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Pinto Wins a Straw Poll

By Ben Hulac, Contributing Writer and Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Pinto (left) and Maher

Frank Pinto defeated party favorite John Maher in Saturday’s NECRA caucus straw poll by a vote of 13 to 9 on Saturday. Maher, a state Rep. From Allegheny County, had a stronger showing in the NEPA straw poll, which he won 13 to 3.

The former head of The Pennsylvania Community Bankers, Pinto, 68, had been running against both Maher and a third candidate, Ann Duke, the Chester Country Treasurer. Duke dropped out of the race on Friday, citing Governor Tom Corbett’s clear support for Maher. She also endorsed Maher.

Following his NECRA caucus victory, and perhaps with his slogan “He’s Smart, He’s Tough and Nobody Owns Him” in mind, Pinto spoke about the victory.

“Today’s win further strengthens an already energized campaign to move forward to victory,” he said.  “It proves that the voters are looking for a leader with no political baggage, no controversial votes, and no conflicts of interest.”

Pinto is an engaging speaker, and several state committee members have told PoliticsPA that his entertaining speaking style is what won their votes. He remains the only candidate in any Republican primary opposed to a nominee with Corbett’s support.

Wyoming County optometrist David Haire dropped out of the race for Treasurer when Corbett made clear his support for Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn.

Correction: The straw poll results so far (including NECRA, NEPA and the central caucus) are Maher 63, Pinto 48, Duke 24. Percentage-wise, its Maher 47 percent, Pinto 36 percent, and Duke 18 percent.

The candidates will meet with the southeast Pa. caucus on Wednesday, and southwest and northwest caucuses on Saturday. Republican state committee will hold its endorsement meeting in Hershey on January 28.

Pa. Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York) is the likely Democratic candidate for the office.

This map shows the PAGOP caucuses. NEPA is purple; NECRA is orange.

7 Responses

  1. Pinto is definitely a leader….and that is what is needed in the Auditor General’s office which already has plenty of CPA’s working there.

    But most importantly, voters shouldn’t confuse COMMUNITY bankers with the big Wall Street banksters which have tried to crush the little banks for years. Pinto has a solid history of standing up against Goliath.

  2. If I have a choice between a CPA and a Leader, which is what Frank Pinto is, I am going to vote for the Leader. Frank’s last job was leading the PA Community Bankers Association – serving as an executive responsible for helping community banks around Pennsylvania to become stronger individually and collectively.

    With President Obama at the top of the Democrat ticket, the Republican Party needs a dynamic speaker who can demonstrate leadership if we want to win the Auditor General’s position.

  3. Being a passionate speaker does not make Frank Pinto a qualified candidate in my book. I believe I have read that Frank is a lobbyist for the banking industry. If I have a choice between a CPA or a lobbyist for Auditor General, John Maher has my vote!

  4. Frank is a passionate speaker and highly qualified for the job. The democrats will be able to take Maher down quickly. Maher voted for his own pay raise, his own pension increase, is running two campaigns at the same time (he is also running for his state rep post) and doing it all on the taxpayers dollar…. He is the exact opposite of who we need to represent the party. Frank Pinto has my vote.

  5. Frank Pinto is the new kid on the block that everyone needs to get to know! The voters of Pennsylvania need to do their research and see that this is the man for Auditor General. Pinto is an exceptionally intelligent, honest, hard working candidate who we all will be able to trust with making sure our state monies are effectively and efficiently spent.

  6. John is correct. Frank Pinto finished a close second behind Maher in the Central Caucus with 32 votes to Maher’s 41.

  7. Your central caucus figures are all wrong. I was there. The central caucus vote was 41 votes for Maher, 32 votes for Pinto, and 24 votes for Duke. Pinto was fantastic. Pinto did this all with 2 weeks of campaigning against a man who has been seeking this office since 2004.

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