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Conservative Picks for Pennsylvania Primary

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Pennsylvania doesn’t do a good job of sending Conservatives to Congress and Rick Santorum is included in that. To add an additional challenge, the legislative Districts in Pennsylvania are a little lopsided due to redistricting. This primary has a chance to improve upon PA’s dismal standing. However, the MAGA universe doesn’t seem to be properly aligned with Conservatism when it counts in this state. This is a problem, but hopefully there can be enough push to remove some RINOs. Overall, PA had a lot of lukewarm candidates with a couple of exceptions and no shortage of bad candidates to choose from.

Best Picks: Steve Bloom, Doug McLinko, Marty Nothstein
Worst Picks: Lou Barletta, John Joyce, Rick Saccone, Tom Marino, Brian Fitzpatrick, Lloyd Smucker
Best Race: District 13, District 7
Worst Race: PA Sen

PA Sen

Trump’s endorsement sure made a lot of Conservatives forget that Lou Barletta is a complete and utter RINO. As noted in the linked article:

Jim Christiana is the conservative choice in this race, but Lou Barletta stands the best chance to win because Jim Christiana doesn’t have a whole lot of cash. Barletta is also a fairly talented campaigner. But first and foremost, he is a loyalist. If the other candidates fail to up their social media game, Barletta could run away with this. And if he wins, we’ll just have a Democrat vs a RINO come November.

Conservative Pick: Jim Christiana

District 1

Within a very brief time, the technical incumbent, Brian Fitzpatrick has been one of the House’s most left-leaning Republicans. He even opposed stopping government-funded sex changes in the military as well as supporting every other fiscally irresponsible measure. Most RINOs are vote conservative on social issues, other than abortion, but not this one. Dean Malik is running from the right and could do no worse.

Conservative Pick: Dean Malik

District 2

David Torres is running unopposed in his bid to defeat Brenden Boyle.

District 3

Bryan Leib is running unopposed in his bid to unseat. He’s a pro-Israel member of the tribe. He could be a Conservative, buut what conservative rides Lou Barletta’s coattails as much as he.

District 4

Dan David is another unopposed GOP challenger to a Democratic incumbent.

District 5

Pearl Kim is the sole Republican running for this vacant seat, while the Dems have a feeding frenzy.

District 6

Greg McCauley is the only Republican in this race. His platform resembles that of a RINO.

District 7

In District 7, there is finally some action. It’s a faceoff between Marty Nothstein and Dean Browning. Nothstein is a former Olympian looking to drain the swamp. His platform is strong, and his economic policy is more focused on rolling back regulation than “jobs.”  Browning is also a Conservative but his emphasis on increasing military spending is worrisome for fiscal conservatives. Many of them used the military to justify voting for Omnibus. It is also a safer bet that a gold medalist in cycling is more electable in a presumably blue district than Browning.

Conservative Pick: Marty Nothstein

District 8

The 8th District is likely to swing red due to the redistricting bringing about hungry contenders. First up, John Chrin. Chrin is a run-in-the-mill campaign conservative. Nothing really special. Like others, he uses Lou Barletta to advance himself. Chrin has a concise platform and more campaigning skills than one would initially think. Joe Peters is probably the most formidable candidate. He has a law enforcement background and a “law and order” style campaign. He’s had appearances on Fox News as a counterterrorism expert. His background is perhaps the most hinting factor at him not being a real Conservative. But on issues like immigration, he’s in line with Trump. What’s conspicuously absent on Peters’ campaign is anything on debt. Lastly in the race is Robert Kuniegel. Kuniegel is a likable man with a down to earth campaign. His platform brings up topics like media bias but promotes the free market as the solution. Though he is in favor of regulating tech giants in order to promote free speech. Government regulation, I would argue, is not the solution to this problem. The most hindering sign about Kuniegel is the fact that his platform is so bogged down with less important issues. I think this poses a risk of saying stupid things like Roy Moore.

Conservative Pick: John Chrin

District 9

The ninth was made even redder, so it is imperative to fill this seat with a staunch Conservative. Scott Uehlinger was a former CIA operative. His campaign is fairly strong on healthcare and immigration. He has the endorsement of Sabastian Gorka. Dan Meuser is the rich insider looking to dip his toes into politics. He resembles Trump, in that he has a history of donating to leftist candidates, which is his biggest hurdle in this race. His platform says the right things, but he has no action to back it up. This is likely a two man race with George Halcovage as a third wheel. He doesn’t seem like a bad gut though.

Conservative Pick: Scott Uehlinger

District 10

Scott Perry is an unopposed incumbent which is fine considering he has the highest Liberty Score in PA with no close second.

District 11

Lloyd Smucker is a giant RINO but is opposed in a now redder district. This could be the demographic switch that could oust this swamp creature. Entering the ring is Chet Beiler. Beiler lost to Smucker by 10 points back in 2016, But he’s rich enough to fund another go. It seems as though he is running from the right, but honestly, he could be no worse, so we can hope.

Conservative Pick: Chet Beiler

District 12

Tom Marino is an incumbent RINO with a terrible record on spending. Challenging him is Doug McLinko. McLinko is running from the right and using Trump to his advantage. McLinko has a record at a local level of fiscal responsibility and issued a statement condemning recent spending deal. McLinko is one of the most impressive candidates PA has to offer.

Conservative Pick: Doug McLinko

District 13

This race is wide open, but the biggest candidate is Art Halvorson. He is seen as the MAGA candidate, but beyond the rhetoric, he actually wants to end special interest stranglehold on Washington. This include ending corporate welfare. Halvorson has a strong grasp on the Constitution and a likelihood for fiscal responsibility. It is a little bit of a turn off how into tariffs he is but these are within the Congressional powers. Another strong Conservative in the field is Steve Bloom who has a solid record in the PA legislature. This race may come down to funding, which John Joyce leads the pack in.

There seems to be a credibility problem with Joyce, part of it with him being an “outsider” is his lack of record. There are plenty of candidates in this race with a decent record, John Eichelberger to name another. Why taker a foolish risk?

Conservative Pick: Steve Bloom

District 14

Rick Saccone is looking for a rebound after he blew an easy win to Conor Lamb back in March. He should give up on politics. Guy Reschenthaler is an actual Conservative who might not suck at campaigning. 

Conservative Pick: Guy Reschenthaler

District 15

Glenn Thompson is an unopposed RINO.

District 16

Mike Kelly is an unopposed RINO.

District 17

Keith Rothfus is PA’s 2nd highest rated Republican. He’s unopposed.

District 18

No GOP candidates.

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