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McGarrigle to Step Down as Delco GOP Chair

Thomas McGarrigle, a former state senator and chair of the Delaware County Republican Committee, plans to step down from his position as GOP chairman at the end of November.

In a letter to committee members, McGarrigle, 63, said he wants to spend more time with his family and focus on his business. Committee members will then elect the next chair. He said he timed his resignation until after the Midterm election on Nov. 8.

McGarrigle, who owns an auto repair business, a tow truck business, and real estate, said he is putting 60 or 70 hours a week in because of the labor shortage.

“I’m so busy, I just don’t have the time anymore,” said McGarrigle, who was elected county council chairman in 2019. For example, he said he was in Harrisburg for Wednesday’s retirement speech from state Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-Bucks), then planned to attend three different functions in the evening.

However, he does plan to help Springfield Township GOP Chair Mike Puppio, where McGarrigle was once a commissioner. He also served as chairman of the Delaware County Council.

McGarrigle and his wife, Michele, have three grown sons and five grandchildren.

Ridley Township resident Dave White, a former candidate for governor who runs a plumbing and HVAC business, said Wednesday that he would be throwing his hat into the ring.

“Tom did a great job,” said White, 60. “He’s been a good friend for many years.”

White, meanwhile, has been calling committee members to test the waters.

“I’ve been getting great support,” White said.

A vote is required 30 days after the chair tenders their resignation, White said. McGarrigle asked those who are interested to send him their resumes.

“It’s an open process,” said White, 60, a former county councilman

Delaware County, long a Republican stronghold, has trended Democratic recently as the GOP has attracted more working-class and populist voters and become less popular among college-educated suburbanites. Democrats swept the Delaware County Council in 2019, wresting it from Republican control for the first time since the Civil War. Democrats also fill other county row offices, including the district attorney, sheriff, and recorder of deeds.

White lost the 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary to state Sen. Doug Mastriano. White has endorsed Mastriano and has been traveling the state to help with Mastriano’s campaign.

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GIORDANO: Has Trump Made McSwain an Anathema to GOP Primary Voters?

President Donald Trump really shook up the Pennsylvania Senate race with his endorsement of Dr. Oz, but he also started a temblor in the Pennsylvania governor’s race. By his attack on former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, Trump triggered the Montgomery County Republican State Committee delegation to move past its previous position of not endorsing candidates in the primary to endorse Delaware County businessman Dave White for governor.

Liz Preate Havey, the chairperson of the Montgomery County Republicans, joined me on my radio show and told me Bill McSwain was a prime candidate for endorsement, but Trump’s direct assault on him for what Trump deemed was a failure to pursue voter fraud in the 2020 election aggressively made him radioactive. Havey cited the fact that polling indicated vast numbers of Trump voters would follow Trump’s lead and not vote for him in the primary.

The response of my listeners to all this offers an alternative. In the wake of the Trump attack, my Twitter poll and on-air calls indicate stronger support for McSwain. Listeners seemed to realize that in the aftermath of the 2020 election, McSwain had to follow the directives of Attorney General Bill Barr, who was his boss and someone who chose not to pursue many of the charges of fraud that were raised after the election.

In addition to the difference of opinion between Trump over McSwain, an increasing number of listeners have expressed the fear that Trump might be relitigating the election of 2020 rather than focusing on the elections of 2022 and 2024. The approach I recommend is, rather than dwell on wild and bizarre theories around 2020, to focus on closing off huge sums of money from people like Mark Zuckerberg that were used to drive up Democrat voting using government elected officials and to get rid of mail-in balloting in Pennsylvania.

In addition to her insights as why the Montco Republicans chose to endorse White over McSwain, Havey told me her group did not think state Sen. Doug Mastriano could win the general election for governor. She agreed he often wins most polls and is a powerhouse in the state’s rural areas, but she believes he would be swamped by Josh Shapiro, the attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor.

In addition to Trump’s scrambling of the governor’s race here locally, his endorsement of Dr. Oz in the Senate race really disappointed my listeners overall. They seem to agree that Oz has a good case for winnability in the general election due to his name recognition and financial resources. However, they have deep doubts about his stance on gun rights, abortion, and several cultural issues. In addition, they are not that upset that he did not choose to endorse Dave McCormick but rather that he passed over candidate Kathy Barnette. They see Barnette as the most fervent by far MAGA person in the entire field. The poll I conducted on listener choices after Trump’s Oz endorsement had Kathy with a clear majority of the total votes.

I’d also like to remind readers of the candidacy of Jeff Bartos for the Senate seat. Bartos has been saluted by Tucker Carlson and a host of others for his successful efforts to keep tons of small businesses afloat during the disastrous lockdowns across Pennsylvania. He is a person of distinct accomplishment.

