Gerlach for Congress: In! »« This Day In History

Gerlach: What We Do and Don’t Know

I break some news in here. Read on, and see if you can guess what it is!

Jim Gerlach announcing his premature ejection from the gubernatorial race was only a surprise because, if this was his plan, we would have expected him to back out already. He never got any traction. His own county chairman– a man Jim made look good by winning close election after close election– wouldn’t get behind him early, and completely screwed him by outright endorsing Corbett about a month ago.

Does this mean Jim will want his old Congressional seat back? The one in which  four or five Republicans have already declared interest?

Well, maybe. Let’s think this through.

Jim did not call and tell the other campaigns he WASN’T interested in the seat The easiest course for Jim and his campaign stash is for him to run again for his seat via an uncontested primary.

Millionaire and recent Democrat Steve Welch is in this race, and was persuaded to switch to it by party committee types to clear the way for another gubernatorial flame-out: Pat Meehan. So Steve, one would hope, is finally done listening to those people, and perhaps in his heart of hearts wishes he listened to the regular voters who told him to stay in PA7 in the first place.

As an aside, I should acknowledge flameout is a little harsh. All the committee bigwigs lined up behind Corbett early. Meehan and Gerlach were never seriously considered by them, and were treated poorly. By extension, those party types basically gave the finger to voters in PA6 and PA7 by trying to dictate how their congressional primaries would go from Harrisburg.

Curt Schroder, by most accounts the frontrunner in this primary right now, has been intending to run this race for a long time. Gerlach waited a long time before officially declaring, and now he’s backed out pretty darned late. I don’t have any inside information on this one, but I would wager Schroder isn’t particular interested in stepping aside at this point. That dude is ready to rumble.

What about the others: Cohen, Sellers, and that other dude I got mail from today? What’s his name? The geologist with solar panels on his house?

Well, what they think is pretty inconsequential, except for the fact that the more crowded the primary, the better their respectively small chances will be. So Gerlach coming in probably won’t chase any of them out. Except for Cohen, maybe, who is trying to run on the “I already know how Washington works, because I’ve been there!” platform. As if that were a recommendation.

So my guess is Gerlach is trying to figure out if the others will get out of his way. They will say no. Then Jim will consider the Lt. Governor’s race. Personally, I think that’s ideal for him. He can increase his name-recognition across the whole Commonwealth by running in that race, prepping himself for Governor or Senate.

Thing is, that’s what the state party dudes have been telling him to do all along. And Jim is cheesed at those dudes. A while back he expressed some interest to have talks with Curt Schroder about an endorsement swap. This would have been weird for him to do, since the primary field was so crowded, and one of Curt’s opponents had a conceivable chance of winning.

I think Jim considered it because he knew Curt was not the favorite of the party leaders, but of the party grassroots. And, at least partly, this was a way for him to make a little dig at those leaders.

So, is Jim prepared to do what those same leaders always wanted him to do, which was run for Lt. Governor? Does he want to drop a nuclear daisy-cutter on PA6 and create one of the biggest clusterf**k primaries of all time? Does he actually feel like practicing law or becoming a government affairs specialist at Merck, making himself very wealthy without having to work much, but spiking his further political career? Is he rich enough to do nothing, and just start running for Senate?

If the last one is not possible– and I don’t know one way or the other– expect him to do the first one. Jim did not get this far by thinking too far outside the box. We should expect this pattern to continue.


Shows you what I know:

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January 8, 2010 at 10:35 am
  • January 8, 2010 at 11:16 amJoe Collins

    Lt. Gov seems like the path of least resistance, but it’s sort of a political holding pattern. He avoids an expensive 6th-CD primary (that he could conceivably lose, or at least damage himself for the general). If Corbett-Gerlach loses, he has the opportunity to take a shot at Casey, where I would imagine he would get substantial party support.

    Corbett-Gerlach seems like a fairly obvious ticket, but maybe there needs to be a cooling off period from some of Gerlach’s criticisms of Corbett. After a few weeks Gerlach says something like, “You know, Tom Corbett showed he really could handle the investigations while starting a campaign, which I didn’t think he could do. He really impressed me with his high personal integrity, which is a rarity in government … blah blah blah… and I’d be honored to run on a Corbett-Gerlach ticket.”

  • January 8, 2010 at 12:10 pmKarlBucus

    For Gerlach’s sake, Joe, I hope you’re right.

    If the above is true, and he sticks with it, I really don’t think he’s thought this through.

    Put it this way: I bet if you had the Chesco Convention tomorrow, the result would be Gerlach and Schroder recommended.

  • January 8, 2010 at 12:44 pmThinking out Loud

    This is the sleeper LG pick, way too many people like this guy for him not to have a winning shot:

  • January 8, 2010 at 12:53 pmin6th

    How does Karl get to write for these reputable sites when he is such a biased hack. On thing you have to admire about him is that he is the KING of trying to sound independent when anyone that follows the PA-6th knows that he is Schroder’s attack dog. Karl is just bitter that he lost his chance to get that job that Curt promised him!

