HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It was a topsy turvy Tuesday in the Republican race for governor. Former President Donald Trump called out one of the candidates in a nasty way while another candidate bowed out but then got back in.
It was no top of the morning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain. A Donald Trump Rebuke began: “One person in Pennsylvania I will not be endorsing is Bill McSwain.”
The former President was upset that the then U.S. Attorney McSwain didn’t push Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, saying: “Do not vote for Bill McSwain, a coward, who let our country down.” A missive with the power of a missile.
“With such a tight race and 46% of Republican voters have no idea what to do, it could potentially be a death sentence,” Chairman of the State Government Committee, Rep. Seth Grove (R) said.
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“I think that was uncalled for today and, honestly, I don’t know if it will sink McSwain’s campaign or not but I think it wasn’t necessary,” Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) said.
With one candidate possibly knee-capped, another filed the paperwork with Commonwealth Court to withdraw. Senate President Pro Temp Jake Corman, he of the quirky commercial with his daughter, never polled above single digits.
“You know Dennis, obviously I think it was the right decision for Jake. I don’t have access to internal polling but from what I’ve seen there’s no path for him,” Laughlin said.
But Corman apparently still sees a path and late Tuesday afternoon withdrew hat court paperwork and released this statement saying he’s still in:
“Two developments today have led me to decide to remain in the race for governor: President Trump’s statement on the race and my conversation directly with the president. He encouraged me to keep fighting, and that’s what I’m going to do, keep fighting for the people of Pennsylvania.”
Regardless, many Republican lawmakers say, most in the crowded GOP field should leave by example.
“Two or three of them should be left on the ballot and the rest of them should get out. They stand no chance of winning the primary and probably even slimmer chance to win the general election,” Laughlin said.
“At some point, you have to make a decision as to whether you have a real shot at this or kinda get out and potentially align with somebody who has the same vision for Pennsylvania as you do,” Grove said.
So Donald Trump has ripped one gubernatorial candidate, will he embrace any of the others? That’s the big question at the capitol.