With only two and a half weeks until the Montgomery County Republican Committee elects a new chairman, party leaders are moving swiftly to align support behind a single candidate: State Rep. Mike Vereb.
Vereb confirmed Thursday that he would seek the nomination, shortly after Chairman Robert J. Kerns announced his resignation. Sources say Kerns is being investigated by the D.A. for allegedly sexual assaulting an employee of his Lansdale law firm.
Now Commissioner Bruce Castor -- the biggest wedge in the fractious party -- has announced that Vereb will have his "full support."
In a statement this afternoon, Castor said Vereb "has the relationships to heal old wounds and get our party moving again. ... He will have my full support."
Castor said that his endorsement "has cleared the field."
Two potential candidates for chairman confirmed Friday that they would not run.
State Rep. Kate Harper said she had considered running, but would back Vereb as the party coalesces around him. "I think Mike is a very able guy, and I’d certainly be very happy if he’s the pick," Harper said.
"The entire House and half of the Senate is up for election next time ... not to mention the governor," Harper said. "We’re acutely aware of the need to ... move the party forward beyond what is a very distressing time."
And Robert Adshead, chairman of the Abington-Rockledge Republicans, said he initially "threw my name into the ring when I thought it would help the party stabilize itself and come together. That was before I knew Mike Vereb was interested in doing it. For the good of our party overall, I would support Mike."