Gordon flashes back
Don’t count Gordon Denlinger out just yet.
Last week he failed to earn the county GOP’s endorsement for his bid to take the State Senate seat Mike Brubaker will vacate in 2015.
But, despite criticism already leveled by the party when he hinted he might run as an independent Republican, Denlinger will enter the May primary and go straight at Ryan Aument.
Aument received the Republican Committee of Lancaster County’s endorsement for Brubaker’s 36th Senatorial District seat by earning the two-thirds majority vote from committee members in the third ballot at the convention to defeat Denlinger 117-56.
“I do not make this decision lightly or in denial of the firestorm that will follow,” the Narvon Republican stated Tuesday when he announced his run in the GOP primary.
Denlinger, who gave up his seat in the 99th Legislative House District to run for the Senate, on Tuesday embraced a Facebook page set up by his supporters which conveys the single message:
“We deserve a choice!”
Clearly, Denlinger supporters are responding to an edict advanced by an agitated Ann Womble, Lancaster County Republican chair.
“Candidates who participate in this intensive process and do not receive endorsement traditionally remove themselves from consideration for that campaign season,” Womble wrote in a release Feb. 20.
Denlinger noted Tuesday that his “decision to press forward will bring a strong, even harsh, reaction from some in my party and from some in the political establishment.”
Womble minced no words in calling out Denlinger.
“Every candidate who fights to earn our endorsement is disappointed to lose … these same candidates have ultimately found the fortitude to put the continued success of our party and its endorsed candidates first. I encourage Mr. Denlinger to join this group shortly,” Womble stated.
It was not a real surprise that Aument, who currently represents the 41st Legislative House District, won the endorsement. He took the most votes when members of the county GOP held informal straw polls leading up to the convention.
But Denlinger believes that the committee people and the GOP leaders may have miscalculated.
“While I respect and admire the volunteer service of so many committee people, it’s time to bring the full debate to a wider audience,” he said. “I am convinced the majority of Republicans believe that primary elections are the best place to settle these contests.”
The 36th State Senate district includes:
Boroughs: Adamstown, Akron, Columbia, Denver, Elizabethtown, Ephrata, Lititz, Manheim, Mount Joy, Mountville, New Holland, Terre Hill.
Townships: Brecknock Twp, Caernaron Twp, Clay Twp, Conoy Twp, Earl Twp, East Cocalico Twp, East Donegal Twp, East Earl Twp, East Hempfield Twp, Elizabeth Twp, Ephrata Twp, Mount Joy Twp, Penn Twp, Ralpho Twp, Warwick Twp, Warwick Twp, West Cocalico Twp, West Donegal Twp, West Earl Twp, West Hempfield Twp.