County commissioner candidate Jack Manning is crediting State Representative Jim Marshall (R-14) for his move to the Republican party.
Manning was a longtime registered independent whose lack of party affiliation is widely crediting for his defeat when he last ran for commissioner in 2011. Manning touted his independence during that campaign, and has since been a staunch supporter of the No Labels nonprofit organization which seeks to promote bipartisanship and centrist ideals in government.
Manning joined the Republican party ahead of the announcement that he would again be seeking a seat on the county board of commissioners.
During a speech to supporters at a campaign kickoff event in Beaver Falls on Thursday evening, Manning thanked Marshall for helping him to believe he could find a home in the Republican party. Marshall is considered a party moderate, particularly on labor issues.
“This gentleman was my political hero ten years ago and has now become a good friend. Jim Marshall was very instrumental for convincing me that there is room in the Republican party for someone like me,” Manning said.
“It really wasn’t an option or choice for me after I ran as an independent. I knew I had to pick a party. I’ve been embraced and Jim was the one who convinced me that independent thinkers, and folks like me, that there’s room in the Republican party for me. I’m thrilled to be part of the party. Obviously, with my (chamber of commerce) work, my belief in the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurism, personal accountability, and all of those other values — that’s my libertarian bent in me coming out — I’m thrilled to be running as a Republican.”
County primary elections will take place on May 21, 2019.
BeaverCountian.com’s John Paul contributed to this report.