A showdown for Philadelphia Republicans - or maybe not

The city’s Republican party is now operating on two separate tracks, one reporting to longtime chairman Vito Canuso Jr., whose disputed 2010 re-election was voided by Republican State Committee, and the other lined up behind financial consultant Rick Hellberg, who was picked last month by a group of 20 dissident ward leaders to take Canuso’s place.

The GOP State Committee meets weekend after next in Hershey, where the Philadelphia leadership dispute could come to a head. The party chairman in Philadelphia, whoever he is, gets an automatic seat.

But Canuso said he isn’t going and doesn’t care what happens. “The next important vote at State Committee will be six years from now, when they endorse a new candidate for governor,” Canuso said. “Let [Hellberg] go up there. It saves me money.”

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