Just In . . . No Endorsement from the Chester County Republican Committee for the State House 157 Race . . . There Will be a Primary!

This just in . . . Chester County Republican Committee has completed their voting for the Pennsylvania State House 157.  The committee voted not to endorse either Warren Kampf or Ken Buckwalter.  To receive an endorsement requires 60% of the votes; the voting went as follows:

  • Round 1: Kampf 32 votes; Buckwalter 26 votes
  • Round 2: Kampf 31 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes
  • Round 3: Kampf 29 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes *

* It is my understanding that 2 Tredyffrin committee people left before Round 3 vote.

As a result of the voting, the Republican Committee has made the decision to recommend both candidates (neither candidate receives an endorsement).  So there will be a Primary race between Kampf and Buckwalter; both candidates will appear on the ballot.  Paul Drucker’s Republican opponent for the State House race will be decided by the people on Primary Day, May 18, 2010. 

Interesting that we will have a Republican Primary between a Paoli candidate and a Phoenixville candidate . . . wonder when the last time that happened?  Has there ever been a non-Tredyffrin Township State House Representative?  Exciting local political news!

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36 Responses

  1. This must be proving a bad day for Warren Kampf. Maybe now he will realize that some of his actions in the last few months (St. Davids!) have not gone by unnoticed. If he thinks he has any chance in this May Primary – Kampf needs to make the right decision at the BOS meeting.

  2. Pattye, The last round was not 29 – 29…..Two votes left between the second and third round of balloting The last vote was Kampf 29 Buckwalter 27. Please be accurate as Warren did not lose votes between those rounds….

  3. Sorry….what I meant to say was that Buckwalter did not gain any votes in the third round

  4. Yes. And to emphasize: Warren lost votes every round. Generally it is more customary for the person in the lead to peel off a few votes to get to an endorsement. That is what happened, for example, in the Jenkins/Hennessy race.

    The opposite trajectory for the first-ballot winner indicates that committee-people were *acutely* uninterested in a Kampf endorsement. Two Tredyffrin people leaving could be read as even more significant than it seems.

    You see, once the threshold for endorsement is set, that threshold can rise in case more people show up and register. But it is not permitted to shrink. Therefore two people leaving early means two people saying “We don’t want to break with our committee, but we darn sure want to guarantee that Warren is not endorsed.” Or it could just be a couple of Warren’s supporters that were really cheesed off. I think the former is more likely, because the latter folks would stay just in case.

    Finally, the takeaway point is really this: Buckwalter, again, was the only candidate that had obvious support in Tredyffrin, Schuylkill, AND Phoenixville. Those within the party that place a high value on unity should take note of this. Because if party unity is a concern for you, Kendrick Buckwalter is the only Republican in this race that can deliver it.

  5. Or……… It could be one person carrying a proxy (2 votes) and was late picking up their kids because the convention ran long. I don’t think there are any single bullet theories involved in the last ballot for 157.

  6. I’m sure there could be other explanations. But I would think if someone had proxy votes – those proxy votes would just be left at the convention, if they had to leave early. But what do I know . . . except that there were 2 less votes on Round 3.

  7. This is certainly an interesting turn of events for the Republican Party. I would love what an TTRC insider views as the real reason that Warren did not get the endorsement. It would have appeared that it was a done deal . . . that is except for the local BOS issues. Do you think that the St. Davids escrow return situation and the public outcry had anything to do with committee people changing their minds about Warren’s electability? I’m wondering if the outcome of today’s vote is going to influence Warren’s vote about St. Davids at the BOS meeting?

  8. You’re not supposed to “leave” your votes with someone if you have to leave early, but people do it. Also, this convention ran nowhere near as long as someone would have expected. In fact, it ended earlier than most people would have expected.

    The easiest explanation for the outcome, though, is likely the most truthful: A lot of people felt Ken was the better candidate, and most likely winner in November. So they decided to give him a primary to prove it.

    He will.

  9. Also: The greatest drama of the morning was associated with the sixth congressional district, and that vote was *after* the PA 157 vote. Someone would really need to be leaving ‘on purpose’, if they were in the 157th. Whether to make a statement, or for some other unforeseen reason. But aleatory reasons aren’t really likely. They did drive an hour to get there on a Saturday morning, after all.

  10. The St. David’s issue was clearly a factor in today’s results.

    Historically, Tredyffrin controlled its own destiny. Tredyffrin has about 94% of the votes you need for an endorsement. Karl’s analysis is spot in re: the drop in votes. The preferred candidate is the one that picks up votes.

    And think about this…2 Kampf supporters left before the third ballot. They knew it was over – but did not stick around to support Kampf. That probably speaks much more to what the sentiment is than anything else.

    The other interesting aspect is that Phoenixville stayed together. That tells you that Ken has a solid base of support. This will be a BIG factor in the primary and the general election.

