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Two Lt. Governor Candidates Complain About Mud-Slinging

“Politics ain’t beanbag,” the saying goes.

But two lieutenant governor candidates, Jeff Coleman and Chris Frye, are calling out Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is running for governor, and Teddy Daniels, another lieutenant governor candidate, for their harsh rhetoric.

In a press release and video the two complain about being called names.

Coleman, who has advocated civility in his campaign, says Mastriano and Daniels refer to him as “Mr. Rogers, patty cake man” and “swamp establishment hack.” While they allegedly call Frye a “sellout, career politician, and swamp creature.”

Frye, the mayor of New Castle, and Coleman, a former state representative and founder of Churchill Strategies, say using these types of slurs is playing into the Democrats’ hands and lessening the chances that Republicans will win in November.

“You’re both good men with good families and good reputations,” said Frye. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

Coleman said, “Instead of discussing issues, they’re using slogans and borderline slander.”

Daniels, a combat veteran who received the Purple Heart, retired police officer, and entrepreneur denied denigrating Coleman and Frye. He said the pair are just trying to make headlines and score points against the frontrunner.

“These two are so desperate to get attention in this race they’ll stoop to throwing baseless accusations of ‘borderline slander’ against the guy they admit is the leading candidate, when I’ve never even once uttered their names,” said Daniels, when asked to comment about the video and press release sent by Coleman and Frye.

Charlie O’Neill, a Republican consultant, said he was surprised frontrunners would be slinging mud.

“It didn’t take long for Reagan’s 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shall not talk ill of other Republicans,’ to be broken in this campaign cycle. What strikes me about Mastriano and Daniels attacking their opponents is that tactic is usually reserved for candidates who are behind in the polls, yet their camp touts high polling numbers.

“I wouldn’t expect the campaign to grow more civil moving forward as candidates vie for every crucial voter. Creating a contrast between you and your opponents is a key part of any campaign strategy. How you draw this contrast is up to each campaign. Some argue a tough primary serves to strengthen the winning candidate before a tough general election. There certainly is some truth to that, but it didn’t help in 2018, the last time there was a hotly contested Republican gubernatorial primary.”

Mastriano could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Two Republican State Representatives Run for Lt. Governor

Two state representatives running in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor may share business ownership backgrounds, but their styles differ completely.

Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R-33) represents a district in western Pennsylvania while Russ Diamond (R-102) represents parts of Lebanon County in the central part of the state. But both believe they are the person who the candidate for governor will need as a running mate to win in November.

“This is a two-person ticket,” said Diamond. “With the voters being the matchmakers…If we’re going to beat Josh (Shapiro, the presumptive Democratic nominee), we need two people who complement each other but don’t step on each other’s toes so we can attract the most voters possible in November. And it’s my distinct feeling that we need someone at the top of the ticket who can come down to, like the Delaware Valley, and talk to those suburban voters who voted for Joe Biden and convince them to come back to the Republican Party. And then, in the second slot on the ticket, I believe we need someone who can talk to the Republican base out here in rural Pennsylvania…I’ve been fighting against the lockdowns, the mandates, voter integrity, critical race theory, all the things the Republican base is concerned about, they identify me being on the forefront.”

Rep. Russ Diamond

“I can help our next governor win,” said Diamond. But with those stances comes controversy, most recently when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked the House to censure Diamond over perceived criticism of LGBTQ people.

DelRosso, 46, said she is best to run for lieutenant governor because she beat a “30-year incumbent Democrat in a majority Democrat district” for her seat and “I want to fight for all Pennsylvanians.”

“I’m the most qualified,” DelRosso added. She has experience as a small business owner and a local and state government official. DelRosso, who owned a public relations and communications agency, is also the mother of three children, boys ages 13 and 11 and a 10-year-old girl.

Diamond, however, is also a business owner. His business grew from a recording studio to a facility that duplicated compact discs and now does video production.

“I can hit the ground running in Harrisburg because of my relationships with current legislators but in the Senate and in the House,” said Diamond. “Our next governor needs someone who knows those people already so he’s not reinventing the wheel when it comes to starting relationships with the legislature.”

Part of the job of lieutenant governor is chairing the Board of Pardons.

DelRosso said she is “very pro-law enforcement,” and she would take each case on its merits and “listen to the experts.”

Diamond, 58, would “take each case on a case by case basis” and not have a particular agenda.

