Donald Trump's campaign spills over into a battle for the Republican Party of Pursuing Pennsylvania – a race that has grave implications for the President's hopes that have severely divided the GOP in the battlefield state.
The struggle for the vacant Republican presidency of the state was triggered when Val DiGiorgio resigned two weeks ago in a scandal involving racist lyrics and allegations of sexual harassment. The episode sparked fierce jockeying and backbiting within the state-run GOP as Trump's team tried to place themselves behind Bernadette's "Bernie" Comfort, the party's deputy chairman for the past two years.
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But the Trump Campaign Some Pennsylvania Republicans have not been well received, especially among followers of Comforts rival lawyer Lawrence Tabas. They argue that Trump's advisors could unnecessarily take sides in a local feud and exacerbate long-term infighting within the GOP.
Saturday's elections, which are approved by some 360 members of the state's GOP committee, are expected to be tight.
"People are pretty disgusted with the whole thing," said Scott Wagner, a Republican giver who was the party's unsuccessful candidate for the year 2018. "I'm afraid it will backfill and it can hurt the president. We do not need outside interference. "
The showdown highlights Pennsylvania's importance for the presidential race in 2020 – and the resolve of Trump's reelection team, possible disagreements within the party category in the coming year, Trump's aides have intervened for this purpose in a number of states except Pennsylvania
"It shows that they still believe that Pennsylvania will be first and foremost a battlefield state," said Mick McKeown, a former Trump administration official. "The next thing they do when they choose Bernie is not to split the party again."
If Trump's team succeeds in choosing Comfort as well as uniting the party, that would be a great victory. But the campaign takes a risk by jumping into the race. If Comfort loses, Trump employees must work with a party leader they have actively denied. And despite their best efforts, the election reveals old divisions within the country party.
Several top Trump employees have publicly endorsed Comfort: his son Donald Trump, Jr.; Campaign manager Brad Parscale; 2016 Electoral Assistant David Urban; and campaign consultant Ted Christian. Former Representatives Tom Marino and Lou Barletta, who chaired Trump in 2016 in Pennsylvania, have also made Comfort strong. The members of the Republican National Committee of Pennsylvania are also in step with her.
Marino, Barletta and Christian e-mailed Republicans to support Comfort, according to news received from POLITICO. Trump's team has also called party lieutenants to find out who they support in the race, as was the case in other presidential elections.
A person close to the Trump campaign said Comfort was the "best leader" and "only." The candidate joined the president and will help him and the Republicans win in 2020. The fact that Comfort is a woman, said this source, "is a bonus."
Indeed, some of the supporters of Comfort believe it is crucial to have a woman at the helm of the GOP state. They note that Trump has endeavored to win over female suburban voters, and that DiGiorgio's #MeToo allegations could affect the party's reputation with this group of people already has experience in leading the party as vice chairman DiGiorgio, and it would be unwise to change the center of the circle.
According to the rules of the state party, Comfort became Deputy Chairman when DiGiorgio resigned. DiGiorgio strongly denies the claims of sexual harassment stating that his communication with a city council candidate revealed by the Philadelphia Inquirer was "completely consensual." Since his time as General Counsel of the GOP of Pennsylvania, he has maintained relations with Republican leaders throughout the state , For example, former GOP chairman Rob Gleason supports Tabas.
"The bottom line is who can raise money," said Mike Cibik, a pro-Tabas state committee member.
Barletta said he would probably have remained neutral if Trump's campaign had not been involved.
"I will do my utmost to bring victory to the President here in Pennsylvania and to feel that I will follow their lead as they have obviously made a choice." Barletta said Party summons say the elections are geographically biased, but the sorting is not necessarily predictable: many Comfort's allies are in the temperate part of the state in the southeast, and some of Taba's followers come from the trump-friendly West.
The race has also hit two of them, the party's donors who stand behind Tabas has an E -Mail fired at supporters who attacked the Pro Comfort member of the Republican National Committee, Bob Asher, for "using the phones." Has supported to influence the people who will become the next party leader, "and said that his" policy has bitterly left our party broken and highly dysfunctional. "Wagner calls for Asher to be removed from his position in the party Taba's allies once described Comfort as" Never Trumper. "Comfort has repeatedly said that she is firmly behind Trump, but it is a well-known concern in the party: DiGiorgio, who initially supported Senator Marco Rubio in primary education in 2016, was considered by some Republicans to be insufficiently pro-trumped.
Charlie Gerow, a member of the State Committee and GOP adviser who supports Tabas, Trump's aides said, could not take sides
"When he speaks for the campaign, he makes a grave mistake in my opinion," Gerow said about a recent tweet in which Parscale announced his support for Comfort Good scenario, even if you win, you've got hurt Emotions that need to be healed. "
Cibik said about the involvement of the Trump campaign," I'm ve stunned Against DiGiorgio, he ran in 2017 for party presidency, but lost only two votes. The battle hit the party, and as a result, Republicans lost three congressional seats, governor and senate elections, and numerous state positions.
"We need to be a team to help President Trump in Pennsylvania," Barletta said. "We can not be shared at the end of this process."