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

State Rep. and Congressional candidate Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh) is calling for the resignation of Lehigh County GOP Chair Jess Banotai and the party’s Executive Director Trevor Waldron after Simmons released images of text messages between the two and others.  

In the text messages, Banotai asks a group text that includes Waldron “how much do you think it would cost to get a billboard in Justin’s district and put that hitler youth photo of him on it?”  

“We can make it happen,” Waldron responded.  

In a separate screen grab, Banotai says they should use the Young Republican page to “troll” Simmons by sharing and liking state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie’s (R-Lehigh) announcements.  Mackenzie announced his bid for the 15th district last week.  

In the same grab, Banotai says that it is up to the Lehigh Valley Young Republican Chair to decide and she was “just making the suggestion.” 

“This is exactly why Republican voters have zero faith in Republican Party establishment insiders like Banotai, Waldron, Dent, and Mackenzie,” Simmons said.  

“Banotai and Waldron need to go immediately because they clearly are not interested in having a level playing field for the 15th Congressional district race.”

This is the second time in this race text messages have been released by campaigns.  Prior to announcing his retirement, Congressman Charlie Dent’s (R-Lehigh) campaign released text messages between Dent and Simmons.  

Update: Banotai responded to Simmons’ call, going on the offensive against the candidates assertions.  

“Justin Simmons is a desperate candidate who is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He continues to try to mislead the Republican voters of the 15th District,” Banotai said in a statement.

Banotai turned her criticism to Northampton County Chair Gloria Lee Snover, who has publically supported Simmons.  

“If Justin is so concerned at keeping any bias out of a potential Special Election, he must immediately call for Northampton County GOP Chairwoman Gloria Lee Snover to resign. Snover has repeatedly indicated in public speeches and on social media that Justin Simmons is her hand-picked candidate. I want to see Justin demand that the clearly-biased Snover — along with anyone else in her Executive Committee who has expressed support for Simmons publicly — immediately resign to keep the process fair. Until he does so, and until she does, he’s just grand-standing.”

“The rest of Justin’s statement is beneath contempt. For someone who says he’s not a career politician, Justin Simmons certainly has been acting like one. If Justin has a real desire to support the Republican Party in Lehigh County he would be doing what I’m doing — focusing on supporting and electing, strong Lehigh County Republican candidates in this year’s General Election.”

You can see the messages below.

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141 Responses

  1. dear fellow politicos: after reading all 139 posts i still have the same question: is there, or is there not, evidence of a hitler youth affiliation for this candidate ???

    1. NO; it’s a heinous fabrication, portending dirty-tricks.

      This is what I wrote on an updated website:

      This 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.

      ht tp://w ww.politicspa.co m/mackenzie-campaign-accuses-simmons-of-being-never-trump/84640/

  2. I wrote this elsewhere:

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

    If this behavior is true [“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.”], she should resign because of the recognized inability to be fair/balanced as a political party leader; this is different from leaning for/against someone, for it suggests she was advising this be publicized [“In the messages, chair Jessica Banotai suggested what she referred to as the “Hitler youth photo” be put on a billboard.”] instead of resolved internally.

  3. Justin Simmons has a history of trolling websites and leaving comments under assumed names. A guy with such poor judgment has no business in government anywhere, much less in Washington.

    1. Are you kidding me? He wouldn’t lower himself to troll websites. Unlike all of the Dent followers and sycophants.

  4. A photo shopped pic taken from the archives of Prince

    Harry. Now there’s a good republican boy.

  5. I am voting for Simmons. The Dent swamp needs to be drained. Your lies and character assassination tactics aren’t working.

  6. MacKenzie will make Simmons look worse than Simmons makes himself look (if that’s actually possible)

    1. MacKenzie is so used to having political positions handed to him. That he wouldn’t know how to campaign on his own. The sliver spoon candidate(Ryan) doesn’t have leadership qualities.

      1. Donna B, your grammar is atrocious! Something about Simmons supporters and spelling just doesn’t go together

          1. Sloppy Seconds Simmons your arrogance is showing. Obviously, you lack people skills. Get a real job or better yet, get a life.

