Opinion: Morning Examiner

Tea Partier wins write-in race for Pennsylvania state Senate seat

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Republican Party,Democratic Party,Tea Party,Pennsylvania

York is a modest little city in Southern Pennsylvania not too far from Baltimore and right in the heart of Dutch country. It's not the sort of place where political revolutions are found.

But Republican state Senate nominee Ron Miller may think differently this morning because he just lost a special election to a write-in Tea Party candidate, Scott Wagner.

"With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, write-in votes totaled 10,595, or 47.7 percent, to Miller's 5,920, or 26.6 percent. Democrat Linda Small of New Freedom nearly edged out Miller with 5,704 votes, for 25.7 percent," according to the York Dispatch.

Republicrats lose one

Pennsylvania is a place where it can sometimes be difficult to tell the Democrats from the Republicans, at least at the state level.

Wagner, who owns a trash compactor business, ran on a typical Tea Party small-government/fiscal conservativism ticket.

He attributed his win in great part to the relentlessly negative attacks on him by the local and state GOP party establishments.

Odd party out?

It's only a state Senate race and maybe it's just an outlier. But what if it's not? What if the VIP lesson here is what happens to the GOP when it doesn't run on an explicitly limited government/fiscal conservatism Tea Party type platform?

There's already a party of government, the Democrats. The York happening may herald the first small sign of the birth of a new party of freedom, the Tea Party.

The odd man out here is a GOP that merely offers a pale imitation of the real thing from Democrats. That sort of GOP is a party with no future.

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