Endorsement: Ellsworth for GOP Gov. nomination

Laura Ellsworth

This year’s Republican primary for Governor has been an unprecedented mess, one that is bad for the commonwealth and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

Candidates Paul Mango and Scott Wagner have waged a scorched-Earth battle — essentially handing Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf more than enough material to rout either — in a deeply personal and juvenile campaign for governor.

Both have plastered the airwaves with cheap shots, half-truths and worse about each other.

While attempting to reveal the worst about each other, what both have done is demonstrate that neither has judgment or temperament to serve as governor.

Meanwhile, all too often ignored by the media, which is focused on the food fight, a third candidate has offered substance over style, maturity over daycare-level vitriol and a solid grasp of policy.

That candidate is Laura Ellsworth, a Pittsburgh-area attorney.

With Wagner or Mango at the top of the ticket, Republicans will go down to a significant defeat in the gubernatorial race and suffer long-term damage among moderate, educated voters, such as those found here in Chester County.

But if voters were to choose Ellsworth — and defy the party leadership which has gone all in with Wagner — Pennsylvania could look forward to an intelligent policy debate between Wolf and Ellsworth. Yes, as with all campaigns, it will get rough at times, but there would be substance, discussion and real debate about the future of Pennsylvania — badly needed for a state that is among the worst managed in the U.S.

A vote for Mango or Wagner could consign the Republican Party to oblivion, whereas supporting Ellsworth would allow the party to put forward a candidate in the tradition of Tom Ridge and Richard Thornburgh — both of whom get high marks as among the best ever to serve as our commonwealth’s governor.

If you dislike divisive, nasty pointless politics, you have only one sensible choice on the May 15 ballot: The Times endorses Laura Ellsworth for the Republican nomination for governor.

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