Welch loss doesn’t diminish GOP or his standing, Corbett says

    Gov. Tom Corbett is brushing off the failure of the man he endorsed for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s primary. Corbett says entrepreneur Steve Welch’s third-place finish in Pennsylvania doesn’t reflect badly on the governor’s office or the GOP.

    Before the primary, the governor pushed the state Republican Party to endorse Welch.

    But Corbett says he doesn’t think the loss indicates he himself is politically weak — it just indicates a crowded race and a divided electorate.

    “I didn’t do anything to get anybody out of the race. Let it open to the people of Pennsylvania, to the Republican Party to make a decision, but this was my endorsement,” Corbett said Friday. “I said I thought Steve Welch was the best candidate to win in November.”

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    Corbett also said low voter turnout had much more of an effect on the election outcome than his own endorsement could.

    Former coal industry magnate Tom Smith, who funneled millions of his own money into his campaign, won the GOP nomination.

    He’ll go up against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in November.

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