Cross-Filing Makes Mockery of Two Party System

Not that it needs the help.  Just saying.

You may remember my posts earlier in the month concerning the primary election for judge of the court of common pleas in Blair County.  As I previously pointed out, by winning the Republican primary, Wade Kagarise all but guaranteed his election as judge come the general election due to a little thing I like to call “math.”  (Roughly 47k registered Republicans in my county vs. around 29k Democrats.)

Well, any mystery still remaining over who the next judge to win election would be ended on Thursday when the Democratic primary winner, Attorney Dave Andrews, withdrew from the race:

Altoona attorney Dave Andrews is pulling out of the race for Blair County judge.

Andrews, a Republican who won the Democratic nomination in last week’s primary, said Thursday that by withdrawing now, the Democratic Party will have time to find a replacement and he will have more time to devote to his law practice.

Do you perhaps notice something a bit strange in that block quote?  Here, I’ll point it out:

Altoona attorney Dave Andrews is pulling out of the race for Blair County judge.

Andrews, a Republican who won the Democratic nomination in last week’s primary, said Thursday that by withdrawing now, the Democratic Party will have time to find a replacement and he will have more time to devote to his law practice.

Wait.  What?  Is that a typo?  How did a Republican win the Democratic nomination?  How does that even make sense?

Easy.  Pennsylvania allows candidates to cross-file as both Republicans and Democrats.  So in the primary election for Judge, each party had the same three candidates to choose from, with Wade Kagarise winning the Republican nomination rather easily, and Dave Andrews, a Republican, edging out a narrow win for the Democratic nomination, since there were no Democratic candidates running.

And now he drops out of the race, with the hilarious comment that it will allow the Democratic Party time to find a replacement.  Which isn’t going to happen, since….

Andrews’ decision means that Republican Wade Kagarise of Hollidaysburg likely will be the lone candidate on the November ballot for the county judicial seat, unless the Democratic Party offers a replacement nominee. That’s unlikely, Blair County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Rosenhoover said Thursday, because of the county’s lopsided Republican voter registration.

For the primary, Blair County had 75,128 registered voters, with 46,466 Republicans and 28,662 Democrats. Of those who voted in the primary, 12,074 were Republican and 4,797 were Democrats.

“In my guarded opinion, there’s no way a Democrat is going to beat Wade Kagarise in the fall,” Rosenhoover said.

Rosenhoover isn’t exactly going out on a limb there…..

A partial review of Mirror archives found two races in the last 44 years in which a Democrat beat a Republican for a county post. In 1969, George P. Replogle of Roaring Spring won the job of sheriff by 13 votes over Republican contender Don Snyder of East Freedom. In 1979, attorney Oliver “Skip” Mattas, a Democrat, won the district attorney’s race by securing 41 more votes than Republican candidate William Haberstroh, who ran again later and held the post for several years.

But that is beside the point.  Why were any of the three candidates even running on the Democratic ticket?  All three were Republicans, why not just be honest and run as Republicans?

 

 

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