Special Election Strengthens Conservatives, Not Wolf

Member Group : Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

It didn’t take long for Democrats to try to spin the loss of a union boss in the 161st district as a referendum on Republicans. According to the statement from the Democratic Representative-elect, as reported by Capitol Wire (subscription required), the message was that voters supported Governor Wolf’s demand for higher taxes and more spending.

In the real world, the message was that conservative voters would no longer be steamrolled into voting for bad candidates just because they had an "R" behind their name. Remember, the Republican’s nominated a candidate who campaigned for Governor Wolf, Joe Sestak, and a host of other liberal candidates. What incentive would conservatives have for voting for that kind of candidate?

In addition to keeping a union boss out of the General Assembly, CAP was involved in the special election in the 87th House District. The nominee in the 87th district, Greg Rothman, was a solid conservative candidate, and CAP was happy to support him. Rothman is replacing Glen Grell. Grell’s pension reform proposals had favored government unions at the expense of tax-payers. The 87th district has a high percentage of state workers, teachers, and state pensioners. Despite that demographic challenge, Rothman offered his unabashed support for real pension reform.

Rothman’s election brings CAP to 27 percent of our Ben Franklin Project goal. There are now fourteen CAP members in the House and five in the Senate.

The two Republicans who previously represented the 87th and 161st districts were close to organized labor and supported some questionable policies.Their departure and the addition of Greg Rothman to the Republican caucus strengthens the hand of conservatives in the House. If anything, the special election should reassure House and Senate conservatives that the taxpayers are on their side in the budget debate.

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