Saturday, February 8, 2014
At least from my perspective—as just an ordinary state committee delegate—on Friday there seemed to be very little tension. The general feeling seemed to be that the first tier candidates were all strong and could all beat Corbett.
That mood changed on Saturday. Some delegates—mostly supporters of candidates unlikely to be the top vote-getter at state committee-- argued for an open primary on the grounds that with seven candidates in the race it was highly unlikely that any one could get the 2/3 margin necessary for endorsement. This struck me as a good idea—admittedly one of my motivations was to go home early.
However, supporters of Rob McCord pushed for a vote count. They clearly knew what they were doing and to my surprise McCord made a very strong showing. The first vote was:
314 votes with 209 needed for endorsement
McCord: 146 votes, 46.5 % of total
Schwartz: 75 votes, 23.9 % of total
Wolf: 52 votes, 16.5 % of total
Hanger: 22 votes, 7 % of total
McGinty: 19 votes, 6 % of total
Litz: 0 votes, 0 % of total
According to party rules, the candidate with the least votes drops out and the vote is taken again. The second time around the results were:
321 votes (Several delegates who had abstained in the first round voted in the second round.)
McCord: 157 votes, 49 % of total
Schwartz: 77 votes, 24 % of total
Wolf: 59 votes, 18 % of total
Hanger: 16 votes, 5 % of total
McGinty: 15 votes, 4.7 % of total
As someone who voted for Schwartz, I was both disappointed and surprised by the results.
And the same process with no candidate receiving the necessary 2/3 margin for endorsement repeated itself in the Lt. Governor’s race. More on that later.
It was a very long day and I was impressed by the fact that almost all of the delegates hung in there for the duration-- a clearly hard-working, committed group.