Pennsylvania GOP Rejects Trump Campaign's Candidate For Chair

Jul 12, 2019

Pennsylvania's Republican Party is rejecting the candidate for chair who had backing from the Trump campaign and its closest advisers in the presidential battleground state, and is opting for a rival.

The deal came together Friday, a day before committee members meet amid accusations about sexual harassment of women by Pennsylvania GOP officials.

The party says Bernadette Comfort instead will serve as the Trump campaign's chairwoman in Pennsylvania ahead of the 2020 election, while the state GOP's former general counsel, Lawrence Tabas, will be the consensus candidate for chairman at Saturday's meeting.

Tabas narrowly lost a previous race for chairman and had strong support from committee members who are Trump backers.

Comfort had been besieged by accusations, including some first reported by WESA, that she knew about and ignored complaints of sexual harassment by state party officials, accusations she's denied.

One woman who has accused DiGiorgio of sending her unwelcome and inappropriate messages, welcomed the news that Comfort would not chair the party.

Anissa Coury, a Republican activist from Allegheny County, said in a statement that the "change in leadership represents a new day for the party and a great opportunity to move away from doing buisness as usual." She said she would be reaching out to party leaders including Tabas and Comfort "to strenghten how the party responds to reports of inappropriate behavior so that this doesn't happen in the future."

Chris Potter contributed to this report.