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In PA Governor’s Race, Corman Bows Out, Endorses Barletta

Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who came within a whisker of dropping out of the governor’s race a few weeks ago, formally threw in the towel Thursday and threw his support to former Congressman Lou Barletta.

Corman never rose above single digits in the polls and was going to exit the campaign a few weeks ago, but said former President Donald Trump urged him to stay in the race. Corman had hired Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to work on his campaign, and she even appeared in TV commercials on his behalf.

Corman may also have been under pressure from his fellow Pennsylvania Republicans to throw his support to Barletta as recent polls showed state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) surging. News reports suggested GOP party insiders are seeking a white knight candidate to save the party from Mastriano, whose right-leaning views may not play well in the general election against Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor.

When questioned by Delaware Valley Journal about his participation in a rally partially organized by the QAnon conspiracy theorists, for example, Mastriano abruptly ended the interview.

“Lou Barletta is the man at the right time at the right place for the people of Pennsylvania and I’m happy to be here today to support Lou,” Corman said at a Harrisburg press conference on Thursday. “At a time when Tom Wolf is leaving office with historically low approval ratings when the country and Pennsylvania are rejecting the Biden agenda, this is a time when we’re looking for new leadership.

“The only way that we will not be successful in the fall is if we nominate someone who can’t possibly win,” Corman added.

Barletta thanked Corman.

“I very much appreciate Sen. Jake Corman’s support and the difficult decision he made to withdraw from the race and work together for the benefit of Republicans and all Pennsylvanians,” Barletta said. “It is increasingly evident that Republicans must get behind one candidate who can win the nomination and then actually defeat Josh Shapiro in November. There is no question that as the Republican nominee, I can beat Shapiro because the people of Pennsylvania know me. I am proven, road-tested, and ready to lead the Great Pennsylvania Comeback.”

Some of the other Republican gubernatorial campaigns were quick to push back against Corman’s endorsement of Barletta.

“It’s no surprise that career politician Jake Corman, who implemented the highest gas tax in America, has chosen to endorse fellow career politician Lou Barletta, who is also a steadfast supporter of higher gas taxes,” said James Fitzpatrick, campaign manager for Bill McSwain. “Alliances between career politicians will do nothing but protect the status quo in Harrisburg. It’s time for a conservative outsider to end this nonsense. Bill McSwain will beat Josh Shapiro this fall and conservatives should immediately rally around his candidacy.”

Similarly, Bob Salera, campaign manager for Dave White said, “It should surprise absolutely no one that career politician Jake Corman would endorse career politician Lou Barletta – this is the swamp endorsing the swamp. Both Corman and Barletta have spent more than two decades on the public payroll, racking up massive taxpayer-funded pensions along the way.

“Both Corman and Barletta have repeatedly voted to raise taxes and voted for increased government spending at the taxpayers’ expense. Career politicians flock together, which is exactly why Pennsylvania needs to turn the page and elect an outsider like Dave White who will bring less talk and more action for the people of Pennsylvania to Harrisburg.”

Barletta, who was also the former mayor of Hazelton, is known for his early warnings regarding the effect of the influx of illegal immigrants. In a podcast, Barletta told DVJournal he would bus the illegals being flown to Pennsylvania to Biden’s home state of Delaware if he became governor.

While Trump has not endorsed anyone in the governor’s race, Barletta has touted his ties to the former president.

Barletta has also spoken out about inappropriate books in school libraries, favors expanding the state’s energy sector, and is against vaccine mandates. As a former small business owner, Barletta says he believes he can help bring more businesses and jobs to the commonwealth.


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Corman Allies With Cops in Push to Impeach Krasner

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican candidate for governor, continued to make the case that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner should be impeached, taking his quest into Krasner’s backyard with a Philadelphia press conference with the police.

Corman was joined by Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 President John McNesby, Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Roosevelt Poplar, and Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President David Kennedy.

Philadelphia set an all-time record for homicides last year with more than 550 people killed in the city. It is on pace to surpass that in 2022, said Corman in a press release. Although police made the highest number of arrests last year for violent gun crimes since 2015, more violent gun cases were dismissed every year Larry Krasner has been in office. Since 2015, just 21 percent of shootings in the city have led to criminal charges. In January 2022 alone, there were 100 carjackings in the city.

“Philadelphians are experiencing an unprecedented crisis of violence. It was surprising to hear District Attorney Krasner finally admit as much last week,” Corman said. “Krasner sits in his corner office working on his book or planning his next reality show. He’s never taken responsibility for the failure of his social policies that have led directly to the deaths of hundreds of Philadelphians and devastated their families. That’s why it’s time to impeach Larry Krasner.

“I want to thank law enforcement leaders for joining me in this important effort,” Corman added. “Our police have been working tirelessly to protect their fellow citizens. We have laws on the books to put the bad guys away. It’s clear Larry Krasner won’t use them, so it’s time to remove him so we can get back to making Philadelphia a safe city again.”

Corman, of Bellefonte, is one of a crowded field of Republican hopefuls trying to gain the GOP primary voters’ nod.

Krasner’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. However, previously, a spokesman called Corman’s call for impeachment and removal of the district attorney “a stunt.”

