Politics New Pennsylvania GOP candidate built 'shrine' to Trump
Pennsylvania Doesn't Have a Friend in Tom Wolf
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under renewed scrutiny for his bungled nursing home policy and a subsequent coverup to avoid a Justice Department investigation. Questionable gubernatorial leadership, though, isn't limited to the Empire State. Just look south to Pennsylvania, where Cuomo's Democratic colleague, Tom Wolf, faces bipartisan concerns about his pandemic-era leadership. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Wolf has failed to ensure health and economic security; rejected calls for transparency; refused to work with the legislature; and enacted mandates that harmed working Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Republicans have selected a woman who turned an old house into a “shrine” to former President Donald Trump and believes the 2020 election was stolen as the GOP nominee for an open state legislative seat.
Leslie Baum Rossi wasby GOP county officials as their nominee in a May 18 special election for the 59th District State House seat, located outside of Pittsburgh. In 2016, Rossi painted a house red, white and blue and placed a 12-foot cutout of Trump in front of it. The Trump House, as it was known, served as a gathering point for supporters, with voter registration and merchandise distribution. Rossi was a delegate for Trump in 2020 and attended his speech at the Republican National Convention in August.
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The week before, he met with President Biden to discuss the forthcoming coronavirus relief package. Meanwhile, down in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to battle his own agriculture secretary because she was refusing to follow his order to lower flags around the state for Rush Limbaugh, the far-right radio provocateur who died last week. DeSantis and Hogan are both Republicans. DeSantis and Hogan appear to have challenges that, whether they run for president or not, reflect the deeper divide in the conservative movement. DeSantis thrills the base, but not the middle. Hogan appeals to centrists, which scares away the true believers.
Leslie Baum Rossi, the woman who created the Trump House, was chosen Saturday to be the Republican candidate in the May 18 special election to fill the vacancy in the 59th District State House seat created by the death of Mike Reese.— TribLIVE.com (@TribLIVE)
Rossi is running to fill the seat of former state Rep. Mike Reese, who died from an apparent brain aneurysm on Jan. 2 after winning his seventh term unopposed. When she launched her campaign last month,that she believed Trump had actually won Pennsylvania.
“I feel, and will always feel, that he won and by a lot in our state. When we went to bed, he was winning by such a wide margin that I didn’t have a slightest concern, and then I woke up in the morning like everyone else to see that had flipped in every swing state after they stopped counting,” Rossi said.
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The Facebook page for the Trump House is also laden with posts disputing the election results., reading, “How about these numbers in PA? Do the dems really think Americans don’t know what they did & that Biden who was such a weak / corrupt candidate has won?”
President Biden won the Keystone State by 80,000 votes,refusing to allow early counting of mail-in votes, .
Rossi was selected for the position over four other candidates, including Reese’s widow.said that the Trump House “certainly helped” Rossi’s case for the nomination but added she was a“businesswoman and entrepreneur in her own right.”
A favorite to win in the district, Rossi would join aattempting to overturn the election results. On Dec. 4, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff was one of more than 60 Republican legislators in the state to reject the results showing Biden victorious in the state.
Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors
The war between former President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is likely to turn into a battle over money as Republican donors will be forced to choose between Trump-backed and GOP-establishment candidates.The fundraising rift could prove detrimental to Republicans, who are seeking to flip both the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.Trump blasted McConnell this week after the Senate GOP leader said Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6 riot. Trump vowed to back primary opponents who are more aligned with his base, setting up a battle over the future of the Republican party.
GOP officials have stuck with Trump in the aftermath of the attempted Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and his second impeachment. They were highly critical of Sen. Pat Toomey, a retiring Republican who was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict Trump for his role in inciting the riot. A clip of the Republican chairman of Washington County — located near the area where Rossi would be representing — criticizing Toomey went viral last week.
“We did not send him there to vote his conscience,”. “We did not send him there to do the right thing, whatever he said he was doing. We sent him there to represent us, and we feel very strongly that he did not represent us.”
Bretz and the rest of the Westmoreland County GOP executive committee unanimously voted to censure Toomey for his vote,.
“I think we’re simply sending the message that just because he’s not running for office again doesn’t mean that he’s not still accountable to us for his votes,” Bretz added.
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The former president rejected the idea of setting up a rival third party and indicated his desire to have a sway over the Republican Party.Trump listed Republican representatives who voted to impeach him in the House and Senators who subsequently voted to convict him during his speech as he addressed the conference on Sunday, branding them "grandstanders.
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