  7. What I don’t understand is how the Northampton County chair is not also mentioned in this. If racist comments or actions are the center of this story one cannot ignore Lee Snover. She calls herself General Lee in public, during public speeches no less, while also supporting Justin as a congressional candidate. General Lee is a clear reference to Robert E Lee, the confederate general and defender of slavery. If Snover wants to align herself with a pro-slavery racist historical figure, while also supporting a Simmons candidacy, then that is her choice. Furthermore, she should not be allowed to control a political party in Northampton county because of the outright and rampant racism she supports and preaches. She should be called out and removed.

    Surrender General Lee just like your confederate comrade did many years ago!

    1. Very well said! She is no doubt a bigot. The sad thing is that there is a lot of political talent in Northampton County, both male and female, for the GOP. I mean, Glenn Geissinger is a great man, business leader and critical thinker. It is a shame the chair would rather side with racist bigots than true GOP principles.

      1. Dick Tracey and Northampton Republican are using the liberal, progressive playbook of calling someone a racist. Next you will be calling everyone that supports Justin misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic and a deplorable. Remember the Presidential election? Well, that didn’t work for Clinton, now did it. We the voters are wise to this game.

        1. No, I think they would be called idiotic, stupid and gullible to think that Justin is actually a Trump supporter when text messages were released showing that he didn’t want Trump as president.

          1. We all know that Mac isn’t a TRUMP supporter. That Simmons actually is on the Trump train. Choo-Choo!

  8. It is shame that this race has already come to this. However, if there is a photo of simmons that could be construed as being associated with that nazi movement, that is disgusting. The fact that he has not offered a rebuttal about the existence of such a photo shows he is worried about the possibility of one being discovered because of the people he associates himself with.

      1. Right, get up the insults, slurs, innuendos and lies. We all know that you are Dent’s henchmen. It’s not going to work.

        1. I think that you mean keep up the insults, slur, innuendos and lies. That these tactics don’t work. I agree!

  9. 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.

    1. First of all, there is no “Hitler Youth Photo”. It is plainly obvious that was metaphorical, except to liberals who see a Nazi behind every tree. The worst that can be said about Simmons’ texts is they make him look hypocritical, while the texts from party leaders and staff are incriminating in various veins.

      1. Your point is probably correct, but it’s desirable to acquire primary-source confirmation.

      2. Then he should come out and say that there is no photo or at least denounce the neo-nazi/alt-right individuals because of such a rumor. The “both sides” argument won’t work here pal.

        1. No photo. Just Dent henchmen using the same old tactics of defaming someone. It’s boring!

          1. SOOOOOO you just agreed that you’re Justin you idiot. Way to go. For the 100th god damn time I am not Jess. Justin you need to stop eating cookies though my guy, you’re getting fat as hell.

          2. We all that these comments are form Jess and Shawnie boy.They are nothing!They are no bodies that suck up to their boss.

          1. Evil crawl back into your hole. You are pathetic and desperate. You are a sorry excuse of a human being and we all know that your name fits you.

          1. Donna Baran, aka Dump Dishonest Dent is a fool. She has the IQ of a KISS fan. Do you wonder what else I know about you?

          2. We all know of the dirty dealings of the LRC chair person. You can call other people names, but it’s really you.

    1. Banotani needs to resign. Look at the texts! I guess that sweet and salty needs to get their eyes checked.

      1. There is truly a serious conflict of interest here with Banotai, and she NEVER should have been HANDED the LCRC Chair position. She is a paid staffer for Dent as his Finance Director. CONFLICT!!!!! Then for her to text HITLER comments…. that seals it for me!

        1. Oh so General Lee Snover doing the same thing with Simmons is fine though? Hypocrite. Oh and Jess was NOT handed the LCRC position, she ran and was challenged by some lunatic that called her a “little girl” she stood up to him and won fair and square. Something you will never do again Justin.

  10. I agree with Jess, Lee Snover is the real problem. She is the one that endorsed/picked Justin in the first place? She has a history of turning on candidates going wayyyyyy back for not agreeing with her every whim. Obviously Jess and Waldron wouldn’t be Justin’s biggest fans, aren’t they associated with Dent?! Like that is obvious. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an elected official, and for that matter, an adult being this childish. The last thing that we need is Simmons in DC lying to everyone constantly. If he cheats on his wife this much in Harrisburg, imagine what he would do in DC!!!!! He would be divorced before his first term was over. Justin Simmons is the definition of the swamp, he is a disgusting, fowl being.

