Republicans favor Barletta for Senate in early straw polls
U.S. Senate candidate Lou Barletta received 127 of 144 votes in a weekend round of GOP straw poll voting, with the remainder going to Jim Christiana, a state representative from Brighton.
GOP committees conducted the polls in the Central, Northeast and east-central regions of the state. Polls in the Southwest, Northwest and Southeast will be held Jan. 20 and Feb. 3. Barletta, of Hazleton, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Today's votes are a clear indication that our campaign is gaining the momentum we need to defeat Sen. (Bob) Casey and send a strong message that Pennsylvania will be the top race in the country,” Barletta said in a statement. “While I am grateful for today's results, this is just the start. I look forward to earning the support of the remaining caucuses and continuing to unite the entire Pennsylvania Republican Party behind my campaign.”
The Pennsylvania Republican State Committee holds an endorsement vote Feb. 10, according to Barletta's campaign.
Christiana's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Paul Addis, a retired Delaware County energy executive who is running, said the polls reflect the preference of party insiders, not necessarily voters.
“The party establishment in Pennsylvania would like Mr. Barletta to be the nominee, so it doesn't surprise me that people who traditionally respond to the party and work on behalf of the party, and that's where their main experience is, would support Mr. Barletta,” he said.
Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.