    Today was a good day!

  11. Karlub is a member of the Buckwalter Campaign, so his comments are suspect. In truth, only one person switched votes between the 1st and 2nd vote.

    Karlub’s theory about the two votes that vanished on the 3rd vote are false. Actually, a committeeperson who was carrying a proxy had to leave to make a business appointment. Oherwise the final vote would have been: 31 to 27.

  12. Hey, Joe:

    You have a selective perception of “false”, as what I said was “Whether to make a statement, or for some other unforeseen reason.” Although according to you my admitted speculation is incorrect. But I am precise with my language. Please respect that. Thanks for telling us your inside information on why Warren’s support shrunk, though, and Ken’s grew. Which, as we all agree, is the opposite of what usually happens in these situations.

    And yes, I am with the Buckwalter campaign. I am Karl Bucus, GOP committeeman in Phoenixville Middle Three. Those involved in area politics should be able to place me from my picture which is prominently displayed next to this note, and my consistent online handle. I am proud to support Ken, and don’t care who knows it.

    His campaign has outstanding offers of similar assistance from all major areas of the district at least partly based on the strength of his showing today. The office on Church St. in Phoenixville will open up soon, the web site has been up for over a month, and we have a Facebook fan page. Ken also has a longstanding blog, as he has taken government transparency seriously since before he ever dreamed of running for General Assembly. These are all things Warren is still getting ready to roll out, which I’m sure he will do soon.

    But because of all of our organizing which is largely from volunteer sweat-equity, and things Ken has already made a habit of doing before this election, we are likely to have lots of commenters in the future that are “member[s]” of the Buckwalter campaign.

    As for whether my comments are “suspect”, I will reiterate the real takeaway: Ken had measurable support in all represented geographic areas of the 157th. Warren did not. That is a fact. Therefore if putting behind division in the interest of winning the general election is a priority for you, then Kendrick Buckwalter is your man.

  13. It would appear that the TTRC didn’t have the guts to vote against Warren in the first round. What a shame. But at least Ken’s supporters didn’t back down & stayed united. I’m still of the opinion that Warren is the wrong candidate for the 157th. His friends who write so glowingly about him must have their heads in the sand. I guess they’ve never seen him in action. He doesn’t have the ethics or morality to be our rep to the state house.

    We can only hope in spite of all the negatives Jason Ercole will throw out that the residents of the 157th will make the right decision. If not, the Rs can say goodbye to the 157th for quite some time.

    • If Warren and the GOP are smart, they will find another media person. Jason Ercole was another factor in what happened today.

      Historical footnote – Ercole produced the negative mailer on Eamon Brazunas.

      • I completely agree — I don’t know why the TTRC ever used Jason Ercole. His methods and his attitudes are reflective of old time backroom politics — his Brazunas mailer should have ended his career — and why Kampt is using him is exactly what I mean when I say his quest for political expediency (someone in the TTRC clearly has something holding them to Ercole) has contributed to the decay of his moral compass. For a smart man, Ercole and SDGC are stupid choices. Maybe we’ll see the Phoenix in him rise and overturn SDGC — get him the headlines he so badly needs.

    • I don’t believe that Warren lacks ethics or morality — but he has let his ambition for a bigger political arena cloud his judgment. Tredyffrin is a very small pond but the people who live here often think that their influence (read: money) should carry representative weight in all things. I cannot comment on Ken as I am unfamiliar with him, but over the past two years, I have watched Warren work for political expediency — thinking that being a conservative Republican was all it took to win the day. I think he miscalculated. But I will stop short — far short — of suggesting that he lacks ethics and morality. He is a good man who has made some bad decisions. I believe that Lamina and Olson are the worst influences in his life — and sometimes that kind of influence can wreck your moral compass.

  14. Look, nothing happened of consequence today. Buckwalters people stayed together for him as did most of the TTRC for Warren. St Davids played no role in today’s events. A primary was the safe bet yesterday and was the winning bet today. The BOS needs to right the ship in regard to St Davids and Kampf will win in May. End of story.

    • Your kidding right…??? To say that St. David’s played no role is to wilfully ignore the blinding flash of the obvious. I don’t think there as EVER been a GOP primary in the 157th. To say that the primary was the “safe bet” is to tacitly admit that something of consequence DID happen. For the GOP – as a county organization, it was the safe bet because it puts distance between a dysfunctional local party and a county party that needs to fight on a lot more fronts.

      THAT is the end of the story.

  15. A very interesting day! Mr. Kampf had his support lined up well in advance, and until a month ago, believed he had the endorsement in the bag. But he and he alone is responsible for his fate today. Anyone else played a supporting role. Now what Warren decides to do on Monday will take on even more consequence.