My last thought in all this is that I hope President Trump does not endorse anyone in the Republican primary for governor. This is the most important race in the country to me. I’m convinced that if a Republican wins, we will not see a repeat of the questionable election issues we saw in 2020 and Pennsylvania will fairly decide the election of 2024.

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Life With Brian: Dave and Debbie White On Raising A Special Needs Son

Dave White knows running for governor is a challenge, as is the job itself. But, he says, the biggest challenges can also be the most rewarding — a fact he and his family have learned together.

Dave’s wife Debbie said when their son Brian was born, she knew immediately something was different. The third of their four children, Brian was born with microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected.

“The doctors knew right away that his head circumference was quite smaller than a normal baby. The doctors said, ‘You’re just going to see as time goes on how this is will affect his body and his mental abilities,'” she told the Delaware Valley Journal.

In mild cases, microcephaly has few symptoms. In severe cases, the condition is a result of the brain’s failure to develop properly during pregnancy. The head does not grow because the brain has stopped growing.

Brian White

“He is 33 years old,” Debbie said. “But cognitively, I would say he’s like a 4 or 5. He was born with microcephaly and from that, he has cerebral palsy and severe cognitive challenges. He’s the love of our life, along with our other children.”

During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy

White is a Republican candidate for governor running in the May 17 primary. He and Debbie have four children, Lisa, 36, Matt, 35, Brian 33, and Kelly, 23.

It is a fairly large family by today’s standards, but don’t tell White that. He grew up in Delaware County as one of 14 siblings.

When Brian was born, Dave told Delaware Valley Journal, the first challenge was financial. “I was 26 years old at the time. I was making $7 or $8 an hour as a pipefitter. We had no idea what our future held, or his future, either. We were worried, but you learn quickly just how great they are.”

Dave explained Brian can’t walk and spends his days strapped into a wheelchair. Communication with Brian is also a challenge.

“He is nonverbal,” Debbie  added.“His cerebral palsy has affected his oral motor functions. He smiles, has mild vocalizations similar to babbling like a baby. He holds hands. If he doesn’t want something he’ll push it away.”

Brian lived at home with his family for his entire childhood, Now he lives in an adult group home. When COVID hit, it raised new challenges.

“Over the past two years, it’s been difficult not being able to have contact with him, not being able to bring him home — literally not being able to go into his group home,” Dave said. “One or two times that we went out and visited Brian, we had to look through the windows and Brian doesn’t understand that. He’s seatbelted into his wheelchair and he kept trying to get up. So, we gave up on that just not to bother him too much.

The family was finally able to bring him to their Ridley Township home again for Christmas, where Brian met his nephews. The Whites have three grandchildren.

“His brothers and sisters treat him like gold,” Dave said. “As well as everyone else. He’s just a great kid. Brian doesn’t walk. He doesn’t speak. But we know what he’s trying to communicate. We know what he’s trying to say. He’s a happy boy. Smiles all the time. Very infectious smile. We’re very blessed to have him.”

The couple said they have so many people to thank for helping them along the way,

“The unsung heroes are all the doctors and nurses that treated Brian throughout the years,” Debbie said. “Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists that helped us all along the way, as well as all the teachers in his school systems, the social workers. To us, they are heroes.”

When asked if his son’s special needs affect or impact his politics Dave, a former Delaware County councilman, said he believes having Brian in his life makes him a better leader.

“It certainly made me more grounded,” Dave explained. “Made me appreciate life in general as a whole. Certainly got me a lot more friends in the special needs community — people who are very good friends.

“I think it gives you new knowledge and a new appreciation for how good things are. I really believe that. It gives you an ability to fight for those who need us to fight for them. We need to speak up for those who can’t talk. We need to stand up for those who can’t walk.”

“We’re looking forward to being advocates for the special needs community. Literally giving them a seat at the table because they are a special breed of people. People who are caring, loving, that are hard workers. That I believe the government has not listened to as much as they should.”

The Whites agree Brian has only added joy to their lives, no matter the challenges.

“God had a different plan for us,” Dave said. “We accepted that. We actually think our life is better because of Brian. Not any different. Just a lot better.”


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PA State GOP Fails to Endorse but DelVal Candidates Welcome Open Primary

The Pennsylvania Republican State Committee wrapped up its meeting in York last weekend without making any endorsements for governor or U.S. Senate. And the biggest loser from that decision may be the Delaware Valley.

Two local Republicans, Dave White in the governor’s race and Jeff Bartos for Senate, have dominated the regional straw polls thus far and were believed to be the most likely to get the state committee’s backing. Instead, with large fields in both primaries, the state party decided to sit out the primary.

