“I congratulate Tom Smith on his victory. He is now our Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the General election. I have offered him my support and counsel and I encourage others to support him as we endeavor to take back the Senate from the control of Harry Reid and his enablers,” Rohrer wrote in an email to supporters.
Rohrer had been less warm to Smith in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s vote. In his concession speech, he criticized the role of party endorsements and money in the process.
This is the second thwarted statewide run for Rohrer. He challenged Tom Corbett for Governor in 2010 to be outdone by the party and establishment. This time, he was overcome by the superior financial resources of Smith.
Smith is a former coal company owner from Armstrong County; all told he contributed over $5 million to his successful effort. Rohrer’s other rival, Chester County entrepreneur Steve Welch, had the endorsement of the Pa. Republican Party and Gov. Tom Corbett.
Welch was forthcoming with his support for Smith on Tuesday.
“I also want to congratulate David Christian, Marc Scaringi, and Steve Welch for stepping out into the arena. Each brought with them unique though diverse talents, history, experience and service. Only in this great nation can individuals step onto the political landscape and have a chance of winning the prize and assuming the duty that comes with serving in public office,” Rohrer added in his email.
At least Smith is further along than Corbett, as far as Rohrer is concerned. After his 2010 primary defeat, Rohrer was far less up front about his support for the nominee. He did little, if anything, to stifle rumors of a write-in campaign for him.