    As a strong supporter of Rep. Drucker, I can only celebrate the prospect that Warren will have to spend money and work hard to win the Primary while Paul will be filling his war chest for the fall . It would seem C.T.’s marching orders to the TTRC were not received……

    In contrast, there is complete unity and a great deal of enthusiasm for Paul’s candidacy among the CP’s in the 157th. Mayor Scoda brought Paul’s nomination to the floor and expressed his much valued support in the 157th race. Rep. Drucker gave a rousing speech to his supporters at the Democratic Nominating Convention today. It was a shot in the arm for all there.

    For some of us, this campaign season is getting off to a great start!

  16. For as long as I can remember the ttrc has been dominant in the county. That has always bothered me. It seems like this ct person came on the seen and now they are going from one embarrassment to another. I don’t know what’s going on down there but it is good for the rest of us.

  17. @ Involved:
    “[N]othing happened of consequence,” you say? If around Christmas you started taking bets at 2:1 that Kendrick Buckwalter would be a recommended candidate along with Warren in a PA157 primary, you would have gotten lots of action. And please stop ignoring the fact Ken was the only candidate with proven committee support in all parts of the District. His support was not just geographic.

    @ Kate
    I would start helping Warren behind the scenes if I were you. Paul Drucker, I imagine, would much rather run against Warren in a general. Ken wins elections in a 3:2 Democrat ward, having prevailed against both the chair of the Phoenixville Democratic Party, and the treasurer of the County party. All Ken has to do to win this election in November, which he will, is win the same number of Republicans as Guy did outside of Phoenixville, win his own ward, and nudge the rest of Phoenixville his way by a point or two.

    Seeing how people in Phoenixville already know and like him– as evidenced by his electoral success there and support already from well-known Democrats– this should be pretty doable. So, importantly, Ken will be immune from negative campaigning in Phoenixville, as that stuff only works on people you don’t know.

    Ken is the Scott Brown of this race.

    [Thanks again, Pattye, for providing this forum. You are a very gracious host.]

  18. CT does not have the ability to see outside of his committee (and sometimes inside of his committee). As I’ve mentioned, I am a Republican who will have nothing to do with the TTRC as it stands. There is a lack of leadership and depth within that organization as well as a lack of integrity and honesty with some individuals within. Until someone new takes charge, gets the actual party organized (and not just the handful of “yes” people who CT feels are representative of the party), the party will continue to erode. Also, the Jason Ercole issue irks me. You have certainly run out of original ideas when you move to comparing marriage lengths. He lacks talent and ability.

    Ultimately, this blog should show people what is important – it isn’t your party affiliation, it’s where you stand on the issues and where you can find a common ground with like-minded folks who want to see fair government, good debate and transparency.

    Anyone who does not feel Warren suffered a blow yesterday is mistaken. He should have had that endorsement in the bag.

    • Roger,

      Thank you for ” . . . this blog should show people what is important – it isn’t your party affiliation, it’s where you stand on the issues and where you can find a common groupd with like-minded folks who want to see fair government, good debate and transparency. . . “ I could not have said it better!

      The State House 157 race is an important issue to this community but so is the turnpike expansion project, school budget, storm water management, preserving our historic resources, snow removal, etc. the list goes on and on. I am glad that so many people are finding their way to Community Matters and offering their commentary — it’s good for Tredyffrin to have the community engaged. Open honest communication and healthy debate about the issues is important.

      Thanks Roger!

  19. Roger, you really hit the nail on the head. CT’s lack of leadership is destroying the TTRC from the inside. He couldn’t lead this group out of a one road town. In fact, he had an agreement to only hold the Chair position for two years, but is now going on six. But he doesn’t honor his own agreements. CT continues to turn his own committeemen against each other by bad-mouthing and spreading rumors about those who disagree with him. He talks out of two sides of his mouth, saying publicly that he’ll do one thing and then privately does the exact opposite. No one on his own committee trusts him anymore. Its a disaster. His deal-making ability is nonexistent. I don’t blame you for not wanting to have anything to do with TTRC as it stands. The committee continues to support his stupid decisions. It is so sad to watch the TTRC fall at his inept hands. People need to get involved and save this group.

  20. Every two years committee seats are up for election. This is committee seat year. You say “people need to get involved and save this group” and I say run for a committee seat, maybe in CT’s area if that is where you live.

    If you or someone else doesn’t do it, stop complaining. It only means you like sitting on the sidelines and not getting involved to make a difference.

    • Good point. If anybody wants a list of voters in their respective areas, I would be happy to provide it. Of particular interest is E-1, M-4 and M-6. These precincts votes at Our Lady of Assumption, Wayne United Church of Christ and Valley Forge Middle School. If you vote at one of these precincts and are a registered Republican, you are eligible to run. Even if you don’t want to run, perhaps you know somebody who would run. The key is to replace some of these committee people.

