Pennsylvania Primary 2012: Horsham, PA 13th Congressional District

Another primary day is upon us.  But much of the excitement has been drained with the recent concession of Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential nod.  This development removed whatever caché tomorrow’s vote held for most people, including me.  Yet like any other primary day – boring though they tend to be – important decisions will be made with or without our participation.

The Presidential race really isn’t worth mentioning, unless you are looking to make a statement.  Frankly, I was willing to cast my ballot for Santorum, based on his principles and despite the fact that his steadfast belief in those principles was what often made him unattractive to many voters.  It matters not now; but I’ll still give Rick my vote … as a statement.

The most interesting Pennsylvania race involves Republican choices for a candidate to challenge U.S. Senator Bob Casey.  The field is crowded with five potential candidates: Steve Welch, Tom Smith, Sam Rohrer, Marc Scaringi, and Dave Christian.

Steve Welch is being pushed by the Pennsylvania GOP as the party-endorsed candidate.  But that endorsement was not a smooth ride with many local GOP committees pushing for local candidates or those with far better Republican records and conservative leanings.  To understand my point here, try googling Steve Welch and note the entry “Steve Welch Democrat”.  It’s interesting because just like Arlen Spector, Welch likes to go where victory is more likely.  He was a Republican before he became a Democrat which preceded his decision to become a Republican … again!  Then just as incredible as that story sounds, Governor Tom Corbett strong-arms the State Republican Committee to endorse Welch – barely – for what looks like to be a very good chance to unseat Bob Casey this November.  Unfortunately, Welch looks no better than Casey when you consider Welch’s outspoken support for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election and his support for Joe Sestak in 2006. 

Is that REALLY the kind of “Republican” you want taking on Bob Casey???

If not, then you probably don’t want Tom Smith either.  Smith was not only a Democrat but also a Democratic committeeman.  He re-registered as a Democrat as late as 2005.  So you have to wonder … Why does Welch and Smith seem so smitten with being Republicans now?  Was it because they perceived a weak Republican Senatorial field and a path to a senatorial office easier than challenging an incumbent Democrat from within the Democratic Party?  Who knows?  I just know it smells kinda funny, so I’ll be voting for Sam Rohrer.

Rohrer was a Pennsylvania State Representative for nine terms (18 years).  Fourteen of those years were spent on the Appropriations Committee.  He has a solid record on Conservative economic issues.  What’s best is he’s been a Republican and stayed one all along!

The biggest decision Horsham residents of the Pennsylvania 13th Congressional District will be made by Democrats, who have a choice even if that choice does not show up on the ballot.  Incumbent Allyson Schwartz has a challenger who she chased off the ballot using the courts and the threat of financial retribution.  As a result, Nate Kleinman is mounting a shot-in-the-dark write-in campaign to unseat Schwartz in the Democrat primary.   It’s the kind of politics played by those with all the Power and all the Money.  The kind of politics that does not like to take chances with the vagaries of voter preference and free choice.  For that reason alone, I’d LOVE to see Nate Kleinman accomplish the almost impossible!

The winner will face Joe Rooney, a resident of Ardsley and the lone Republican who has filed to run in the November general election. 

The only other truly juicy primary race involves – once again – the Democrat side of the primary ballot.  Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy square off for the Democrat’s nod in the Pennsylvania Attorney General race.  I have already said my piece on the qualifications of one of these candidates who has NEVER prosecuted a criminal case for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!  Patrick Murphy walks and talks like a politician looking for a nice place to hang his hat until the Democratic National Committee comes calling once again. 

The only other State primary contest is for the Republican nomination for Auditor General between Frank A. Pinto and John Maher.  Maher has the State GOP endorsement; but as we saw above, that’s not always the most savory choice.  I do not know enough about either of these men to make a recommendation.

Don’t forget to vote!

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