Madonna: Rohrer write-in should worry Corbett

Rohrer with Pittsburgh-area supporters on Primary Day

A group of conservative voters has launched a write-in gubernatorial campaign for Berks Country Representative Sam Rohrer, who lost in the spring primary. One analyst says he can envision a scenario where the movement has an impact on the fall election.

Rohrer and his hard-line conservative platform won 31 percent of the vote in May. The lawmaker hasn’t endorsed Republican nominee Tom Corbett, and indicates he doesn’t have any plans to. Pennsylvania law bars primary losers from running on third-party ballot lines, but a small group of Rohrer supporters have launched a website urging voters to write in Rohrer’s name in this fall.

Franklin and Marshall College political scientist Terry Madonna says the Corbett campaign should be worried. “I mean [Corbett] has, not arguably, somewhere between a seven to ten point lead,” he says.  “But what happens if they end up absorbing 7 to 10 points of his lead? I don’t think that’s out of the question, for Rohrer to get up to ten points.” Madonna says if nothing else, the campaign creates more hassles for Corbett. “You don’t want to be there if you don’t have to be,” he argues.

Rohrer is keeping the write-in campaign at arms-length distance. He didn’t return calls for comment, and Representative Gordon Denlinger, a Lancaster Country Republican who’s close to Rohrer, says the representative isn’t endorsing the movement. Denlinger isn’t fully backing the effort, either, but says it’s wrong to tell conservatives to vote for Corbett, just to put a Republican in the governor’s mansion. “, I would certainly not ever encourage someone to say, set aside your beliefs, let that take a back seat and just move forward with some type of a political calculation,” he argues.

Rohrer centered his primary bid around reduced government spending. He argues Pennsylvania is on the verge of insolvency, and increased spending and dishonest budgeting are putting the state billions of dollars in the hole each year. Rohrer actively courted “Tea Party” voters, appearing at 9/12 Project and Tea Party meetings across the commonwealth.

Organizers of the write-in campaign say they just don’t trust Corbett. One of the main collaborators, Sue Nelms, says the Attorney General lost her support when he called the Constitution a “living document.” She’s also skeptical, because Corbett didn’t deliver a clear answer to the hypothetical question of whether he’d seize Pennsylvanians’ guns, if ordered to d0-so by the president. “If he was governor of our state, I think he would not follow the Constitution,” she says.  “And I think that’s sad.”

About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

2 Responses to Madonna: Rohrer write-in should worry Corbett

  1. Nurse John says:

    It is unfortunate that many voters vote along party lines rather than for the principals of a specific candidate. If the latter was followed, we would not have chosen Corbett over Rohrer. Corbett is a prosecutor, and as such simply lacks the skills to be our Governor. He is simply a marionette whose strings are manipulated by Robert Gleason and his gang of malcontents. If everyone would get off their gluteus maximus and write in Samuel E. Rohrer’s name on the ballot in November, we’d all benefit!! see http://www.therealtomcorbett.wordpress.com to learn about the Republican who is the party’s choiuce, not the people’s, to lead our State into financial chaos and Constitutional oblivion.

  2. Ernie Rosato says:

    We are growing day by day. The public is finally catching on to what this election means.

    Chose a candidate that will represent We The People not a political party.

    Please join us and volunteer at our affiliate website. http://www.PatriotsForSamRohrer.org and get involved today.

    Cast your Write-In vote on November 2nd 2010 for Samuel E. Rohrer Berks County

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