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GOP Lt. Gov Candidate Schillinger Meets Trump, Says He’s ‘Sharp As Ever’

Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Clarice Schillinger just got back from Mar-a-Lago where she met with former President Donald Trump.

“It was truly fantastic,” Schillinger, a Horsham resident, told Delaware Valley Journal. She was having dinner with a friend who belongs to the club, and Trump came over to her table to say hello.

“I spoke with the former president at length on the importance of Pennsylvania and the races here, how important it was to stop Josh Shapiro. How he will be a national problem at some point because this race is a stepping stone for him to becoming president.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the only major Democratic candidate in the race.

Schillinger said Trump is following Pennsylvania politics closely. He told her he will be endorsing a candidate for governor, but he has not yet made up his mind.

“He’s obviously sharp as ever,” said Schillinger. “He’s saddened at the state of our country and I shared with him just how much a mess our commonwealth is in. But I’m so optimistic we’re going to win and take it back this year.”

Trump is “just a regular guy,” she added. “I’ve always thought maybe he’d be pompous or full of himself but he wasn’t. He really wasn’t. It was very refreshing.”

Trump sits with an iPad and “looks up everything,” said Schillinger. She talked to him about her background supporting school board candidates who promised to end pandemic lockdowns and helping them win, first with the Keeping Kids in School PAC and then the statewide Back to School PA PAC. Keeping Kids in School had a 98 percent success rate and the Back to School PA candidates had a 60 percent success rate.

“He said, ‘Don’t stop.’ And we talked about how the moms are upset and how we’re going to save America. And the grandmoms and the caregivers, all of us. When you touch our children, it’s about the future of democracy. This is what happens,” Schillnger said.

“Let me tell you, (Trump) is well-rested and sharp as a tack. He is ready to take it back.”

And Schillinger said the two made a connection over a classic movie.

“The former president even referred to a line from ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and told me that he would never forget my name.” The main character, played by Jodie Foster, is FBI agent Clarice Starling.

Referencing one of the movie’s most famous lines, the former president asked, “Would you like a glass of Chianti and fava beans?”

“I told him that Jodie Foster was extremely intelligent and beautiful,” Schillinger said. “It was truly fantastic.

Schillinger recently received the endorsement of the Montgomery County GOP,  along with the Bucks County Republican Committee and the Northumberland County Republicans. She recently came in first in the Pennsylvania Leadership straw poll and won the state’s overall straw poll.

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DelVal Candidates Tout Favorite Local Romantic Getaways

Valentine’s Day—a day where even hard-charging politicos take a breather from the campaign trail to enjoy some time with their significant other.

The Delaware Valley Journal asked some local candidates to share their favorite romantic spots in this area.

“Hiking in the Pennypack Preserve near our home in Bryn Athyn,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate. “We talk about family, food, faith and fun (and yes, politics) while watching the theatrics of nature all around us.”

Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto, who is also running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, said his idea of a romantic date with his wife, Christy, is “a boat cruise up and down the Delaware River.”

Longwood Gardens

The Spirit of Philadelphia offers scenic dinner cruises along the river.

“I have had many enjoyable strolls at the impressive outdoor gardens at Longwood Gardens,” said James Jones, a Hatboro resident who is running for lieutenant governor.  “Let your love bloom at Longwood Gardens. Spend a few hours strolling the impressive outdoor gardens as well as four acres of conservatories, historic Peirce-du Pont House, Webb Farmhouse & Galleries, the Terrace, and the visitor center. Inside the glass-enclosed conservatories, you’ll find tranquility among the plants and waterfalls.”

Main Street Clock in New Hope

Horsham’s Clarice Schillinger, who is also running for lieutenant governor, said, “For a statewide candidate, the most romantic place to be is at home! In all seriousness, my husband and I love visiting New Hope where we go to watch plays, ride the train, visit the shops, and have a fantastic meal at the many restaurants to choose from.”

“Josh’s favorite romantic spot in the Delaware Valley is the Pennypack Trail, where he and his wife Lori like to go on walks, said Will Simon, a spokesman for Democrat Josh Shapiro.  Shapiro, now serving as attorney general, is running for governor.

