Lancaster GOP House candidate feuding with party?

Recently, we reported on the struggling candidacy of Ryan Payne, the Republican candidate in a three-way race for House District 44 in Lancaster County. As of the most recent campaign finance reporting, Payne had a mere four thousand dollars cash-on-hand while Mandy Norrell, the Democratic candidate had six times that amount in the bank.

But Payne's problems don't stop there.

Payne has been attacking his county's Republican Party executive committee, demanding the entire ex-comm resign after they cast a near-unanimous vote to suspend a rule in order to allow Republicans to support petition candidates, following a similar move made by the state GOP:

I call on Sandy McGarry and the members of the Lancaster County Republican Party Executive Committee who passed this resolution to reverse their decision or resign from their posts immediately so that we can have individuals leading our party who truly want to turn District 44 Republican red for the first time in 13 years, not those who seem more than willing to hand it to another Democrat for another 13 years. 

So what was the resolution? Sandy McGarry, the Chair of the Lancaster GOP, sent us a copy of the resolution, which passed on a unanimous vote by the county party's executive committee:

WHEREAS State Party Rule 5(e)5 states "Should any officer or delegate publicly endorse or financially support a candidate for partisan office other than a duly nominated Republican candidate, unless there is no Republican nominee in the relevant race, they shall immediately vacate their Republican Party office."

WHEREAS State Party Rule 5(e) 5 further permits " the county Executive committees may waive this provision for their county and less-than-county elections."

WHEREAS, The State Supreme Court Decisions in Anderson and, again in Florence County, caused the removal of candidates attempting to run for office as Republicans.

WHEREAS, Republicans believe in voters having choices at the ballot box, and those choices should not be inhibited by court decisions.

Therefore, be it resolved that The Lancaster County Republican Party Executive Committee waives punishment under SCGOP Rule 5(e)5 for any delegate or officer who publicly endorses or financially supports a petition candidate.

This rule will impact the 2012 Election Cycle only.

While Payne blasted the county party over the resolution, a close reading would show it pertained to just "county and less-than-county elections", meaning the county resolution would not apply to his race. But that didn't stop him from attacking the county's GOP leadership - which stuck by their resolution.

It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble if he'd taken the time to read it before making his demands.

These kind of tactics by Payne might explain why his candidacy has received little support from Lancaster Republicans, which is divided between supporting him, sitting the race out or supporting Joseph Coy, who opted to seek the seat as a petition candidate once he was removed from the GOP ballot. This might also explain why the Lancaster GOP has allowed Coy, who has been active in the county GOP, to post signs in their campaign office and attend their events. Given the tone of the attacks we've seen, he should be lucky to get any support.

So who is on his side?

Six hundred million screaming Chinamen ... no, seriously, the Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed him - but Republicans usually support their nominees (except his home county's GOP leadership), so that wouldn't be too surprising. Except that group tends to endorse very few candidates, even Republicans who won their primaries.

We also couldn't help but wonder why someone who postures as a staunch conservative would be taking a number of contributions from employees at the county's public defender's office. But that's a story for another day.

With his hometown Republicans not showing much enthusiasm for his candidacy, Coy working hard to attract GOP voters and very weak fundraising in the race, it's hard to see how Payne will be able to carry the seat in November.

1 Response to "Lancaster GOP House candidate feuding with party?"

  1. ProudConservative 11/9/12 10:41
    Paulbot/RLC exhibit common characteristics - lousy people skills and professional victimhood. They rail against the "establishment" without actually reading or listening to what was said. We saw that also in Charleston County with numerous unfounded attacks against the Chairwoman. At the same time they stir up their minions so as to have a collective whine of victimhood. They are always put upon, "mistreated", "disrespected", blah, blah, blah.

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