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GIORDANO: Why the GOP Should Embrace Mail-in Ballots

Republicans can and should beat Democrats at the mail-in ballot game.

Liz Preate Havey, chairperson of the Montgomery County Republicans, floated the idea last year that Republicans had to both elect a Republican governor who would lead the charge to get rid of Pennsylvania Act 77, which opened the door to Democrats instituting mail-in balloting in the state. Still, simultaneously, the GOP should have a better mail-in ballot game to elect more Republicans in the 2022 elections.

Liz made this point cautiously. I think it’s time to boldly embrace her idea. It’s time to compete and win in the mail-in ballot arena.

Last month, Democrats dominated Republicans in getting their vote out well before Election Day. Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania, put it well when he told Politico, “When one party votes for 30 days and one-party votes for one, you’re going to lose.”

Republicans must persuade all voters, particularly those who vote somewhat irregularly but lean toward the GOP, to vote by mail. On his website, Conservative GOP State Rep. Russ Diamond said, “Our goal isn’t to convince regular voters to vote by mail, but to figure out how to cultivate mail-in votes from those registered Republicans who vote infrequently or don’t vote at all.”

Athan Koutsiouroumbas, a local Republican strategist has brilliantly, on my show, broken down how Democrats were relentlessly effective in their mail-in ballot campaign. In the local Statehouse races, they offered people mail-in ballot applications on their door-to-door visits, and they repeatedly followed up to see if people submitted their ballots. They effectively used local media to promote mail-in balloting.

They are a template to study how to do this. It mostly takes commitment to the details and a lot of elbow grease. Delaware County used to be Republican almost as much as Philadelphia is Democratic. I know more people who lean toward the Democrats have moved into the county, but they are also outworking Republicans.

Many listeners who call me or interact on social media accept that for the big 2024 election, Republicans must match the Democrats’ mail-ballot ground game. However, on my Twitter feed, I’ve started to see people who can’t accept this. They make the argument that many Americans have died to protect our right to vote and going along with mail-in balloting negates degrades that sacrifice.

I’d liken my approach to things that I don’t like in sports. I wouldn’t say I like the designated hitter rule. However, if I’m managing, I will have the best designated hitters and the biggest advantage possible. In sports, even if you use the rule to your advantage, it doesn’t mean you can eliminate it. In elections, if you win enough, you can get rid of things like mail-in ballots. In the meantime, you must play by the rules you’re given.

I put this new commitment to winning the mail-in ballot campaign in the same category of importance as Republicans preventing any candidate for statewide office from getting the nomination if they refuse allow exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother regarding abortion restrictions. You can call it the “Mastriano Rule.” It’s proven you will not win statewide if you go down Mastriano’s path and you will hurt other Republican candidates.

Liz Preate Havey was ahead of her time when she proposed developing strategies that would commit Republicans to the mail-in balloting world that we live in. Apparently, Republicans used to do very well in the absentee ballot arena. This is just an extension of that field.

The time to start is now while the point is fresh.

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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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