The race to replace Murtha in PA-12 is confusing and convoluted one, but in a nutshell, delegates from the GOP have chosen Tim Burns (R) to run against Mark Critz (D) in the May 18 special election which is to fill the remainder of Murtha’s 2 year term. On the same day, the Republican and Democrat primary’s will be held wherein party voters will choose the two candidates to run in the November election for a full, 2 tear term. Tim Burns will face off with William Russell in the Republican primary.
PA-12 Republicans, as well as a wide national audience, are very interested in this race, seeing it as an opportunity to replace a Pork-guzzling Spendocrat (Murtha) with a Fiscally Conservative Republican. In order to stop Obama’s spending spree, the GOP needs a unified Republican party behind Tim Burns in the May special election, as well as a unified Republican party behind the party’s primary winner.
Neither candidate wants to admit to the possibility of defeat, but when pressed Thursday night, Mr. Burns emphatically stated, “I would support Bill Russell if he were the Republican nominee in November”. Mr. Russell’s answer was very different.
Going back a week, when questioned during the March 11 Republican Conferee meeting, Russell avoided supporting Burns in the special, saying only. “I will not speak ill of a fellow Republican”. After the meeting, in response to a direct question from a reporter as to whether or not he would support Burns in the special election, Russell’s reply was, “I’m only focused on winning the primary election”; far from an endorsement.
Fast forward to Thursday night where Russell’s canned answer both evolved and devolved from the previous week. When the gracious members of the Indiana/Armstrong Patriots (a two county Tea Party organization in Western Pennsylvania) held a Town Hall Meeting with Tim Burns and William Russell as their guests (the Democrat candidate Mark Critz was also invited, but refused to attend), Russell was asked by members three times if he would support Burns in the special election or possibly in November. Russell coldly repeated his mantra for the evening, “I wish Tim luck with Critz”.
Luck? Tim Burns repeated that he would support you as the Republican nominee and you wished him ‘Luck”?
Is that bald-faced arrogance, or does Russell have other plans? Will Russell support Critz if he is defeated in the primary by Burns? Will Russell run as an independent, splitting the conservative vote and assuring Mark Critz victory in November?
Tell the voters in PA-12 that you SUPPORT and will VOTE for Tim Burns in the May 18th Special Election. Tell the voters of PA-12 that if they choose him as the Republican nominee in the November election, you will VOTE for, CAMPAIGN for and fully SUPPORT Tim Burns for Congress in 2010.
Times are too important for arrogance and phony word games.