More about the calls for an Open Primary in the 8th District Congressional Election. (Several of these stories appear separately on the blog, but in an effort to group everything on this subject in one spot, we’ve reposted here.)
The Bucks Local News posted the story: Bucks Congressional Candidates Call for “Fair and Open” Republican Primary
In an open letter to the Bucks County Republican Party, five candidates vying for the GOP nomination for Congress in the 8th District are calling for “fair and open primaries” in Bucks County.
“We were delighted when fellow candidate, Mike Fitzpatrick joined in our call for a fair and unbiased primary process. We firmly believe that this process will make the party stronger and, whoever the winning candidate is, a better prepared candidate as well,” reads the letter, signed by candidates Gloria Carlineo, Ira Hoffman, James Jones, Tom Lingenfelter and Jeffrey R. McGeary.
In the letter, addressed to Harry Fawkes, chairman; Patricia Poprik, vice-chairwoman; and the Bucks County Republican Committee, they write, “We believe that this process in no way diminishes the role of either the party or the committee people. In fact, we believe it strengthens their role, as they will be pivotal in making sure that the voters in their districts are well-informed and in getting out the vote. To that end, we still welcome the screenings by the committee people, as it will afford the opportunity for them to learn more about the candidates.
“We hope that the executive committee agrees with this request by all the candidates as we stand firmly united in this call,” they wrote.
Read the rest here: Bucks Congressional Candidates Call for “Fair and Open” Republican Primary
Updated to Add (2/3/2010) Here’s the letter: Letter: 8th District GOP Candidates Call for Open Primary
The Doylestown Intelligencer/Bucks County Courier Times also called for an open primary: Let Voters Choose
Even Mike Fitzpatrick has called for an open primary Fitzpatrick Calls for Open Primary.
Then there’s this from Bucks Right:
Former PA-8 Congressman and current candidate for the seat Mike Fitzpatrick has asked the Bucks County GOP not to endorse his candidacy prior to the May primary in order to give the party rank and file a chance to choose their candidate.
The request falls kind of flat considering how the party all but coordinated Fitzpatrick’s announcement that he was running last weekend, but on the whole it’s a classy and savvy move for Fitzpatrick.
Showing his willingness to reach out to grassroots groups, Mike Fitzpatrick is calling on the Bucks County Republican Party to forgo an endorsement in the 8th Congressional District GOP primary.
“I am calling for an open primary,” Fitzpatrick said Monday. “I am running to be the people’s candidate and I believe an open process will improve participation and lead to a higher level of debate.”
The tone deaf Bucks GOP machine leaders, though, are bridling at Fitzpatrick’s request that the people have a chance to vote before they endorse a candidate.
Pat Poprik, vice chairwoman of the Bucks County Republican Committee, said she doesn’t understand the hullabaloo being made about an endorsement.
“This negative connotation is baffling to me,” she said. “I’m perplexed. I don’t get how endorsing one candidate forbids another from running.”
I simply refuse to believe that Poprik doesn’t understand how the party’s endorsement would blow up the other candidates. I do believe that party leaders are having trouble adjusting to the new political landscape, though. Their incredulity about the conservative uprising is something they need to get over pretty quickly if they want to tap into the excitement being generated around opposition to the country’s sudden leftward lurch.
Poprik said groups like teachers and doctors choose candidates for their special interests. “We have as much of a right as any other group,” she said.
There are real concerns about Fitzpatrick, including his electability and his notably liberal voting record. In his original race for the seat in 2004, Fitzpatrick was up against a place-holder candidate that the Democrats put forward when they thought they were running against entrenched incumbent Jim Greenwood. He won that race. But as soon as Democrats gave backing to a real candidate – political newbie Patlosi Murphy during the very next cycle – Fitzpatrick lost.
Read the rest here: Fitzpatrick to Bucks GOP: Don’t Endorse Me Yet.
Update 2/12/10 Here’s a letter from candidate Gloria Carlineo that appeared in the Bucks Local News. Bucks County Republicans Showing ‘Lack of Professionalism”
Harry [Fawkes] and Pat [Poprik],
I am in receipt of the e-mail letter that you sent to “Republican Leaders,” which I can only assume refers to Republican committee people within Bucks County. I am in receipt of this e-mail, not because I was included in the distribution, as I should have rightfully been as committee woman for Upper Solebury Township, but because it was forwarded to me by other committee people. In fact, the last widely-circulated e-mail that I received as committee woman was the one sent on Jan. 21 on behalf of fellow candidate Mike Fitzpatrick, encouraging all of us to attend his announcement.
Furthermore, your attempt at smearing and/or mocking Mr. Bernardo Paratore for his part in volunteering to send a letter on behalf of the five Republican candidates that signed the letter calling for an open primary (as Mr. Fitzpatrick has likewise done) is highly uncalled for. Not only are you attacking a messenger, a private citizen who does not hold public office and who respectfully submitted correspondence on behalf of others, but it shows a lack of respect and professionalism on the part of the Bucks GOP. As a side note, why would Mr. Paratore or anyone else for that matter, bother to vote in primaries when the leadership of this party works so hard to squash them?
The rest of the letter can be seen at the link above.