    “Put it this way: I bet if you had the Chesco Convention tomorrow, the result would be Gerlach and Schroder recommended.”

    I laughed when I read this. Who cares. Curt would get crushed in Montgomery and Berks. I hope Curt runs and ends up out of work.

  • January 9, 2010 at 11:46 amKarlBucus

    It is possible– Mr. anonymous in6th– to disagree with someone in good faith, you know. In fact, it is EVEN possible to disagree with someone in BAD faith, but on the merits. I have, repeatedly, worn my biases on my sleeve, so everyone can evaluate them openly. You, on the other hand…who knows? Yet you accuse me of bad faith? Weak.

    Anyway, here’s why I think you may be a little myopic. The other county committees currently defer to the ChesCo GOP Committee’s endorsement. Therefore, Gerlach and Schroder recommended makes it very hard for everyone else.

    Gerlach’s TARP vote and love of earmarks will ensure he is competing with Steve Welch for votes in MontCo. Also, Gerlach’s treatment of his former PAC treasurer Alan Randzin (and ChesCo treasurer) has rightly or or wrongly cheesed off a lot of party insiders. Finally, Chester County is where Curt is strongest. It is also where the plurality of votes lie. In other words, *if* Curt can maintain a critical mass of ChesCo support, he has as good a chance as anyone of winning this primary.

    My wife will soon be a registered Republican– from Libertarian– so she can vote in the upcoming GOP primaries since I feel so strongly about some of these races. She does not pay any attention at all to politics. But know what she said to me this morning? “Well, it seems like Gerlach is the a**hole. All this moving around makes everyone else’s life impossible!” If my wife can arrive at this decision on her own steam, it is a story-line easily transmitted to less wonky voters.

    Now, I don’t think he is an a-hole. In fact, amongst my more conservative friends I find myself defending him a little. Gerlach has always had a hard job. Funny thing for an attack dog to say, huh? (Oh, btw, my offer to in6th from another site to sit down, break anonymity, and have some coffee still stands unanswered) But I do think TARP lost Gerlach a lot of support, I think running for three races at the same time frosted a lot of cookies, and I think making the late decision to run for his old seat rather than Lt. Governor is kind of disloyal and selfish.

    So there’s all my reasons for saying Schroder has as good a chance in this primary as anyone– even with Gerlach in it. And if they want to give me a part-time job of some sort, that would fit in great with my graduate student’s schedule, but as of now they have not. If they do, everyone reading me will know all about it, as I try to put everything relevant about me on the page. Unlike in6th.

  • January 9, 2010 at 11:50 amKarlBucus

    Oh, nobody noticed the news:

    Gerlach, not long ago, was interested in talking about an endorsement swap with Schroder. In other words, he was very close to endorsing his current primary opponent.

    Don’t you think this little tidbit flying around the district will make Gerlach’s life a little more difficult in this primary?

  • January 9, 2010 at 1:38 pmin6th

    That is the funny thing about Karl and Curt. They think their little contingent in Chester County represents a majority of the vote. Montgomery and Berks could give a crap about the Chester County endorement. Jim will crush Curt in Montgomery and Berks and at least split Chester.

    With regard to your “rumor”, do you really thing it will get outside these blogs. I would guess that less than 1% of the primary voters will ever here about it. Again with your ego.

  • January 9, 2010 at 1:46 pmin6th

    Also, Curt’s vote for a midnight pay raise will absolutely take some votes from him. A subject that Karl continues to ignore. Why is that? Because it is the ultimate example of hypocrisy for the “conservative” Curt Schroder.

  • January 9, 2010 at 4:26 pmKarlBucus

    You find that fact that ChesCo has a plurality of the vote is inconsequential? Ooooookay.

    I have not ignored the pay-raise vote. Neither has Curt. Following the vote he introduced legislative reforms to prevent that sort of thing from happening again. He became one of the most prominent advocates of reforming the GOP in the General Assembly.

    Because of this, people like Sen. Mike Folmer and Lt. Governor candidate Russ Diamond– who both launched their political careers over pay-raise outrage– support Rep. Schroder in this very competitive primary.

    If guys like that see he has adequately atoned for the vote, why wouldn’t you? Who are you, anyway? Hey, is this Guy Ciarrocchi? I kid, I kid. Guy e-mails me directly…

  • January 9, 2010 at 8:08 pmkarl is full of it

    So Karl twists some words again…Who said the plurality of the vote was inconsequential? The point was that Montco and Berks think for themselves and don’t just following Chester. Jim will clearly crush Curt in those two counties. In Chester, the only advantage Curt has is the Tea Party and they already have a candidate. Curt will still do well in Chester but Jim will get just as many votes. Do the math and Curt loses by a wide margin.

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:44 pmKarlBucus

    Mr. “Karl is Full Of It”:

    Where is Steve Welch in your analysis? If it were just Curt and Jim, I might agree with you. But it isn’t.

    As for other alleged tea party candidates, you may want to just believe actual tea party people when they tell you who their candidate is. Not the candidates themselves.

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