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Westmoreland GOP executive board backs party leader Michael Korns

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, 3:33 p.m.
Michael Korns of Murrysville is chairman of the Westmoreland County Republican Committee.
Michael Korns of Murrysville is chairman of the Westmoreland County Republican Committee.

The head of the Westmoreland County Republican party received a vote of confidence less than a week after some members publicly called for him to resign .

The local GOP's executive board met Wednesday and overwhelmingly voted to support Committee Chairman Michael Korns' continued leadership.

Korns came under fire in recent weeks from a group of about 15 committee members who called for his ouster on the heels of a vote last month by party officials to nominate state Rep. Rick Saccone , R-Elizabeth, as the GOP candidate in March's special election to replace former U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy.

Korns, they claimed, did not unify county Republicans to support state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, for the nomination. They also chastised him for supporting an incumbent Democratic district judge for reelection last year and calling for endorsements of party candidates in countywide elections.

Sheriff Jonathan Held, a member of the executive board, initially signed the petition last week that called for Korns to resign. On Wednesday, Held reversed course and voted to support the party's embattled chairman.

“I felt we should all come together,” Held said.

The confidence vote came during a regularly scheduled meeting the GOP's executive committee.

“I am humbled by the great show of support from my fellow Republicans,” Korns said in a statement.

“We had a terrific discussion at our meeting, and now we move forward as a united group to elect State Rep. Rick Saccone as the next congressman for the 18th District and to make 2018 another great year for our committee.”

Korns, a lawyer in Greensburg, has said he will run next year to replace state Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Murrysville, who is not seeking reelection. His term as party chairman expires after next May's primary, and he said he will not seek a third two-year term to head the local GOP.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or

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