Another Republican candidate, Guy Ciarrocchi, who has taken a leave from the Chester County Chamber of Business to run for governor, said, “This year, the most romantic spot is anywhere that Chris & I can go to be alone and away from the campaign—so that we can just be ‘Chris and Guy.’ We enjoy going to places that we’ve been to before to relive memories of then and now—but our favorite restaurant in Lancaster and our favorite restaurant in South Philly both closed. So, time for a new memory place. Any suggestions?”

Amy Bohr, with Visit Delco PA, suggests Chanticleer in Wayne as “one of the most romantic places in Delco.”

Bridgeton House Deck

“Admittedly, it will not be open for Valentine’s Day,” she said. “This intimate, romantic ‘pleasure garden’ is truly a feast for the senses. Orchards, wildflower meadows, and verdant woodlands surround the historic Rosengarten family estate.”

Not to be outdone, Alexa Johnson with Visit Bucks County said, “I would say it’d have to be one of our quaint B&B’s – the Bridgeton House on the Delaware, Inn at Bowman’s Hill or Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm.”


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Horsham’s Clarice Schillinger Kicks Off Lt. Governor Campaign

Hundreds of people crowded into the Fort Washington American Legion Hall on Monday night to kickoff Clarice Schillinger’s campaign for lieutenant governor.

The Horsham mom has emerged as a political rock star on the right thanks to her efforts to help parents confront recalcitrant school boards trying to keep classrooms closed over COVID-19 concerns. Last year Schillinger, who is running in the Republican primary, was executive director of Back to School PA PAC and Keeping Kids in School PAC. The PACs were successful in electing 60 percent of the school board candidates they backed statewide in the general election and 98 percent in the primary.

“You’ve all heard about the PAC,” she told the crowd. “We brought together tens of thousands of people. And I did not care what party they were. It did not matter. It will never matter. What matters are the kids and what they needed. And 80 percent of children need in-person learning to succeed.

“The key out of poverty is education, The key to the American dream is education,” Schillinger said, bringing the crowd to its feet.

WPHT 1210 AM talk radio host Dom Giordano introduced Schillinger at the event.

“This is someone who looks good, sounds good, who is a mom but has long-term goals,” said Giordano. School boards have had the authority to close schools for years, but the legislators in Harrisburg are “too busy” to change that law, he added.

Overseeing the Board of Pardons is a “major part of this office,” said Giordano, who decried the soft on crime approach of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

“Clarice will turn the office into something that will be a true asset to all of us,” Giordano said. “She has our undying support.”

In addition to fighting for education opportunities, Schillinger, a Republican, is running to improve Pennsylvania’s economy and public safety.

“Our economy will never, ever reopen if our parents don’t trust our education system,” she said. “Thirty-three percent of women in our commonwealth have left the workforce because either they feel their children are being indoctrinated or they can’t rely on the school to even stay open.”

Small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic-related lockdowns imposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. “And many business owners can’t open their stores one more time after they’ve been smashed and grabbed and looted,” she said.

“I will back the blue every single time,” added Schillinger. “When I go to Harrisburg, overseeing the Board of Pardons, I’m not going to be like Oprah: ‘You get a pardon. You get a pardon. You get a pardon.’ It’s not going to work like that.”

Also, Pennsylvania needs to use its natural gas resources, she added. “We are like the Saudi Arabia of the United States,” she said. “These are good-paying jobs.”

But neither the economy nor education can work without safe communities, she added. “Unless you want Gov. Wolf 2.0, we’ve got to win this thing,” said Schillinger.

Several school board members and candidates who Schillinger helped also spoke, praising her guidance and political prowess.

Bucks County venture capitalist Paul Martino, who helped fund the Back to School PAC, said he had heard about what Schillinger was doing and wanted to meet her because he was also a parent upset over his kids’ schools being closed during the pandemic.

He joked that his “day job is being a right-wing boogeyman,” in reaction to the bad press he has received since getting involved in Back to School PAC.

After the 2021 elections were over, Martino said he brainstormed with others and they agreed that Schillinger, who had previously worked for state Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomeryville), should run for office. Schillinger had built a statewide organization and is “a really good CEO,” he said.

“Quite frankly, Pennsylvania needs Clarice in the executive branch,” Martino said. “We need a smart, young, motivated woman who puts our kids first.”

“We didn’t do it because of some plot…We did it because the kids were first. We did it because we were pissed off and mistreated. We did it to stand up for our kids. Your kids, my kids, and, in many ways, her kids.”

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SCHILLINGER: Back The Blue With Just More Than Words!

