John Nance Garner of Texas was Vice President of the United States for the first two terms of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. After policy disagreements with his boss, Garner ran against FDR in the 1940 Democratic primaries and was soundly defeated. Garner once described the office of the vice presidency as being "not worth a bucket of warm piss." After attending the GOP endorsement get together last night, we wonder if Garner's quote might be applicable to the Luzerne County Republican endorsement.
The major question being asked by those who received the endorsements is "what is it worth?" To our knowledge, the Luzerne County GOP is not sitting on a pile of money that it will shovel into the campaign coffers of the endorsed ones. We also don't believe that the county GOP will do much more on their own than print up a few thousand slate cards to pass out on election day.
The Luzerne County GOP broke tradition this year and let the rank and file GOP committee people vote on the endorsements. In the past, the county committee usually did not endorse, and if they did, the executive committee would make the decision. They had two important stipulations in the endorsement process.
First, in order to receive the GOP endorsement, a candidate had to have been a registered Republican since at least February 16, 2008. This eliminated 15 of the 17 judicial candidates and Eddddddd Brominski, former Democratic county commissioner and candidate for controller who recently switched teams. Second, committee people had the option of marking "Do Not Endorse" in any or all of the races.
In the judicial race, there are two open seats. There used to be three, until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pulled the seat formerly held by Ann Lokuta from the May primary ballot. The GOP committee endorsed Attorney Richard Hughes and Michael Pendolphi. OVC believes that the endorsement means the most to Pendolphi. It was well known, as the numbers attest, that Hughes was a Republican. Pendolphi, although a lifelong Republican, did not have the name recognition of Hughes in GOP circles. For Pendolphi to be able to say he is an endorsed Republican candidate for judge will help set him apart from the other 15 Democrats who have crossed filed.
In the five way controller race, Attorney Nanda Palissery also should benefit from the endorsement. Many people do look to their party for endorsements when deciding which lever to pull on election day.
In the race for prothonotary, we don't believe it will make much of a difference. Carolee Medico Olenginski is a known commodity. The former prothonotary is a polarizing figure. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground with Carolee. You either love her or hate her. Walter Mitchell is a financial advisor and longtime mayor of Bear Creek Village, who lacks the name recognition of Carolee.
With regards to the other two races, Register of Wills and Jury Commissioner, neither have opponents. We also believe that incumbent Dottie Stankovic will cruise to re-election in November. Although she is a Democrat, Dottie has always been an outsider when in comes to the Luzerne County Democratic Party and owes her fame to her polka show on WVIA.
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