered by The Hill

In it, Bognet brands himself a “Trump Republican,” touts his Q1 fundraising, and paints two other candidates as anti-Trump candidates that have “major vulnerabilities.” 

The memo cites an old social media post from Earl Granville, a decorated combat veteran and veterans’ advocate who received the endorsement of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), where he claimed he was “not a super Trump-Tard” and that he didn’t vote for Trump, while blasting the media. Granville is also criticized in the memo for trailing Bognet in the most recent fundraising report. 

Former Hazleton Mayor Mike Marsicano is also in the crosshairs of the Bognet memo, which takes aim at his Democratic candidacy in 2016 against then-Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Luzere) and dings him on previous fundraising issues. Most notably, it attempts to tie him to the infamous “Kids for Cash” scandal because he worked as a pilot for Robert Powell, who owned the juvenile facilities (Marsicano has never been accused of wrongdoing in the case). 

Both the Granville and Marsicano campaign fired back, noting Bognet’s years of campaign work outside PA. Including work for Mitt Romney, who has become a persona non grata in Trumpworld since the Senator’s vote to impeach. 

“We welcome Mr. Bognet back to northeast Pennsylvania and congratulate him on tapping his DC network of fellow Mitt Romney alumni to fund his campaign,” said Matt Beynon, advisor to the Granville campaign. 

Marsicano’s campaign addresses multiple claims made in the memo by saying the claim that he supported Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016 is “ridiculous” as he touts himself being a “walkaway Democrat” who “proudly voted” for Trump in 2016. 

“Jim Bognet conveniently omits that my campaign has $275,000 cash on hand, and only compares himself to candidates who have more limited resources,” Marsicano said in a statement. “Anyone who knows me or has talked to me knows that I am a conservative and always have been. As I have stated multiple times since I began my campaign, I am a walkaway Democrat.” 

Marsicano also adds that the Kids for Cash scandal was “tragic and disgrace” to the country and state and said that he had no part in it. He, like Granville’s campaign, continues to slam Bognet for his association with Romney and dubs him as a “RINO.” 

“It looks like Jim Bognet needs to resort to misrepresenting the facts in an attempt to gain traction,” Marsicano added. “Bognet used to work for Mitt Romney, one of the biggest sources of resistance to President Trump. Bognet moved back to the 8th District after a 20-year hiatus to run as an opportunist, yet he claims that he can represent the people of the 8th Congressional District? Jim Bognet should focus on how he is going to represent the people of the 8th Congressional District and his record as a RINO, not how much cash he has on hand.”

Bognet’s campaign dismissed the criticism from the other two candidates and claimed he’s the true Trump Republican in the race. 

“We’ll put Jim’s record of working for President Trump and Lou Barletta, and fighting in the trenches against Barack Hussein Obama, up against Mike Marsicano’s record of running as the Democrat nominee for Congress during Obama’s term on Hillary Clinton’s ticket in 2016, and Earl’s record as a Never Trumper, any day of the week,” said Bognet’s campaign. “Welcome to the Republican Party, Mike and Earl. What took you so long?” 

While Bognet’s campaign took jabs at Granville and Marsicano, they noticeably detail the fundraising of Teddy Daniels, a former police officer and combat Army veteran, but not any further criticism. 

In a political environment where a presidential tweet can make or break a candidacy, PA8 hopefuls are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to play on Trump’s personal loyalty. To wit, Bognet critics have circulated a June 2012 blog post from Katrina Pierson, a former national spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 campaign who remains a leading Trump ally and surrogate. In it, she recounts an interaction during the 2012 Texas U.S. Senate primary.

“Jim Bognet, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst political consultant from California, confronted me immediately following the interview and in public at the RPT Convention with a failed attempt to bully me into silence. It’s a shame this is guy was also on the Romney team. Surprised?” she wrote.

The Bognet campaign did not comment on the Pierson blog post. 


PA8 Bognet State of the Rac… by Jon Easley on Scribd

30 Responses

  1. This is getting nasty. Here is what it sounds like to me. Please let me know where I’m off base.
    Bognet raised the most money and has the most campaign experience, but he has not lived here in years. Granville has no political experience and did not vote for Trump, but his story got him the endorsement of McCarthy, which raised him money. Marsicano was a Democrat, and nobody would take him seriously, but he loaned himself a great deal of money. Teddy Daniels is a vet and true Trumper, but he has no money.

  2. No Republicans in 2020 PERIOD. History is finally going to bite them all in the ass same as it did after their failures after the roaring 20’s almost 100 years ago. Republican ruin the working class economy. After Coolidge and Hoover, Republicans didn’t get a sniff of the White House for 20 years until Eisenhower and he wasn’t a conservative typical Republican even then. After the unmitigated TOTAL DISASTER that is dumb Donald Trump, the republicans won’t see any power for at least 25 years.

