Lebanon County Republicans divided over commissioners race

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Lebanon County Republicans are divided. 

Just days before Tuesday’s primary, three state legislators have taken a stand against their county’s Republican Committee Chairman. It’s all about the Lebanon County commissioners race.

State Rep. Russ Diamond, Rep. Frank Ryan and Sen Mike Folmer hosted an event promoting incumbent candidate Bill Ames. They also called out the county’s Republican Committee Chairman Casey Long.

“Negative campaigning is not a good thing,” said Folmer.

“The Harrisburg hucksters and their dirty money with their snake oil tactics…they don’t care about conservative values,” said Diamond. “They only care about power and money.”

By ‘they,’ Diamond is referring to Long and the candidate he’s promoting for commissioner: Matt Shirk, who is a navy veteran.

Diamond, Ryan and Folmer say the ads targeting Ames are full of lies. 

“We’re not attacking anybody. What we’re doing is getting the candidates records out there for everyone to see,” said Long. “These are all part of the Ames’ record that voters deserve to know.”

Long says the ads have not become too personal. He insists they’re focusing on the issues.

“I think in many ways, this campaign actually mirrors the presidential campaign primary,” said Long.

Voters will decide whether to elect Ames for a third time, or to opt for someone new Tuesday. 

“Anytime you’re going to see someone running as an outsider, like Matt Shirk is, like Donald Trump did in 2016, you’re going to see entrenched interests that don’t want to see them win,” said Long.

“We need to stay the course with the full financial plan that Bill Ames has put into effect,” said Ryan.

“We are all here to say Lebanon County will not get fooled again,” said Diamond. 

The lawmakers who organized Saturday’s event has also called for Long to step down as chairman.

Long says he is not resigining because he has more work to do. 

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