This time Republicans are brawling, too

    Though only a relative handful of voters will participate, an election is happening in Pennsylvania and Delaware tomorrow, and a couple of statewide battles in the Keystone State have gotten nasty.


    One of them involves the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where five GOP hopefuls are competing for the chance to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in the fall.

    It’s traditional for Democrats to engage in hair-pulling family fights in primaries, while Republicans settle things quietly at the club and unite for the general election.

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    But two of the GOP Senate candidates, Tom Smith of Armstrong County and Chester County businessman Steve Welch, have been beating the stuffing out of each other, mostly over whose past consorting with Democrats is most disgraceful.

    The video above is Welch’s latest broadside against Smith, which makes clever use of a hilarious scene from the Adam Sandler movie, Billy Madison  (read PoliticsPa managing editor Keegan Gibson’s take on the video here.)

    You can see Smith’s campaign whacking Welch in the video below. And it’s worth reading Gibson’s take on that piece here.

    Smith has put millions of his own money into the race, and most polls have showed him leading. Welch is also wealthy, and has put some, but less his own fortune into the campaign. Welch also has Gov. Corbett’s backing and the endorsement of the state Reublican party, which ought to count for something.

    Some think those two might bruise each other enough to clear an opening for Sam Rohrer, the former 18-year state legislator and one-time gubernatorial candidate who’s also in the race. He has far less money, but has some name recognition and an organized following that can’t be counted out in a low turnout election.

    I’ve interviewed these candidates on our evening news magazine, NewsWorks Tonight. You can hear my interview with Rohrer here, Tom Smith here, and Steve Welch here.

    There are two other candidates in the mix. Hear audio of Harrisburg lawyer Marc Scaringi here and Bucks County businessman David Christian here.

    And I guess it’s comforting to know that the Democrats haven’t forgotten how to fight. Two candidates for State Attorney General, former Bucks County U.S Rep. Patrick Murphy and former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane are battling it out with negative TV spots.

    Here’s Kane attacking Murphy. Here’s Murphy attacking Kane.

    For a couple of good takes on the records of the candidates and their charges and counter-charges, race, read the Inquirer’s Amy Worden’s piece, and this one from Jan Murphy of the Harrisburg Patriot.

    You can hear the candidates own words in interviews by our capitol correspondent, Mary Wilson. She interviews Murhphy here, and Kane here.

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