It is time that those in law enforcement gets the support that they deserve from elected officials.

The Wolf administration has failed our men and women who put their lives in danger every day to keep us safe. I am running for lieutenant governor to be the voice for law enforcement. Many people may not know this but the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor is in a unique position to be a strong ally to the men and women in blue.

In Pennsylvania, the lieutenant governor chairs the Commonwealth Board of Pardons. This important role allows the lieutenant governor to make sure that dangerous criminals do not get released, undermining our police officers and leaving them to fend for themselves.

I have had a number of conversations with police officers about what the real issue is when it comes to the skyrocketing crime we have seen not only in Pennsylvania but across the county, as CNN reports the US records the highest increase in the nation’s homicide rate in modern history.  Many of you may be expecting what I was expecting to hear: The ‘Defund the Police’ movement.

Their answer was chilling and not at all what I had expected. They explained that the number of times they deal with repeat criminals makes their job extremely hard, and was the single biggest issue they were facing. Police are putting their lives in danger day in and day out by locking up criminals and yet two days later, they get the same call for the same criminal and the same crime.

Why? The radical left is favoring criminals over our men and women in blue. Two of the most well-known radicals are current sitting Attorney General Josh Shapiro and District Attorney Larry Krasner in Philadelphia.

A teacher in the Kensington section of Philadelphia shared with me that during the height of school closures he was so discouraged as he logged into his zoom class and zero students would be online. So he, in his words, “hit the streets.” He explained that he would walk the streets of Kensington to find his students. He found them on the streets making quick easy money. Joining gangs, selling drugs, prostitution, and all the above. The opportunity to escape poverty, to lower crime, and to achieve the American dream was stripped away from these students in a blink of an eye.

No matter the ZIP code, our kids need access to a world-class education system that equips our youth with knowledge, setting them on the path to success rather than condemning them to a life of crime. It is our duty to ensure these tools and resources are available to our families and students. This is not what we have now. Instead, we see our elected officials blatantly ignoring the needs of our communities. It is time to say enough is enough! Stronger communities will lead to safer communities. A safer community helps our men and women in blue get home to their families after their shift.

There is no doubt that America is founded on second chances. But with anything in life, these successes are earned. Not given. That is exactly how we need to address the criminals that have looted our stores, burned our cities, and who have been made to feel empowered to continue their criminal activities. They must earn their release not have it handed to them.

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DelVal Candidates Dominate Straw Poll

Delaware Valley candidates swept first place in all three contests in the first GOP straw poll of 2022, held Saturday in Camp Hill by the Republican State Committee’s Central Caucus.

Delegates picked Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos as their first choice to replace U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is not seeking reelection. Dave White, a self-declared “worker guy” business owner and former Delaware County councilman, came in first for governor.

Clarice Schillinger, an Ambler resident and leader in the push to re-open Pennsylvania classrooms, received the nod for lieutenant governor.

A straw poll is a gathering of regional party leaders and activists. Five more will be held around the state before the May 17 primary. Some 104 of 114 members voted at the Central Caucus.

Kathy Barnette, of Huntington Valley, author and Fox News commentator, came in second in the Senate race, well ahead of hedge-fund millionaire David McCormick and former ambassador Carla Sands.

In the governor’s race, Bill McSwain, a West Chester native and former U.S. Attorney for southeastern Pennsylvania, came in second. Interestingly, Lou Barletta, a former congressman who has led in statewide polls, placed third.

Dave White

“I’m deeply humbled by the support we have received from the activists that move our party forward. Our campaign is building a movement driven by everyday Pennsylvanians who want a brighter future for Main Streets in every corner of the commonwealth,” said Bartos. “I’m thrilled to receive such strong support from my fellow Pennsylvanians.”

“I am honored to win this afternoon’s PAGOP Central Caucus straw poll,” said White. “Since announcing our campaign just two months ago, we have crisscrossed our great commonwealth, bringing our positive message of fighting for hardworking families to communities large and small of every corner of Pennsylvania. My commitment to the voters of Pennsylvania is that we will bring less talk and more action to Harrisburg and turn around our commonwealth that Tom Wolf has decimated.”

Three state senators who are gubernatorial candidates–Sen. President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre), Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) and Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) came in at the middle of the pack. Political insiders note they all supported Act 77, an election law that expanded mail-in ballot and state influence in elections. It is an unpopular vote among the GOP base.