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FLOWERS: Applauding Sen. Corman for Move to Oust DA Krasner

Short of doing something illegal, which is not exactly unheard of in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have done everything within my limited power to get rid of Larry Krasner.

Krasner, Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney, is presiding over the largest spike in violent crime, including homicides, in recent history: Our own Philly Killing Fields.

These are the things that I did:

  1. Wrote numerous articles about the damage that he is doing to the city, particularly his callous mistreatment of victims and their families;
  2. Battled mightily on social media with people who have misrepresented his actions and minimized the carnage, including people with blue checks next to their names like Philadelphia city council members and Philadelphia mayors;
  3. Changed my registration from Republican to Democrat so I could vote against him in the May primary;
  4. Voted against him in the May primary, even though Krasner’s coterie of supporters tried to keep me from getting to the polls (as I wrote in a previous column);
  5. Supported Charles Peruto in the general election, both by interviewing him online and voting for him in person;
  6. Hosted radio programs where informed guests explained just how dangerous he has been, and still is, to the orderly administration of justice.

I’ve also channeled my Italian grandmother and relatives from her generation and invoked the malocchio, a/k/a, “Evil Eye” in the hope that he comes down with a debilitating case of dengue fever. (Don’t worry, it’s not fatal.)

Nothing has worked, because he is still there, and his supporters are still spreading their lies about how there is no “crisis of violence” in the city of Philadelphia.

So I’ve come to realize that this is out of my hands, and we need to look to others with more power, authority, and connections to neutralize this progressive threat. One of those people has made his move, and I applaud him with every sinew and bone in my body.

That person is state Sen. Jake Corman, who is running for the gubernatorial seat up for grabs because the current occupant, Tom Wolf, is limited (hallelujah!) from seeking a third term. But first things first.

This week, Corman sent a letter to state House Leader Bryan Cutler, urging him to initiate impeachment proceedings against Krasner. Corman noted, “The recent spike in violent crime is a direct result of DA Krasner’s failed policies and his refusal to perform the duties of his office to hold criminals accountable for the crimes that they commit. His decision to allow more and more criminals to walk free through plea deals and dismissed charges has created an environment in which Philadelphians are no longer safe in their own homes and communities.”

As someone who is currently living and working in Philadelphia, I can attest to the truth of that last sentence. I no longer feel safe walking the streets, taking public transportation, or even going into a store. I no longer feel as if I can travel in a car in the city without some delinquent brandishing a gun and trying to carjack the vehicle.

How can you blame me, a person without a security detail, for feeling that apprehension when just weeks ago my congressional representative Mary Gay Scanlon was herself the victim of a carjacking in broad daylight? She has the full force of the federal government behind her, while I have a months-old container of pepper spray and a bad Italian-Irish attitude.

While I can make offhanded jokes about it, there is nothing funny about the crime statistics in my beloved hometown, statistics that are directly attributable to the gross mismanagement of Larry Krasner. This is a man who is not even capable of taking responsibility for what is happening on his watch but instead tries to shift the blame on the dreaded bogeyman of all radical leftists: Republicans. His refusal to even acknowledge the rising tide of crime in the city was so egregious that former Mayor Michael Nutter, no conservative, wrote a scathing op-ed that read like an Emile Zola-esque “J’accuse” against a man and an administration that have no respect for human life.

There is no justification for Krasner’s malfeasance, and this ridiculous idea that he won in a landslide victory in November ignores the cogent fact that less than 30 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.  In some wards, they couldn’t even crack 10 percent. So Krasner won through apathy, not enthusiasm.

That’s why Corman’s letter is important. Philadelphia is only one city in the commonwealth, but what happens in Philly doesn’t just stay in Philly. It bleeds over into other parts of the state, with “bleeds” being the operative word.

I was myself a victim of crime on public transportation heading out of the city proper, and that was only a day before another person was raped and abused, while other passengers did nothing to intervene, on a train headed toward the near suburbs.

The House is the only body that could move to impeach Krasner, and they have an obligation to do so. If the voters won’t protect their neighbors from a man who is clearly disinterested in stopping the violence in our streets, either through ideological malice or voting day apathy, it’s up to the legislature to do it.

I applaud Sen. Corman for his initiative and hope the House picks up the baton and does what no one else can do: Get rid of Krasner, once and for all.

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Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman Will Not Run For Senate Again, Focusing on Governor’s Race

Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman said Monday he will not run for another term in the state Senate. Instead he is focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor.

“I’m all in for the governor’s race,” said Corman, saying that it “never felt right to run a dual campaign” for governor and for the Senate at the same time.

“I’ve served my time,” said Corman. “It’s time for my district to elect someone else.”

Corman is running under the banner “People First” and said he wants to be governor to get things done to help people more people.

Corman is raising money as a gubernatorial candidate and said, “We’re getting a lot of good support and that’s where our attention is focused.”

Corman, 57, who represents Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata counties, is the son of a state senator and has spent 22 years in Pennsylvania politics.

Corman argued he is the person who can get things done, not just winning an election but also being able to work with the legislature to accomplish his goals.

