HARRISBURG, Pa.–February 10, 2018–The Pennsylvania Republican Party just concluded its annual Winter Meeting, February 9th and 10th, at The Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA. The assembley of several hundred committee members from all over the state did result in party endorsements for the races of US Senate and Pennsylvania Governor and Lieutenant Governor. When called to task, Republican committee people stood from their seats to visibly cast a unanimous vote in endorsement of Congressman Lou Barletta for US Senate, and an overwhelming vote for independent businessmen Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos, for Governor and Lieutenant Governor respectively.
“There was never a question in my mind on whether we would endorse. In talking to committee people all across the state, they felt we would endorse, so I was not surprised at that vote. Our bylaws require us to have that vote and I wanted to make it clear to committee people that this was their decision–this was a very bottom-up decision–and they voted resoundingly for endorsement,” said Val DiGiorgio, Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, in a press conference held immediately following the endorsement vote by state committee members.
Congressman Lou Barletta received the endorsement for U.S. Senate unanimously. Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos were also endorsed with overwhelming support for Governor and Lieutenant Governor respectively. Preceding the committee’s vote to move forward with endorsement procedures, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Mike Turzai announced he would be resigning from the primary race for Governor. Laura Ellsworth, a fourth Republican candidate for the office of Governor did not seek endorsement.
In a characteristically consistent call for party unity and respect for the democratic process, Chairman DiGiorgio also responded during the press conference saying, “This is America and we encourage people to run in primaries and otherwise. We appreciate those who respect the will of these grassroots, state, elected committee members to endorse. Speaker Turzai is to be commended for that and for his call to unity. We do not discourage anyone from running and I do not want to call anyone a bad Republican because they decide to go forward in the primary.”