Clarice Schillinger

Schillinger, the lieutenant governor poll winner, said, “I am humbled to have earned the support of Central Caucus. I understand that nothing is given and I will continue to work hard to earn the support of every Pennsylvanian.

“Together, we will take back our commonwealth and make our state an attractive place to raise a family where children receive a world-class education, businesses want to move and stay in the commonwealth because we eliminate lockdowns and mandates, and communities are safe with men and woman in blue who are supported with the resources they need,” she added.

The candidates gave their pitches to the audience taking part in the straw poll and answered questions before the vote was taken.

Two political science professors told DVJournal they do not believe straw polls carry much weight.

“While the results give the winning candidates something to talk about and fundraise on, straw polls don’t tell us much of anything about how we should expect the primaries to turn out because we don’t know how well these views reflect the views of the entire state committee, for one, and, more importantly, the Republican primary electorate,” said Berwood Yost, director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College. Yost noted that “a straw poll of conservative leaders last year had Sean Parnell and Doug Mastriano as the preferred candidates for Senate and governor, so these results need to be considered in relation to the makeup of the group that is doing the voting.”

Parnell, an author and veteran who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, dropped out of the 2022 Senate race amidst allegations by his estranged wife in a messy divorce case. And Mastriano, who only recently began his official campaign for governor, finished SSaturday’sstraw poll.

“The straw poll results are of limited importance,” said Christopher P. Borick, Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. “Some candidates work hard to do well in these polls, while others ignore them completely. Thus, they often reflect the dynamics of a particular event and have very little predictive value.” And Borick also downplayed any significance of the caucus voting not to endorse any of the candidates.

“I’m not sure what percentage of the time they endorse, but it certainly isn’t a given,” said Borick. “sometimes they pass when there is not a clear favorite. With the very crowded fields, that may be the case.”


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Horsham’s Clarice Schillinger Launches Lt. Governor Bid

Fresh off her wins with the pro-parent Back to School PA PAC, Horsham resident Clarice Schillinger is launching a campaign to be Pennsylvania’s next lieutenant governor.

While serving as executive director of the PAC, which supported school board candidates statewide who promised to keep schools open, Republican Schillinger helped raise and distribute some $700,000 to school board candidates statewide for the November 2021 election. Some 60 percent of the candidates the PAC funded won their races.

Schillinger, 34, who also founded Keeping Kids in School PAC, which backed school board candidates in the spring 2021 primary, said she plans to take an education reform agenda to Harrisburg.

“I plan to advocate for a total revamp of our education system,” she told Delaware Valley Journal.

“Clarice has established a powerful track record of achieving real change through her work at Back to School PA this past year,” said Paul Martino, a Bucks County venture capitalist who co-founded Back to School PAC. “Electing her will ensure that education is the top priority in Harrisburg for these next four years. Pennsylvania needs a lieutenant governor that is ready to work and fight for business owners, taxpayers, parents, and students.

“Clarice is a political newcomer who has already demonstrated she will put these everyday people first,” he said.

She says she also hopes to reduce regulations on businesses and improve public safety by “supporting our men and women in blue.” A priority is “making sure our communities are safe and attractive for people to want to come to Pennsylvania and live, and not move out of.”  The U.S. Census estimated Pennsylvania lost 30,878 residents in 2021.

“I created this groundswell of parents and it just seems appropriate to run for statewide office and take their voice to Harrisburg,” Schillinger said, adding that she believes voters want “someone who is not a polished politician.” She’s the mother of two: Lexi, 15, and Mike Jr., her stepson.

“I’ve worked in politics but I’m a mom and I care about our government. We have to take it back from special interest groups and lobbyists,” she said. “Sometimes it takes a mom to clean up a mess like that and that’s what I plan to do,” said Schillinger.

Schillinger started her public advocacy fighting to clean up the now-shuttered Willow Grove Naval Air Station where various chemicals leaked into the groundwater leading to cancer clusters in Horsham, Warminster, and Warrington.

“It’s a real problem,” said Schillinger.  The 1,200-acre property is now a Super Fund site.

Schillinger later worked for state Rep. Todd Stephens, (R- North Wales) helping him pass legislation to remove contaminants from people’s wells. While she knows her way around politics, this is her first run for public office.

Schillinger’s husband, Mike, who owns a carpentry business, is supportive of her political career. “He says, ‘Go save the commonwealth and do what you have to do,’” she said.  Her kids are also behind her campaign.

