Philadelphia Inquirer declines to endorse in Pennsylvania GOP primaries

Associated Press/Matt Rourke
Mehmet Oz takes part in a forum for Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill, Pa., Saturday, April 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board wrote on Friday that it would not endorse candidates in Pennsylvania’s Republican primaries for governor or Senate, saying it came to a crossroads with candidates over the 2020 election and abortion rights.

The board wrote that in the past, “Even when a candidate’s views didn’t exactly align with positions taken by this board, we’ve found points of agreement, sustained moments of mutual respect, and an appreciation of the kind of apolitical qualifications that are objectively deserving of praise.”

“Most fundamentally: We were all operating in the same reality,” it said.

But the editorial board wrote that most Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidates this year refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election when they were given a survey of questions regarding their stances on different issues.

“In their view, among the most problematic queries that we asked was: Who won the 2020 presidential election? The only two options in the multiple-choice format were Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Only one candidate — Jeff Bartos — agreed to acknowledge reality,” the editorial board wrote.

The editorial board noted that three Republican gubernatorial candidates were able to affirm that truth, which they claimed that “in the current iteration of the Republican Party, that takes courage.”

But the newspaper said that the Republican gubernatorial candidates’ stances that they would curb abortion access in the state should they become governor made it difficult for the editorial board to endorse a candidate.

The editorial board noted it had supported the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision since it was handed down by the Supreme Court.

“​​Given the Supreme Court’s apparent plans, the members of the board asked each other if we could bring ourselves to support a candidate who, if given the opportunity, was all but certain to use their pen as governor to ban abortion once the protections of Roe are no longer in place. We could not,” the editorial board said, referring to the leaked draft opinion from Supreme Court that would get rid of federal level abortion protections.

“There is no pleasure in coming to this conclusion. In fact, it is a sad state of affairs.”

Still, the newspaper said that the Republican nominees in the governor’s and Senate races would be invited to meet with them over endorsement meetings later this year before the midterms.

The Republican primary in the state is set for next Tuesday. 

Tags governor Jeff Bartos

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