      1. Now thissss is news to me! But exciting. I think the Neo-Nazi/Trump people would realllllyyyy embrace a gay, unfaithful candidate for Congress!…

          1. Donna Baran doesn’t know how to properly use a comma and is a scumbag for posting lies.

          2. Really nice of you for calling someone a scumbag. We all know that LRC chair person is nothing but, a political whore.

    1. This type of comment only reflects on the disgusting person that wrote it. It’s so easy to throw slime at someone when you are slime yourself. Anyone with any integrity would never post such childish nonsense.

    2. Oh, I think you are confused! You are describing Dent, not Simmons! Mackenzie hasn’t had to work for anything he’s done in his life. Daddy made sure of that!

    1. The screenshots posted here are cropped. On Simmon’s Facebook page, you can see the full screenshot and in the lower right hand corner there is a picture of a guy. Someone told me they originated from someone named Kory Boone- looked him up on Facebook and seems legit. Don’t know too much about him or how he’s involved…

          1. Truth to power, dude! Chill out! Take a deep breath and relax. Calling people names just makes you look bad.

    1. That is a good question. Simmons doesn’t deny the picture exists. What picture is this and why isn’t he responding to that? Very, very concerning!!!!!!!!!!

      What if the picture they are talking about doesn’t come out until the General Election…then when it does, the Ds win by default!!!!!!!!!

      1. I’m sure they’ll drop it eventually, probably why Justin is squirming. He knows how much messed up shit he has done since joining the house and he is just trying to cause as much havoc as possible so he doesn’t look quite as bad when all of the oppo research is dropped. Save yourself Justin. Once all the disgusting things youve done are out in the air, you won’t be electable as a dog catcher in this State.

        1. You guys and gals really are slow. The “Hitler youth” photo isn’t an actual Hitler youth photo. They are saying in said photograph he looks creepy. It’s a joke. You think simmons would leak texts if there actually was a photo like that? You guys are so dense in your race to assume republicans actually are racist. Don’t let the obvious get in the way of something you desperately want to believe.

          1. Slandering Simmons and calling him a racist is nothing but, the liberal-progressive playbook. It doesn’t work any more. We the voters know your games.

        2. Simmons isn’t squirming. He’s saying what so many of us are saying. Jess and Trevor both need to go! He’s not the only one asking for their resignation and firing! As for the picture…. all it takes is for anyone to raise their arm and it be captured…. it is my understanding this is what happened. What is a shame here is that this type of fake BS typically comes from the Ds and MSM…. not people within our own party, certainly not the party chair and ED…. and where the hell is Charlie Dent in all this. You see…. he’s staying silent bc this is the kind of dirty politics he plays!

    2. Asking the real questions!

      I could care less about the intra-party cat fight. I want to know what this picture is.

      1. PhillyPolitico asks a very good question. Judging by the people Simmons associates with online a picture like that is possible.

        1. I think that you mean the Dent and Mac supporters. The one that is doing the accusing, is actually the one doing. Behaviorally, it’s the Dent camp.

  11. Jess needs to go. How could she standby her comment about putting a Nazi billboard up and not take it back but instead double down and attack Simmons for being a career politician? If I remember correctly he didn’t take the pension, state car, or medical benefits. Did Mackenzie accept them?

    1. Tom C. – not sure why you are dragging Mackenzie into this. Your love for Justin must be blinding you. No – Mackenzie does not take the state car, and he will not be getting a pension (not sure if he would have taken it, but it is moot because he is leaving before he would be elidgible at 10 years of serving). I hope he accepts healthcare…like every other sane, full-time employee! Nice try on the negative attack though – that is all you and Justin have to go to and it is so, so sad.

      P.S. They both have conservative voting records. (Mackenzie did support Trump early so that is a bonus for him. I never saw Justin lift a finger for Trump on the campaign trail.) But, the negative personal attacks by you and others have backfired on me and many others I know. Therefore, I will be voting for Mackenzie!

      1. Mackenzie is everything that is wrong with the political establishment. Given his state house seat from the very first race. There were other Republicans who wanted to run but the deck was cleared for Ryan.

        1. It’s a good thing we have something called “the internet” where we can actually check the facts. I decided to do a little research and, based on what I found, your statement is rated: PANTS ON FIRE!