But Schillinger has the same concerns as every working mom. For example, she makes a week’s worth of meals on Sundays and freezes them so she knows her family will have good meals while she’s out campaigning.

Schillinger believes the state can do better than it has lately under Democrats Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. (Fetterman is running for the U.S. Senate).

Schillinger fought to keep schools open for her children so they could get their education and “access to the American dream.”

“When the schools shut down it really lit a fire under me,” said Schillinger. “The government came to each of our kitchen tables during the pandemic and said, ‘Your life is going to stop and education is going to stop and jobs and paychecks…I could not ignore it.”

“It’s just doom and gloom,” she said about the Wolf administration. “Everything is falling apart. And all these negative responses: ‘No, don’t open schools. No, don’t open businesses. No, don’t leave your house.’…Instead of using the tools and resources and science and solutions.”

“We’re Pennsylvanian. We’re Americans. We find solutions. We persevere. That’s what our nation was founded on,” said Schillinger.

Schillinger has also faced adversity and persevered in her own life through grit and determination.  The Montgomery County Community College graduate found herself pregnant at 18, but kept and raised her daughter, and prospered.

“While leading Back to School PA, I connected with thousands of parents across the commonwealth with the same mission as me – to make a better life for their children. The current administration has abandoned all of us, siding with special interests and lobbyists over our families. It is time we have a voice at the decision-making table to advocate for real people with real problems,” Schillinger said in a statement. “That’s why I’m running. I will be your advocate, the advocate for students and parents, the advocate for business owners and taxpayers.”

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GIORDANO: Rays of Light in 2021, Hopeful for a Better Year in 2022

It’s been a great first year writing a column for this new and much needed media outlet. Most of my columns have been about alerting readers to any number of negative things happening across the Delaware Valley. I thought for the last column of the year, I’d give you some rays of life that I see developing in our area. I’m not talking about the bright sunshine of an 80-degree day on a Wildwood beach but some hopeful bits of sunshine that might brighten up in 2022.

The best example of this is the recent pushback against Larry Krasner for his attempts recently to minimize the violence and chaos that have overrun Philadelphia. On my radio show I was joined by former District Attorney Seth Williams, former Governor Ed Rendell, and former Mayor Michael Nutter. All three were personally offended by Krasner and Nutter was particularly offended by Krasner posturing as the Great White Hope in Black and Brown communities.

Williams made the case that Krasner’s pride and ideology were blocking Philadelphia from implementing the strategies that the City of Chester is using to significantly lower violent crime, particularly homicides. Essentially, law enforcement is targeting those in Chester who are most likely to be carrying illegal guns and commit a murder. They tell these people that they will help them get a job and an education but if they are caught with a gun, they will get the most severe penalty. Krasner will not sign off on a plan like Chester’s. These results in Chester demand that we use them to turn up the heat on Krasner.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running for governor as a Democrat who wants to use every means to turn around homicide rates in Philadelphia. He is great at posing in this role, but he refuses to call out Krasner. I’m hoping that a strong field of Republican candidates will be able to use this dilemma to defeat Shapiro in what I view is the most important race in America. The reason is that which ever party wins will control the election infrastructure for the big presidential race in 2024.

A big ray of light in 2021 came through the person of Clarice Schillinger who organized thousands of parents into a group Back to School Pa. that fought to stop shutdowns of schools. She then went on to quarterback the winning of 133 school board seats in Pennsylvania in the most recent election cycle. Watch for her as a force in Pennsylvania politics in an even bigger way in 2022.

In New Jersey newly elected state Senator Ed Durr was Gloucester County will be a big force in New Jersey politics. I’ve interviewed him twice and he has a tremendous sense of the hope he represents for people who have suffered under extremely progressive rule in New Jersey. He knows that those progressive elements will do anything to snuff out this hope and he is positioning himself already for his next race in a few years. Of course, he’ll stay grounded by still driving a furniture truck as his day job.

Maybe the most hopeful signal for the next year is that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has been stopped from continuing his one-man rule of Pennsylvania that unnecessarily shut down schools and businesses. Many school districts across the area have decided to empower parents to make the choice about whether or not to have their kids wear masks while in school.

I am very hopeful that 2022 will be a good year that will see better safety and prosperity for everyone across the Delaware Valley.

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