“If I had my way, I’d abolish the Turnpike Commission,” said Diamond when asked about rising tolls. “I do believe that commissions like that should be absorbed into the greater state Department of Transportation.”

Asked about the Pennsylvania Turnpike, DelRosso said, “One thing we see in Pennsylvania, we don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.”

Instead of tolls, she suggested looking into other ways to pay for the turnpike’s maintenance.

“We do have an abundance of natural gas here,” said DelRosso. “And we should be growing that instead of looking to charge people more in terms of using the roads in the state.”

DelRosso’s current legislative seat is being gerrymandered out. But she is philosophic, saying the state’s western section lost residents according to the 2020 Census. The economic environment needs to change so Pennsylvania can bring in more jobs and keep residents here, she said. If elected, she promises to be an advocate for business-friendly policies.

Meanwhile, RelRosso was endorsed by the prestigious Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs.

“They know I’m right on their issues,” said DelRosso. “Which is I am very supportive of and will protect conservative values, conservative policies and make sure that our government doesn’t overreach and continue to overspend.”

DelRosso said it’s crucial that Republicans nominate “someone like me who can work hand-in-hand with everyone on these kinds of issues.”

“I can win,” said DelRosso. “People must understand that if we do not put someone on the top of the ticket that can win, we will have four more years of the Wolf administration, the shutdowns, we’ll risk continued economic downturn.”

In addition to running a business, Diamond has worked as a truck driver and a musician. He is also an author and a pilot.

He has “a vast life experience. I think that you need to pull from that in order to step up to the plate when duty calls,” said Diamond. “And so, if something happens to the governor you have to be ready to step into that role, make it a smooth transition like Mark Schweiker did, then he took over…He did a fantastic job.”

Meanwhile, the  Delaware Valley Journal recently hosted a debate for lieutenant governor candidates who aired their views on some of these issues.


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PA Sen. Toomey Endorses Lt. Gov. Candidate Jeff Coleman

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Jeff Coleman has received an endorsement from a Pennsylvania GOP heavy-hitter—U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

Coleman, then a state representative, was one of a handful of elected Republicans to back Toomey’s 2004 GOP primary challenge against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. Toomey lost in a close race with 49 percent of the vote.

“Jeff Coleman’s message is right for this moment,” Toomey said. “He’s arguing that civil debate rooted in conservative principles is the best way for Republicans to win elections and ultimately govern. He’s right. Jeff also knows that the lieutenant governor’s primary role is a limited one- maintaining decorum and delivering the policy agenda.

“On both fronts, Jeff has the experience and relationships to bring people together and make the next Republican governor successful. I’ve known Jeff for almost two decades. In a field of good people, he’s the best prepared for the challenges of this office,” Toomey said. “I enthusiastically endorse his candidacy for lieutenant governor.”

Coleman thanked the senator for his endorsement. “Eighteen primaries ago, I backed Sen. Pat Toomey over Arlen Specter. That initial loss built an infrastructure that still wins elections to this day. That model puts principles first, which is always the right choice,” Coleman said.

However, it’s an open question whether Toomey’s endorsement will sway Republican primary voters.

“Endorsements are really context-dependent,” said Berwood Yost, director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College. “An endorsement from, for example, President Donald Trump could have a strong effect in a Republican primary, while it could have negative consequences in a swing district. In that circumstance, it is unlikely Toomey’s endorsement will have much effect in the lieutenant governor’s race since it is such a low visibility content and since the senator is not wildly popular among Republican primary voters. On the other hand, if endorsements can help with fundraising or organizational matters, they can be of some consequence.”

And given Toomey’s lack of enthusiasm for Trump, who remains extremely popular with the Republican base, there is a real question about how much this endorsement will help in the hotly-contested GOP primary.

Coleman took part in a recent Delaware Valley Journal debate where he reiterated his view that politics needs a revival of civility, adding: “To be a Republican is to be for limited government, lower taxes, personal responsibility, dignity, freedom, and the value of human life.”

“Politics amplifies that entire series of questions that are irrelevant when it comes to actually deciding should we pave the road, should we build a store, should we legalize something, should we ban this?” Coleman told the Delaware Valley Journal in a recent interview. “I have been very careful not to single out any one political figure because when I do that, the conversation ends. There’s got to be amnesty for people who voted for Joe Biden. We need Joe Biden voters to come back to the Republican Party, or we don’t win the suburbs. That’s a fact.”

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