Monday, June 28, 2010

Mansfield Ends Bid for Governor

Independent conservative candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Robert Allen Mansfield, has unofficially ended his campaign bid for governor with the following message on his Facebook fanpage:

My friends, after a period of prayer and reflection, I have decided to end my bid for Governor of Pennsylvania. I will instead focus on my Health and Spending more time with my family. Since October of 2009, I have traveled the commonwealth extensively and have spoken with hundreds of People; and through it all, I and the commonwealth were much better for the experience. In the coming weeks I will go back to the Republican Party, but I will hold firm to my belief in the Individual, because without the Individual, you have no Country. I am honored to have your support and your prayers. If I have made a commitment to you, I will honor that commitment. As for the future, as I said earlier, I will focus on my Health and my family as well as help other candidates get elected. I will discuss 2012 after the 2010 elections.

Semper fidelis
Robert Allen Mansfield (I)

Mansfield's candidacy was certainly grassroots. A disabled Iraq war veteran, he decided to run for governor after being unable to get on the ballot for the lieutenant governor primary. He began his gubernatorial candidacy as a Republican but switched to Independent several months before the Republican primary. In a graceful move, he endorsed Sam Rohrer for the Republican primary election.

One of the hurdles for Mansfield was getting his name on the ballot for governor in the general election. According to the PA 2010 blog, he needed 20,000 signatures to do so; but probably many more than that since the Corbett machine likely would have challenged them. The Nothington Post has not contacted Mr. Mansfield, and thus cannot say whether he obtained enough signatures. If he didn't, it may not have influenced his decision to withdraw as he seemed the type willing to go forward with a write-in campaign.

Another problem for Mansfield, at least in terms of his potential mainstream appeal, was his lack of experience that would prepare him for the responsibilities of governor.

Despite his slim resume, Mansfield was a graceful, principled conservative candidate--unlike Tom Corbett.

Mansfield's gubernatorial candidacy may drift into obscurity along with other small-time Pennsylvania political bids; but comments from supporters on his Facebook fanpage reveal that those who identified with his platform based on the Fair Tax, social conservatism, and individual liberty will remember his candidacy as a worthwhile and enriching endeavor. Mansfield plans to stay politically active by speaking at tea parties and other events.

In the wake of Mansfield's withdrawal, there are still alternatives to the underhanded Tom Corbett and the Democrat Dan Onorato. For conservatives, there is a grassroots movement to write-in Sam Rohrer. Moreover, Marakay Rogers is running for governor again as a Libertarian.

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