As Pennsylvania’s State Republican Committee met Saturday to make endorsements, a handful of conservative activists stood in the hallway urging members not to back any candidates at all.
Later in the day, about 400 grassroots conservatives attended a rally put together by candidate Sam Rohrer, who was overwhelmingly defeated by Tom Corbett in the final endorsement vote.
Many of the attendees said an official backing from the party unfairly tips the scales for one candidate, and limits the voters’ ability to make their own decisions.
Pat Donato of Montour County says she called up several state committee members to make that argument.
"I asked them not to endorse. I have nothing against Corbett. I felt that we really had the right to decide. That was simply it. I didn’t say ‘don’t endorse Corbett.’ I said, ‘please don’t endorse. Have this as an open primary."
The State Committee held a roll-call vote on whether or not to make endorsements on Saturday morning. Members voted 297-51 to select a candidate in the gubernatorial race.
300 committee members said “yes” to endorsing a Senate candidate, and 213 voted to endorse in the lieutenant governor race.