    1. The way these guys are trashing each other in the primary, Cartwright is lovin it. Barletta master plan to protect the seat of his buddy Matt and also get back at Trump for not supporting him enough in the Senate race, totally working!

  3. I smell something fishy here. How did Big Gay Earl get 30 k to loan his campaign when he has no assets? The source of that money should be tracked!

    1. THAT and the 25 people with the last name “Bognet” that gave the max to Jimmy Boy. It’s in the FEC filing!!! Sounds like a shell game.

    2. Hey bonehead—when a guys leg gets blown off in war they get paid like a hundred grand. So if you want to track the source of the funds, it’s Kandahar moron.

  4. In response to your TV ad we, China, decline to pay for:

    – sweaters

    – PA license plate changeover from Virginia

    – Rent for your own apartment

    – Java

    – Your very own erotic photoshoot to compete with Earl

  5. I can’t bring myself to vote for a man that yells at women. Bognet needs to learn how to respect people. Earl has my vote 100%.

      1. In Carbondale on Wash.St. we had roads that had melted tar on them. Our moms would yell at us for dragging “tards” into the house. I’m a moderate Democrat who doesn’t like my party’s direction. I’m turned off by anybody who can’t think for themselves. I’m sorry, to win a general election you’ll have to do better than “I’m pro trump ” You’ll loose by 15% at least. If that strategy worked Cartwright would have lost last term.

        1. Kathleen is right. I’m from that part of Carbondale. Still shouldn’t say it. But I’ve been disgusted with this race honestly. Nobody is going to vote for mud slingers. There are 3 complete jerks in this race that have no chance in a general election. A couple other people nobody has heard of who can’t win a general election. And Earl. If Republicans want the seat they better unite with Earl, otherwise I hope you enjoy being represented by Cantdoright

          1. Earl can’t even speak for himself in simple newspaper/media interviews. How will he fare in an actual debate versus Cartwright? We have no idea. Matt Beynon can not stand in for him at the podium.

  6. Teddy Daniels is the real dog in the hunt here. Blue collar guy, fighter and the only guy who didn’t run around and kiss the asses of the elite. Granville is a never Trumper and Bognet is a RINO. I’ll tell you why there was no criticism of Teddy, Bognet is afraid Teddy will show up at his parents house and discuss it.

    1. Nobody talks about the others, including your guy because they don’t have a chance.

  7. I hate how In politics we try to take one thing and turn it into something. I’m voting Granville not because I think he cane down from a mountain with stone slabs in his hand. I’m voting for Earl because he’s the only actual human being in the race. He’s the only one who actually has done community based work in this district. He came over my house to get my signatures on a petition. We talked for an hour and a half. He’s a genuine guy.

    1. Who is the Pro Trump candidate???? It’s Teddy Daniels… he is endorsed by the OFFICIAL VETS FOR TRUMP, BIKERS FOR TRUMP, TRUCKERS FOR TRUMP, NEPA WOMEN FOR TRUMP and a slew of others. You guys go play inside baseball. The district is a lot bigger than Hazleton. Never forget when Granville referred to all of us as Trumptards. Teddy all the way.

  8. None of these candidates have what it takes to represent anyone in Congress.

  9. At least Bognet has always been a Republican. The Romney thing – what was he supposed to do?? Help Obama??? Marsicano doesn’t have a real shot, and his record speaks for itself. Mike ran as a Dumbo-crat against Barletta, Trump’s best bud, just a few short years ago. Granville took verbal jabs at Trump, so we know where he truly stands. Bognet’s background (Trump-Barletta) should make the choice easy for real Republicans.

    1. Vets for Trump endorsed Granville. The other Trump vet group endorsed Daniels. Neither supported Bognet. R House Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Granville—don’t get that unless you’re with Trump. Bognet is just so desperate for people to think he’s something he isn’t. Bognets the Mitt Romney guy in the race!

  10. Bognet? Is the really his name? That sounds like an online name for a swampy (bog=swamp) Russian troll.

    1. Obviously not Bognet. If he was ahead he wouldn’t need to attack. Go buy another sweater, Jimmy. You’re so relatable in cashmere drinking your java latte with extra foam

  11. Jim Bognet bullying Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson is enough to have me say, See Ya!! What kind of guy bullies any woman? How can anyone claim to be with Trump if he’s so horrible to one of Trump’s biggest female supporters in the nation! Bully Bognet seems to think he can buy the people of NEPA with his DC swamp dollars. Looks like that guy’s just a Romney plant trying to cause havoc in the primary. Sorry, don’t like men who treat Trump Republican women rotten.

  12. Someone who pays people that un-ironically use the phrase “The Big Mo” to talk about “momentum” shouldn’t be allowed near Congress.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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