Albert Eisenberg

Political consultant Albert Eisenberg with BlueStateRed, said, “The election is a long way away. In 2015 and 2016, everybody thought the Republican primary was a clown show that would kneecap the party and the Democratic coronation would mean a stronger general election showing. People who claim to know how a busy primary with no central endorsement will wind up could show a bit more humility and let the process play out.”

Does the lack of official endorsement from the state GOP present a stumbling block for a campaign’s momentum?

Bartos’ campaign manager Conor McGuiness brushed aside any concerns, citing Bartos’ wins in the regional GOP straw polls, where he secured 41 percent of the votes. He was followed by Dave McCormick at 30 percent, Kathy Barnette at 14 percent, and Dr. Mehmet Oz and Carla Sands, who each had less than 1 percent.

Jeff Bartos

“These straw polls have been the only votes cast in this election – and the results are clear: Republicans prefer an actual Pennsylvanian, an actual conservative to slick TV ads from out-of-state pretenders,” said McGuinness. “Jeff is proud to have the support of Republican state committee members by an overwhelming margin. While others try their best to campaign to D.C. insiders, we’re focused on our fellow Pennsylvanians – and we’re winning.”

Bob Salera, White’s campaign manager said, “Dave appreciates all the support he has received from members of [the] state committee, winning four out of five caucus straw polls, but from the beginning of the process he has called for an open primary as it’s his belief that voters should choose the Republican nominee. We look forward to continuing to speak to Republican primary voters about why Dave is the best candidate to take on far-left socialist Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the fall.”

And how about other Delaware Valley contenders, who also failed to get the nod that might give them a boost in the crowded May 17 primaries?

Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto, who is running for the Senate said, “I was delighted by the vote at [the] state committee to keep the U.S. Senate race open, and not to endorse, even though many members assured me they would vote for my endorsement. That the voters will have a wide-open perspective on just who the best candidate is (and) what is most important. The backroom politics of yesteryear are no longer cutting it, and the voters today are way too smart to buy into that bygone process. I am happy for and support the decision by [the] state committee not to endorse.”

GOP consultant Charlie Gerow, who grew up in Warminster and is running for governor, said, “We were pleased that the state committee did not endorse. As an elected member of [the] state committee, I’ve always voted against endorsement because I believe the voters should decide.”

Similarly, Guy Ciarrocchi, who is on leave from his job as president of the Chester County Chamber of Business while he runs for governor said, “Reality told party officials what they had to do—support an open primary. In a field of a dozen candidates, any attempt to hand-select one candidate would’ve been misguided and harmful. Candidates should talk directly to voters; share their message and make their case to turn around Pennsylvania—and, beat (presumed Democratic nominee) Josh Shapiro. So, I happily return my focus to talking to real voters about ‘kitchen table’ issues—and, offering common-sense solutions.”

And Rachel Tripp, a spokeswoman for Bill McSwain, the former U.S. Attorney who is running for governor, said, “Bill looks forward to continuing to grow his momentum, impact, and support across all 67 counties and among state committee members, and respects the committee’s decision to leave the nominating process in the hands of primary voters.”

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DelVal Candidates White, Bartos Rack Up Another Win at SE Caucus

DelVal businessman Dave White picked yet another regional straw poll win as candidates from southeast Pennsylvania continue to outperform in Republican Party committee events.

White, who’s running for governor, was joined in the winner’s circle by U.S. Senate primary candidate Jeff Bartos of Montgomery County in the Republican Southeast Region straw poll held Wednesday in King of Prussia. The next event will be the Republican Committee’s statewide winter meeting this weekend.

However, not all the political insiders at the Southeast straw poll decided to endorse someone. Only 37 people voted, while 42 sat it out. And, some sources believe, it’s unlikely that the statewide committee will make any endorsements.

White, a former Delaware County Councilman and pipefitter who now owns an HVAC company, won four of the five PAGOP regional caucus straw polls that released results. He aced the SE Caucus straw poll with 30 votes of the 37 votes.

Dave White addresses GOP Southeast Caucus

“I am incredibly encouraged that our message of bringing less talk and more action to Harrisburg continues to resonate with voters across Pennsylvania,” White said. “For too long, Harrisburg has ignored reducing the tax burden on hard-working families, lessening the regulatory burden on Pennsylvania businesses, securing our elections for all voters, and putting parents back in charge of their children’s education. I can feel our campaign’s momentum growing by the day, and I know we are ready to take on and defeat career politician Josh Shapiro this November.”