          The “establishment” didn’t clear the field as you said, because Mackenzie did have a Primary race his first time out. However, it looks like Mackenzie was the one who cleared the field by winning that Primary 86%-14%!

          Not sure why these supposed other people you describe as being “cleared” didn’t get on the ballot like his other Primary challenger. Maybe the people you are talking about weren’t as organized or didn’t want to follow through if they actually had to go out in the cold and get petition signatures (i.e. actually have to work for it).

          FACT CHECK SOURCE: http://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/Home/OfficeResults?OfficeID=13&ElectionID=27&ElectionType=P&IsActive=0

        2. It’s a good thing we have something called “the internet” where we can actually check the facts. I decided to do a little research and, based on what I found, your statement is rated: PANTS ON FIRE!

          The “establishment” didn’t clear the field as you said, because Mackenzie did have a Primary race his first time out. However, it looks like Mackenzie was the one who cleared the field by winning that Primary 86%-14%!

          Not sure why these supposed other people you describe as being “cleared” didn’t get on the ballot like his other Primary challenger. Maybe the people you are talking about weren’t as organized or didn’t want to follow through if they actually had to go out in the cold and get petition signatures (i.e. actually have to work for it).

          FACT CHECK SOURCE: PA Department of State website

          1. Hey fact check, you obviously got your information from fake news! I actually wanted to run for the 134th district in the special election but was shut down by the party! They said I was too conservative for the 134th!

          2. To Fact Checking the Fact Checker:

            A. Please identify yourself, otherwise you have no credibility.

            B. Why didn’t you file petitions and run like the other challenger? No one can say you are too conservative to file petitions.

            C. Are you going to run no that Mackenzie is leaving his seat? You should announce here on PoliticsPA – no one can stop you!

        3. Mackenzie is an excellent lawmaker. We may not agree with every stance he has, but no on can deny that he shows up to vote and works hard. Putting his unmatched academic background aside, there is no doubt that Mr. Mackenzie practices conservative values and republican principles everyday as a legislator.

          1. Mackenzie came into office with a special election. He was hand picked for the seat. Not to mention at the time it was questionable as to whether he even lived in the district.

          2. Dude! Mackenzie came into office with a special election. That he was hand picked for the seat. And that he didn’t live in the district. Dent really surrounds himself with the stellar people, not. Their reputations are definitely, questionable. More like tarnished and ugly.

          3. Residency is relatively easy to prove, so I thought I’d check it out. According to voter registration and two other sources I double checked, you are wrong about this Truth to Power and Loves Peace. You are also probably the same person because otherwise, it’s simply amazing how within 10 min of each other you both came up with the same response, using the same wording! I guess people were right about you and the Simmons crowd. That’s disappointing and this type of blatant lie and fake posting discredits Simmons and certainly anything you say.

      2. OK Shawny! How is your pizza today? Not taking the state car is no big deal. Many don’t! But, he never came out saying he won’t take the pension, as Simmons did. Just bc it’s a moot issue now, doesn’t mean it won’t be an issue later. Should he fail at this bid and then runs for State Senate, for ex., he buys back his time! So unless he made it a campaign pledge…. back off! Go eat some more pizza! 4/16 Ryan was uncommitted at to who he was voting for! It’s on record!

  12. this simmons guy epitomizes all that is wrong with our overpaid, underqualified (stupid) state reps. no one gives a shit about the catty text chains. simmons looks like a petty fool for leaking

      1. lol huh?! dent isn’t running. simmons was the one bitching about the leaked texts, then he leaked this set. he’s the hypocrite. are you taking crazy pills?? if so, please share the wealth b/c this simmons closet case IS. THE. WORST. and i need drugs to cope

      2. Isn’t Simmons the hypocrite? He complained/whined to no end when Dent released texts that caught Simmons trying to remove Trump from the ballot. Now Simmons is releasing texts though…

        Also, Simmons is an even bigger hypocrite because he wants to claim the Trump mantle, but wanted him off the ballot last year. (To make matters worse, he got caught lying about the timing of those texts and rightly got called out for it.)

        1. Agreed. He bitched about Dent doing this not two weeks ago. As if he could be any less trustworthy and less deserving of a congressional seat, he proves us all wrong again!

