Democrats claim Roe ineligible to run; GOP blasts effort as deceptive

Candidates’ Linked In profile cited as source for questioning residency

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times


Eric Roe

The House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) alleged Thursday that Eric Roe, a Republican endorsed write-in candidate for the 158th State House seat, is not eligible to run — saying he hasn’t met the residency requirements, while local GOP officials blasted Democrats for trying to “confuse” local voters.

According to the HDCC, Roe’s Linked In page calls into question whether or not he has lived in the 158th district or Pennsylvania long enough to be eligible to run for State Representative. Under the state Constitution, State Representatives must live in the state for four years and within the district for one year prior to the election. Democrats contend that Roe spent time living and working in Washington D.C. after his 2010 graduation from American University. They also cite Roe’s time living in London, while studying at University College.

Roe is waging a write-in campaign for State Representative for the GOP nomination, along with Perry Bentley. Democrat Susan Rzucidlo is also seeking the GOP nod, via a write-in campaign. County Republicans were forced to resort to a write-in campaign after Lenny Rivera withdrew from the race, after questions emerged about the validity of his nominating petitions. Less than two years ago, Cuyler Walker abruptly withdrew from the state house race, ultimately replaced by incumbent Chris Ross, who had planned on retiring. Ross went on to defeat Rzucidlo in the 2014 general election.

Local Democrats say that once again, Republicans are showing a lack of respect for the rule of law and the residents of the 158th District by endorsing and running an ineligible candidate.

“These documents show that Eric Roe does not meet the residency requirements to run for office in Pennsylvania,” Said Brian McGinnis, Chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee. “First, Cuyler Walker, then Lenny Rivera, and now Eric Roe — all are unfit for office. I wonder what else is next for the Republicans.”

Local Republicans blasted the claims as false and deceptive — little more than an election season trick to fool voters.

“This is a pathetic attempt by the Democrat Party to confuse voters just days before a Primary Election in hopes that their Democrat candidate wins the Republican Primary.” said Chester County Republican Committee Chair Val DiGiorgio in a statement issued Friday morning.

“Let’s set the record straight,” DiGiorgio continued. “Eric Roe has been a resident of Pennsylvania and the 158th State House District for 25 years.  He’s been registered to vote here since he was 18 years old. He has continually maintained his driver’s license and car registration here and he has filed his income taxes here. This is all public record and indisputable.” 

But it seems Democrats aren’t buying the argument, and may seek legal intervention in the courts.

“It appears that Eric Roe has only been a resident of Pennsylvania for two years

and three months preceding the 2016 Election and not the required four years,” said

Nathan Davidson, Executive Director of the PA HDCC. “We will continue to investigate

and are seriously considering challenging his candidacy in court if he were to win the

nomination. In 2014 it was Cuyler Walker, and in 2016 it was Lenny Rivera; voters of

the 158th District do not need a third bait-and-switch from the Chester County

Republican Committee under questionable circumstances. Eric, if your LinkedIn page

has misrepresented your residency let the voters know, otherwise please have the

decency to withdraw from the write-in campaign and prevent further legal action.”

But Republicans say it is the Democrats who are playing games and working to deceive and confuse voters.

“Susan Rzucidlo, the Democrat candidate, has spent the last two months trying to mislead Republicans, hoping they will vote for her in the Republican Primary,” DiGiorgio said. “Now, she is propagating blatant lies and should be ashamed of herself.  She is a three-time loser, and in her fourth attempt for this office, she knows her only hope for election is underhanded tricks and political games.

“On Tuesday, Republican voters can be confident that Eric Roe is the real, conservative Republican candidate endorsed by their neighbors, the local Republican Committee people.”

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  1. steve says:

    There is an underlying mentoring and “king making” in process here with Roe. Check out his Linkedin page…look at his work and experience. Worked in Michael Steele’s office at the RNC…was involved in planning that “Fire Pelosi” Bus Tour…special assistant to the Chertoff Group (a Homeland Security Consulting firm)….a coordinator (for 4 months) at CPAC. Then a consultant with “let Freedom Ring”..and here it gets interesting. This is the entity that Colin Hannah founded..yes, our Chester County Commish from years past. do a search and check out their mission statement. Oh, then he was a Fellow at the John Jay Institute (but only for 5 months??) and now an assistant to a current county commissioner. This person has studied, been mentored, interned with all the same narrow focused people for his whole life’s experience. The only thing he knows about anyone different is what he’s been told by others. Life experiences??? with people of various backgrounds, religions??? hmmm, I wonder. The John Jay Institute and their ilk, are basically “finishing schools” for conservative Christian youth…to teach these youth how to “lead”…get elected and push those family values. ( ) Now if you are a Conservative Christian scared of your country going down the tubes, then I guess Roe is your man. But our district has been represented for years, by a moderate Republican, who DID have business, and political experience. So just make sure you know what you are getting with Roe…he was hand picked for this shot.

  2. marice bezdek says:

    Name calling, insults, scandalous candidates: what are the Chester County Republicans coming to? The Democrats are looking better every day.

  3. Kevin says:

    I don’t like the GOP establishment telling me who to vote for. I’m voting for Rzucidlo. I will vote against everyone on the sample ballot that the Republican establishment gives me at the polls!

  4. Sally Tallmadge Braffman says:

    I love that the chair of the RCCC has resorted to name-calling! I’ve been talking with Republicans on behalf of Susan Rzucidlo and for the most part they are receptive and respectful. Only one has called her names and happily I didn’t have to talk with him!

  5. Garrett McDaniel says:

    Will someone contact the Secretary of State’s office and get clarity on what constitutes residency? Mr. Roe apparently lived in multiple locations outside the Commonwealth in recent years but states that he maintained a driver’s license and paid taxes here. Whether that’s legal or not is or may be a separate couple of questions but presumably there are criteria for claiming resident status. Once those criteria are known, there should be little room for discussion.

    • Mike McGann says:

      The residency clause in the state Constitution is not entirely black and white. Generally speaking, it has been up to the courts to decide whether or not someone meets those requirements, if their residency is challenged.

  6. Wayne Braffman says:

    I find it odd that Eric Roe did not simply issue a statement explaining why he put inaccurate information on his LinkedIn page.

    As for CCRC Chairman Val DiGiorgio’s explosive, inappropriate and undeserved attack on Susan Rzucidlo… methinks he doth protest too much.

    Where there’s smoke there’s fire?

  7. Kathleen Albright says:

    I live in Cumberland county. A Democrat wanted to run in the 199th, he was retired from the Air Force. He found out about the four year law, and gracefully bowed out. Chester County Republican Committee is disfunctional. Get new people in, the chair should step down.

  8. Joey says:

    It looks like Val has lost his grip on his party. Always blaming the dem…was Cuyler her fault? How about Lenny? It’s always someone else. I’m a Republican and I approve this message.

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