Bartos, a Montgomery County businessman and real estate developer, won with 34 votes among the Senate primary candidates. Bartos, who previously ran a statewide campaign for lieutenant governor, also won five regional caucus straw polls.

“It has been a pleasure to hear from Republican activists in each of the six caucuses over the last few weeks, and I am thrilled to have received such tremendous support from the ground,” said Bartos. “Republicans in our great commonwealth recognize that I am the lone lifelong Pennsylvanian in this primary, and know that I am running to serve Pennsylvania while others are running to serve themselves. I look forward to continuing to earn support from Republicans throughout the commonwealth.”

Jeff Bartos

Meanwhile, David McCormick, a hedge fund executive who hails from Bloomsburg, came in second with 27 votes, while TV celebrity Dr. Memhet Oz was third with 12 votes. Carla Sands, who served as ambassador to Denmark under President Trump received two votes, as did Fox News commentator and author Kathy Barnette and Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto.

Total votes from all the caucuses came to 122 for Bartos,  87 for McCormick, 41 for Barnette, 23 for Oz and 17 for Sands, according to the Bartos campaign.

“There is growing momentum behind Dave McCormick across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most recently seen in his impressive performances in the state party caucuses, including his sweeping wins in the Southwest and Northwest,” said Jess Szymanski, a McCormick spokeswoman. “Dave’s been in the race less than a month, but his conservative principles, experience as a combat veteran, and track record as a tough trade negotiator and successful businessman resonate across Pennsylvania.”

And in a sign of how they view the race, McCormick’s team took a swipe at Dr. Oz — not Bartos.

“Republicans across the Commonwealth see right through Oz’s celebrity and are shifting support from candidates who have been harnessing party support for years to Dave because they know he is the candidate who can and will win this election.”

The straw polls have traditionally served a valuable function in Pennsylvania politics, a large state with significant regional differences.

GOP strategist Charlie O’Neill

“The straw polls are important for several reasons. First, it shows an organized campaign,” said Charlie O’Neill, a Republican campaign strategist. “Putting together an apparatus capable of reaching out to hundreds of State Committee members throughout the Commonwealth is no easy task. Earning the support of a State Committee member can pay huge dividends for a campaign in several areas: petitions are right around the corner, assistance with grassroots and fundraising, and most importantly, creating legitimacy for your campaign through their support. However, the prevailing sentiment at the caucus meetings is leaning toward a vote not to endorse, so a poor showing from straw poll votes means much less than in previous years.

“Having said that, the individual support of a county chairman or well-known and respected State Committee member can help your campaign cut through the clutter of 30 plus candidates on the ballot for the local electorate,” O’Neill added. “I strongly suspect State Committee members will be asked to work harder in this primary by their chosen candidates than they ever have been before.”

Meanwhile, in the governor’s contest, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain came in second with 20 votes; followed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman with 12; Republican strategist Charlie Gerow with seven; Chester Chamber of Commerce president Guy Ciarrocchi won five, and former Congressman Lou Barletta gained four. Cardiothoracic surgeon Ncche Zama had one vote.

“I am a limited government, free market, law and order, constitutional conservative,” McSwain told the Southeast Caucus. “As governor, I will restore freedom and the rule of law. I will ensure that every child has a quality education by implementing statewide school choice. I’ll revive our economy by cutting taxes, reducing regulations, and shrinking the size of government.”

David La Torre, a spokesman for Corman, said, “We’ve respectfully advocated for an open primary, and regional caucuses have all supported this. We believe primary election voters should elect our nominee. Some campaigns will likely be disappointed on Saturday after chasing headlines to tout straw polls. This is going to be a long process to November. Jake is well positioned to take on and defeat Josh Shapiro.”

Shapiro, the Democratic attorney general, is the only announced candidate in his party’s primary.


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UPDATE: Bartos Wins Two GOP Caucuses Saturday, Governor’s Vote Divided

Jeff Bartos won two straw polls in northeast Pennsylvania this weekend, giving the Montgomery County businessman a perfect record in these early bellwether contests. He won the Republican State Committee’s Central Caucus a week earlier.

On Saturday, Bartos won the Northeast Central Caucus Straw poll for the Senate nomination, as well as the Northeast Caucus which took place the same day.

In the 15-person governor’s race, former Congressman Lou Barletta won the NE Caucus straw poll outright. However, in the NE Central Caucus’ straw poll, Delaware Valley businessman Dave White won. But a second vote that group took, using rank voting muddied the waters. That vote placed Barletta at the top, GOP strategist Charlie Gerow in second and White in third.

Clarice Schillinger, who led a movement to keep kids in school, won the lieutenant governor straw poll for the NE Caucus but the NE Central Caucus did not vote on lieutenant governor, instead delaying its vote until next week.