      Complaining won’t get you far. Taking out committee people on the other hand, will get you some place.

  21. Doesn’t the TTRC elect the inept leader? Doesn’t the TTRC endorse some clearly inept candidates. Don’t TT voters sanction/reward that by now having a BOS of 7 Republicans. He may be inept, but it takes energy to challenge him — did Judy diF lack character or quality ? No. But look how long she lasted with the TTRC. It cannot just be CT. At some point, this community is going to have to face that horrible 6-letter word — that strikes terror in long-term residents: CHANGE. Paul Olson, Bob Lamina and I guess CT are poster children for that.

    • >>But look how long she lasted with the TTRC

      Judy was not a TTRC insider. Once you are elected supervisor, unless of you are a disaster, you are pretty much assured to get the nod when you decide to run again. Sure, the TTRC talked a big game about their displeasure at times with Judy. But at the end of the day, incumbents like Judy and Carole, who clearly represented main stream interests, were at odds with the hard core voices in the TTRC.

      The oddity of course is that most in the TTRC are not all that educated as to core Republican principles. Most speak in soundbytes.

      I can tell you this, if our dear departed friend John Waldeyer was in charge today, we would not be seeing this sort of nonsense.

      This is why certain key committee people have to be taken out (Alexander, Layden , Broadhurst, Marrose, Cordes, Richter, and Betts) to name 7 off the top of my head. There are a few more folks that need to be removed as well. Only then can the TTRC get back to core Republican principles.

      By the way, core GOP principles do not include hating Democrats. For the system to function property, there needs to be two well running organizations that keep each side in check.

      For the record, I am again, a registered R.

      Quite frankly, CT Alexander should be offering up his resignation letter. He has not been effective and there is no indication that he can ever be effective.

      The days of the current TTRC are numbered.

      • Thanks John. I meant how “not long” Judy D lasted in the process for the 157th. I know this community’s hatred of CHANGE pretty much keeps incumbents in their seats — that and basic inertia to bother to run. There is a lot of time and energy (and money) to running for elected office.
        Does taking over the TTRC mean anything changes. The people on the TTRC (and presumably the TTDC) are people who are really “into” this stuff. Judy D was a better choice than Kampt — but she couldn’t get a bump. We aren’t that big an area — wouldn’t a 3rd party be a more effective way?

  22. John,

    <>

    Your statement prompted me to check…. Not to get too personal but unless you switched parties very recently and the county database has not yet been updated, you are on record today as a registered Democrat.

    Regardless of affiliation, you seem pretty independent in your thinking and more concerned with good governance than party politics. And that is probably where an awful lot of people come down these days.

    It’s not about one party’s policies vs. the other’s in Harrisburg and Washington so much as playing petty or vindictive games while being influenced by those with the biggest wallets.

    Meanwhile precious little is getting done for the people who elected these bozos.

    I don’t know if throwing the bums out starts at the lowly committeeperson level. It would seem they have limited control over what goes on – even on the BOS. But they sure can help inform and get the voters out in May and November .

    And CP’s spoke loud and clear on Saturday. Warren has lost his luster, and his own people won’t be blindly loyal as in the past.

  23. I’m sure in the interest of equal consideration many of you are wondering about the Chester County Democratic nominating convention also taking place in the same Saturday time slot.

    Pattye has reported on the unanimous endorsement for Paul Drucker’s re-election bid. There were some other interesting votes.

    Both candidates for the U.S. Senate, Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter, were present to acknowledge their nominations and address the Democratic committeepersons. In the tight vote that followed, Congressman Sestak bested Senator Specter by 7 votes, but not enough to qualify for the county’s formal endorsement.

    With 3 strong candidates for governor and all 3 speaking to the convention, no one reached the margin for endorsement there either. Pittsburgh’s Dan Onorato got the most votes, follow closely by Montgomery County’s Joe Hoeffel, and then a wider gap to PA Auditor General Jack Wagner.

    Perhaps the biggest surprise was in the race for the 6th District, U.S. House of Representatives. Former Phila. Inquirer editorial board member Doug Pike has been campaigning hard for 9 months, but relative newcomer Dr. Manan Trivedi, from Berks County, polled over twice as many convention votes–enough in fact for the county party endorsement. Trivedi is an Iraq war veteran and naval surgeon. He has gathered support from some of the party leaders who believe that Trivedi can attract a critical margin of votes from Berks County. The race against Jim Gerlach has always been very tight.

    All these races will be decided in the May 18 primary, but

    • Good for them that an official committee vote is taken for the statewide offices.

      And re. PA6, if I were Jim Gerlach I would much rather run against Doug Pike than Manan Trivedi.

  24. Judy should reenter the primary. She would win it.

    • Ditto, Berwyn Dad………. I understand all she would need is signatures……… Now if we could just get rid of KOL and R…..

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