Is the Montgomery County GOP opposing its own endorsed candidate for county commissioner?
The Montco commissioners are a three-person board with the minority party being guaranteed one seat. On the ballot are Democrat incumbents Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh, and Republicans Steve Tolbert, Jr. and Joe Gale. The GOP incumbent, Bruce Castor, has stepped down to run for District Attorney.
Gale beat party-endorsed Scott Zelov in the May primary to the expressed displeasure of the party bosses. Apparently, the party bosses are holding a grudge.
Gale has sent out a press release saying the Republican establishment is actively opposing his race. If true, shame on them and it explains why the party brand is really starting to be an anchor among the voters upon whom they depend.
Here is Gale’s statement.
The Montgomery County Republican Committee (MCRC) has been working against Joe Gale, their own party’s nominee for Montgomery County Commissioner, since he won the May Republican Primary without the GOP establishment’s endorsement.
The Republican Committee has not contributed financial support to Gale’s campaign. However, the other Republican Commissioner candidate, Steve Tolbert, received an in-kind contribution of over $2 thousand from the Montgomery County Republican Committee.
In June, MCRC’s political director, Catie Scott, contacted one of Joe Gale’s campaign vendors under false identity to covertly and secretly extract information about Gale’s campaign.
In a meeting with Republican candidates and area leaders on September 30th at the County Republican’s Headquarters, Joe Gale’s campaign chairman, Sean Gale, raised the issue of campaign supporters and potential donors being contacted with instructions not to support Gale’s candidacy. MCRC Chairman, Mike Vereb, admitted to contacting supporters yet still wanted Gale’s campaign to contribute $7,500 in exchange for Gale’s name to appear on the Republican Party’s green colored sample ballots (“Green Ballots”).
At the Montgomery County Republican Committee’s Fall Dinner held on October 1st, in the presence of party leaders at the VIP reception, Gale was verbally assaulted by the Whitemarsh Republican Committee Secretary, who shouted: “I’d like to slice your throat open and rip your esophagus out.” A subsequent email sent by the same insider to committeepeople and a party municipal leader references and confirms the confrontation: “THEN it got personal and I ripped into him. I must admit, it REALLY felt good.”(sic) The same email, ends with instructions to solicit “every voter you know to ‘cut’ Joe Gale on Election Day and ‘bullet vote’…Steve Tolbert.
Traditionally, the “green ballot” issued by the Montgomery County Republican Committee lists all the party’s candidates, is mailed to voters prior to the November election, and is handed out by committeepeople at the polls. However, green colored Republican sample ballots were recently mailed out to Republican voters listing every GOP candidate except for Gale in an obvious effort to stop Joe Gale from winning a position on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Although Tolbert has his own campaign account, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania pays for and distributes his campaign mailers. Gale has received no support, financial or otherwise from the State GOP.
For follow up questions, contact Joe Gale: email@example.com