          1. You all are missing the point here…. the point is…. the LCRC party chair referred to Simmons as HITLER! She also is a paid employee of Charlie Dent. As party chair she needs to remain impartial and assist all candidates as necessary… but she is not doing that. She is a puppet to Dent/Woodman/Millan. None of them have come out and denounced her vile actions! NONE OF THEM!

          2. The LRC chair person was never been impartial. Her true colors have come out. What a deceptive person, not! We can see right through you.

    1. Joe, we all know that silence is consent. Simmons has every right to defend himself. Banotani and her followers are slandering Simmons. She is the mot disgusting and dishonest person. She needs to resign and get a real job.

      1. Justin, just keep it to one name on here so we can keep track of your ridiculous comments. Thanks.

          1. First, they accuse one person and then another person and then another and then another. Evil you will eventually run out of people to accuse. LOL!

    1. Since I am Jewish I don’t take it lightly when people throw this kind of stuff around. Be careful accusing others of being Nazi’s. To me, it is no laughing matter!

        1. Truth to power, I too am a jew. My great grandmother had to flee Nazi Germany. I find it offensive, when people randomly accuse someone of being a Nazi. It’s apparent that they never had to deal with anti-Semitic comments.

      1. …and the answer is NO… this is a vile, evil, cruel campaign ploy on Dent’s part to steer Simmons off course. It’s not working, however. In fact, it’s only helping his cause!

        1. Where is your proof he’s not?? The people on that text chain obviously know there’s a picture of some sort.

  13. Justin Simmons might actually be the biggest light-weight PA has ever seen… first off, he’s not denying there is a Hitler-youth photo of him. Second off, since when has a county chair not liking a terrible candidate been a crime?? Simmons is an embarrassment, and if the Hitler-youth stuff is true, I would be putting up billboards too!

    1. I actually feel sorry for you! It saddens me that you take this so lightly. Like it’s a big joke. Accusations like this are everything that is wrong with America today. Look in the mirror and think about what you are saying.

      1. Oh look everyone. Justin Simmons himself is back trolling news stories that he makes up. Hey justin you’re a fake candidate who wanted trump replaced at the top of the ticket, I wonder what Gloria “General Lee” Snover thinks about that. Can’t wait to see you in your Nationalist uniform!

        1. Well evil, we all know that it is really Jess. Maybe, you should be working. Instead, of wasting taxpayers time and money on posting comments.

          1. So again, you don’t denounce that you are Justin Simmons, which is as good as you agreeing that you’re Justin Simmons, you RINO in a Trump branded tie. This is not Jess, although she is an extremely respectable public official who unlike you, has morals. Burn slow buddy.

          2. It’s not Justin, but we know tht the grammar and comma police is Shawnie boy. You need to chill!

      1. You say it is not such a picture, but Justin still hasn’t denied it. Why?! The clock is ticking, Justin. The longer you wait, the more concerning it is. Also, will you denounce Trump and his Charlottesville response? You wanted to get him off the ballot last year. Are you for impeaching the President now?

        1. [Redacted for violation of comment policy]. Like mother, like son… Anyway, the “Hitler Youth” photo is Jess snapping an out-of-context photo from the Jordan Creek rally to make it look like he’s giving the Adolf limp-wrist.

          1. So,Beyer still lives in his mommy’s basement and is an alcoholic. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

      1. PANTS ON FIRE ALERT!

        Mackenzie went to NYU and Harvard = not a lightweight.

        Nice try though 😉

        FACT CHECK SOURCE: Rep. Mackenzie’s official bio

          1. Lets Get Real….
            Unmarried, NYV & Harvard grad

            >

            Cheating on your wife… With grey haired male lobbyists in Harrisburg

        1. Have seen what come out of NYU and Harvard. They are nothing but, deranged liberals. I am not impressed!

        2. Your divide and conquer techniques are so apparent. The lying from Dent’s campaign means that it’s all a nothing burger. You all need to get a real job.

          1. Next all of Dent’s henchmen will be accusing Simmons of having an affair with his dog. Give it up all of you Dent trolls!

          2. I noticed that all of the Dent trolls aren’t working for the constituents. They really need to get a real job.

    2. HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DENY IT! GO AFTER JESSSSSS! SHE’S THE TWIT! GO AFTER TREVOR FOR NOT TELLING HER TO STFU!

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