The straw polls are a process where Republican Party leaders and activists vote on their preferred candidates, among those who have thrown their hat in the ring for the 2022 races. This year the ballot will be topped by contests for governor, U.S. Senator and lieutenant governor.

“I am blown away to have received such tremendous support in the Northeast and NECRA caucuses. GOP grassroots leaders know that no other candidate knows this state, loves this state, or is as prepared to serve this state as I am,” Bartos said in a statement.

Bartos was the favorite of the Northeast Central Caucus including Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties, as well as the Northeast Caucus for Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties’ party leaders.

Bartos also won the Central Caucus straw poll on Jan. 15, part of a Delaware Valley candidate sweep, where White also won.

“We were very happy with the results,” said Gerow, about Saturday’s second-place outcome in the ranked vote. “And continue to press our campaign with the people.”

While the caucus results are encouraging, the primary will determine whose name is on the fall ballot, he said.

White, on Facebook, thanked members of the NECRC for their support, saying, “We have the momentum to win in May and November.”

“Winning the plurality vote for the Northeast Caucus is very humbling,” said Schillinger via a text message. “I will continue to travel the Commonwealth and promise to take the concerns we ALL share to the steps of the Capitol.”

Three more caucuses are scheduled, two for Jan. Jan and one for Feb. 2.


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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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Delco’s Dave White Enters Fray for Governor’s Job

Delaware County guys have a reputation for being outspoken and ready for anything. Those attributes may serve former county Councilman Dave White well, as he elbows his way in the crowded race for the 2022 GOP nomination for governor.

White, 60, is not deterred by the competition.

He says he believes he has the right combination of ideas to appeal to the voters, focusing on jobs, education, and safety.

White, who owns a mechanical, contracting, plumbing and HVAC business that employs 80 to 85 people said he knows about job creation firsthand and has “signed the front side of paychecks and paid good wages.” White got his start as a pipefitter and would like to bring back an emphasis on vocational education as a pathway for many students to obtain high-paying jobs.

Asked about his accomplishments while serving on council, White pointed to the rescue of three refineries—in Marcus Hook, Linwood and Philadelphia—that now process natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania.

The council went after state and federal grants to save those refineries, he said. That, in turn, saved thousands of jobs.

“They closed and we got them back up and operational,” said White. “When we got them up and running, there were more jobs there. We were ninth in the state for wage growth.”

The extracting natural gas from the shale formation is “a very, very good opportunity” for Pennsylvanians, he said. “These jobs start at $80,000, $90,000, $100,000.” And that money spreads throughout the economy leading to more jobs in other sectors, as well.

“As long as we have the can-do attitude,” said White, who described himself as “very optimistic.”

“We need to release what Pennsylvania residents can do and we’re going to,” White said.

White also backs the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which some Democrats and environmentalists oppose. Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro has gone after pipeline company Energy Transfer as attorney general. Shapiro recently announced he is pursuing criminal charges against that company with a grand jury presentment.

“I’m a big proponent of it,” White said about the pipeline. “It’s the safest way to transport that gas and it’s being built by good quality men and women.”

White said he’s for energy sources from “all of the above,” including solar and wind power. But natural gas is “clean-burning energy.”

“We have more resources than anywhere in the world except Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It’s an important part of growing this economy in the state.”

“I’m all about the fracking,” said White. “That’s a big part of Pennsylvania’s future.”

White also opposes increasing taxes on the energy industry.

“We need to live within our means,” White said. “I learned that as a business owner.”

White believes in “making sure we fund our police.” He noted there have been more than 400 murders in Philadelphia this year, a record number. “That’s just out of control.”

We need to “respect and honor our police. They can’t do their job unless we respect and fund them,” he said.

White and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 38 years and “still live in the same house” in Ridley Township where they raised their four children. They have three grandchildren.

About 1,600 people came out on Saturday when White announced his campaign for governor. And some of those supporters commented on Facebook.

Joe Matlack said, “If you need anything let me know.” Stephen Fuscellaro said, “Congratulations and good luck, Dave.”

“Good luck, Dave! You can count on our vote,” said Mindy Paolella.

On Monday, White set off on a drive across Pennsylvania to rally support and introduce himself to voters around the state, joining other Republican hopefuls in making that trek.

These include Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry President Guy Ciarrocchi, former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, state Sen. Dan Laughlin, and GOP political analyst Charlie Gerow, who just launched a statewide television ad buy over the weekend, and attorney Jason Richey.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano has launched an exploratory committee and Sen. President Pro Tempore Jake Corman is expected to announce his bid on Thursday.


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