Bad Republican is So Bad His Primary Opponent Does the Unthinkable

Bad Republican is So Bad His Primary Opponent Does the Unthinkable
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Remember Bill Shuster? The ethically-challenged congressman who’s been using his position running transportation policy in the House to advance the #1 lobbying objective of an organization whose chief lobbyist just so happens to be his girlfriend? The same Shuster who got blasted for all of this by his local paper throughout a primary where he only beat his Tea Party challenger by a whole thousand votes? The guy who was an early and enthusiastic Trump endorser? The guy whose proposed aviation policy overhaul is a total giveaway to unions?

Yeah… turns out he’s still around, and he’s still doing battle against his Tea Party, former primary opponent who is so determined to get him out of office that he’s running as… a Democrat. And that a bunch of local Republican committee members in Pennsylvania (Shuster’s home turf) are resigning from their positions so that they can support… the Democrat, Shuster’s former Tea Party challenger,  who seems absolutely determined to do whatever it takes to put a stop to this guy dishing out policy favors to the employer of the person he’s diddling. From The Hill:

A number of local GOP committee members in Pennsylvania have resigned from their posts so they can throw their support behind a tea party-backed challenger to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) this fall, underscoring the party divide brewing in the 9th District.

Four members of the Franklin County Republican Committee (FCRC) announced Tuesday that they’d officially left their spots in order to openly endorse Republican Art Halvorson, who is running as a Democrat to unseat the House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman in the general election.

Darren Brown, vice chairman and mayor of Chambersburg, Pa.; Greg Scandlen, Halvorson’s communications director; and two other members — all of whom supported Halvorson in the primary — said they had to resign because committee bylaws require members to back all Republican candidates on the ballot in the general election.

But because Halvorson is now running on the Democratic ticket, supporting him would represent a conflict of interest.

Some Republican committee members in Indiana County and Blair County had also resigned so they could endorse Halvorson.

Halvorson, a real estate investor and retired Coast Guard captain, is still a registered Republican and vowed to serve as a GOP member of Congress if elected.


Halvorson has seized on reports of Shuster’s relationship with a top airline lobbyist and painted the veteran lawmaker as a Washington insider, a common theme in many races this election cycle.

In general, this cycle, there’s been a trend of cronyist, establishmentarian types winning primaries and over-performing politically. Shuster definitely fits that model (His dad held his seat before him, just like the founding fathers envisioned). But this might be the one race where that trend does not hold. 

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