Gerlach rips PA Republican Party leaders

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach has a beef with Republican Party leaders in Pennsylvania.

Trailing in the polls in the 2010 governor's race, Gerlach today said GOP honchos have been too quick to embrace rival Tom Corbett in next year's primary.

Gerlach said during a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon speech that picking a candidate early hasn't served the party well in recent elections.

"The Republican establishment clears the field, stifles competition and then they lose to the Democrats in the general,"  said Gerlach. "Republicans deserve to have a choice in this election."

Attorney General Tom Corbett has been racking up endorsements from prominent Republicans - just today adding former U.S. Rep.William F. Clinger, Jr. to the list.

Gerlach did not clear up questions about whether he wants Corbett to step down because of an appearance of conflicts with his day job as the state's top law enforcement officer.

As an example, Gerlach cited a Corbett fundraising event in Philadelphia thrown by the chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission which is the subject of a Corbett probe.

Asked repeatedly if he was calling for Corbett's resignation, Gerlach said he was not. 

"I never did call for his resignation," said Gerlach, speaking to reporters after the lunch. "He should either resign or suspend his gubernatorial campagining until the invetigation is completed."

Gerlach also said if elected he would work to reduce taxes, end government waste and curb corruption in Harrisburg.

Berks County state Rep. Sam Rohrer announced last week that he also is seeking the Republican nomination.



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