“We need somebody in Harrisburg who can pivot and get things accomplished,” said Corman. “I have a record of getting things done and that’s what’s important.”

During Bensalem Stop, Corman Touts ‘People First’ Campaign for Governor

Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican who is running for governor in 2022, came to the Nottingham Fire Company in Bensalem Wednesday to speak with first responders.

“Volunteer fire companies save the state billions of dollars,” he said. “The pressure of getting more and more volunteers is difficult. It’s important for me to hear from them what they’re facing, what their challenges are.”

Corman, 57, who represents Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata counties, is the son of a state senator and has spent 22 years in Pennsylvania politics.

“This is not something I wanted to do growing up. I was a journalism major, believe it or not,” Corman told Delaware Valley Journal in a podcast interview. “And I wanted to be in sports broadcasting. And in 1994, my good friend, Rick Santorum, ran for the United States Senate.”

Sen. Jake Corman (center) meets with first responders at the Nottingham Fire Company.

After Santorum won, Corman “got the political bug” and went to work for him as state director in central Pennsylvania.

With the slogan “People First,” Corman is running to get things done to help people.

“I’d like to think I’m the excitement candidate. I’m someone who believes in putting people first. Someone who believes in protecting our freedoms.”

He took some swipes at Democrat incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited and will not be running again, for his handling of the COVID pandemic.

“He was wrong when at the beginning of the pandemic he shut down our healthcare facilities,” said Corman. That caused many people to forego needed tests like mammograms or have surgeries like hip replacements, according to Corman.

“And I said, ‘Governor, you know, this is a healthcare crisis. Hospitals were full of very smart people who are experts in the healthcare industry.’”

“Our Founding Fathers decided to put the power in the people, and not the government,” he said. “The last 18 months, we’ve watched a lot of our freedoms come, not under attack, but under assault. We had a governor tell us who could go to work and support their families, and who could not. Who could go to school and get educated, and who could not. Who could get healthcare and improve their lives, and who could not. Who could congregate, who could protest in the streets, and who could not.”

Corman quoted Wolf, saying, “’The government will do everything it can to make you feel comfortable.’ When I heard that, it sent a chill up my spine. Because, really, what the governor is saying to you is, ‘We’re going to make you comfortable giving up your civil liberties.’ … Not on my last breath will I ever feel comfortable giving up my civil liberties. Because when you get comfortable giving up your freedoms and your civil liberties, the government is going to get comfortable taking them. And there may come a day when they never come back.”

Corman also accused progressives of attacking the “very people who protect us,” citing Philadelphia’s surging homicide rate with more than 500 deaths this year. That trend, he said, is reflected in other parts of the state and across the country.

“And what did our governor do when all this was going on? He participated in a march and stood in front of a sign that said ‘Blue Lives Murder.’ That’s the type of leadership he chose to provide during this very difficult time. … The people of Pennsylvania don’t support that agenda. They don’t support defunding the police. They don’t support attacking the heroes of our community. I will stand with our men and women in uniform.”

Corman counts jobs and quality education as key parts of his platform.

“Economic security is the key component of family-sustaining jobs, family-sustaining communities,” he said. “You’ve got to have economic security if you’re going to have a successful community. The way you get those good, blue-collar jobs is developing good economic policy which this governor doesn’t want to do.”

“And I’ve led the charge against his policies and created better policies that have created jobs in the energy sector, which has created blue-collar jobs.”

Corman pointed to a new $6 billion natural gas to gasoline plant that will be built in Lucerne County that he supported but Wolf opposed. That plant will create about 4,000 temporary construction jobs and several hundred permanent jobs.

“I want to get things done,” he said. “We can all stand for certain things. We can all be for certain things. But if you don’t accomplish them then, really, what good are you?”

Corman also blasted the progressive Democrats’ push to defund the police.

“The people who live in this community want policing more than anybody,” he said. “If you don’t stand up and say, ‘we need safe streets. We need to support our men and women in uniform,’ then you’re sending out a message that’s it’s not important. The crime that went on in some of our cities and no one prosecuted any of these people …You’re sending a message that what they’re doing is OK.”

Corman added, “We can support our men and women in uniform and still deal with the social concerns that drive some of those values,” he said. “I believe that we can have good energy jobs and still protect our environment. It’s a false choice to say it has to be one or the other. You can do both. You just have to be clever, you have to be creative.”

Education was a big issue driving many parents to the polls in the 2021 election cycle, as parents saw what their children were learning online during the pandemic.

“First of all, we have to be fighting back as a nation, not just a state, as a nation against Washington, D.C. and new Biden administration, sending the FBI out after parents who go to school board meetings and to have voices heard. That’s the most outrageous thing I think I’ve ever heard in my entire career, my entire life that our own country would be trying to silence voices.”

“We have to be encouraging parents to be involved in their children’s education,” he added.

Corman is competing in a large field of GOP candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, Montgomery Commissioner Joe Gale, GOP strategist Charlie Gerow, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry  CEO Guy Ciarrocchi, Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, former Delaware County Councilmember Dave White, and surgeon Nche Zama.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the only announced Democrat in the governor’s race.

Reporter Isaac Avilucea contributed to this article.

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