For election returns go to the PA state website here.
GOP Primary Results
Although Republican underdogs Sam Rohrer (for Governor) and Peg Luksik (for Senate) lost last night, they both got many votes. Peg, in particular, impressed as she got 151,734 votes (or 18.5% of the total). This is especially impressive because many of the people I spoke to at the Sweet Valley polling station hadn't even heard of her. Peg performed relatively well in Luzerne County, getting nearly 4 percentage points higher there--22.4%.
Rohrer did decent on the state-wide level, garnering 31.3% or 266,389 votes. Many thought that the miserable icy cold rain storm yesterday boded well for him because his supporters tend to be more die-hard and thus more willing to brave miserable elements. I had expected Rohrer to do better, considering the fact that he has 7,300 Facebook fans to Corbett's 5,700*.
However, F&M polls prior to the election revealed that Corbett had a heavy advantage. He also had all the money that he took from gambling interests, unions, etcetera, with which to propagate his misleading promises (scaling back 17,000 state vehicles) and and his mischaracterizations of Sam's salary. Furthermore, most Republican outfits like Luzerne GOP did all they could to promote the endorsed candidates while giving no publicity to either Peg or Sam. If Corbett hadn't received the state committee's endorsement, dodged debate with Rohrer, expressed all the right platitudes, and put out deceitful attack flyers (see below), then he may full well have lost. It is commonly known that Rohrer was much more popular with the tea party crowd--at least the one around me. But those with the money and power wanted Corbett, as did the GOP establishment and political pragmatists who thought Rorher was unable to win in the fall.
A disingenuous yet hilarious bit of GOPaganda
Sadly, former chiropractor David Madeira and Snyder county official Malcolm Derk lost to former DeNaples lawyer Tom Marino. 'Casino Marino' had the cash to send out campaign flyers. He also has a lot of contacts, having been a factory worker and a janitor before going to law school. Plus, he had notoriety from being a federal prosecutor. Doubtless, Marino's past association with DeNaples will be a burden on him in the fall. Madeira and Derk have endorsed Marino, so we'll see if their endorsements are enough to help Marino overcome the powerful Carney/DNC machine.
As expected, Jim Cawley won the Lieutenant Governor primary, but he received only 23% of the total vote. Naturally, all the Lt. Gov. candidates not endorsed by the PA GOP state committee (except Jean Pepper) were more conservative than Cawley. There should have been a mini-primary to get the best man (in this case) to oppose Mr. Cawley.
Also to be noted, "Butch" Moderno Rossi lost the Luzerne County state committee election despite the fact that he sent multiple people out in the elements to campaign for him at the polls. Linda Urban and Kathy Dobash were elected to the state committee. This is good for Rohrer supporters because Linda has vowed to oppose the premature endorsement and Kathy has attended events of Sam Rohrer. Comically, Stephen E. Urban may have been elected because many voters thought he was the popular Republican county commissioner Stephen A. Urban. This was just as well, though, since Stephen E. Urban was/is a decent candidate.
Despite Rohrer's loss, true economic and social conservatives need not give up hope yet. Rohrer may still be nominated if Corbett is revealed to be involved in a scandal or something--but then again, the state GOP may just roll out another human product to sell to the people, and the people may buy it again. Also, word around the campfire is that Rohrer may run as an independent conservative.**
But if Corbett sticks around and Rohrer drops out***, conservative voters disenfranchised with Corbett's weak stances and lack of substance can check out Robert Allen Mansfield--a principled conservative running on the Independent ticket. What Mansfield lacks in experience and knowledge he makes up in strong principles--qualities that Corbett could use.
*These were rounded numbers at the time this blog was written. Since then, Corbett's tightly controlled fan page has gone up to over 8,000 fans.
**Since the writing of this blog, many Rohrer supporters have vowed to write in his name in November.
*** Rohrer has since stated that he is no longer campaigning for governor but he never said he would mind if someone wants to write in his name in the 2010 general election.