A Republican primary challenger to incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett has sent complaints to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and the U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania, asking for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a special election being held Tuesday in York County.
Robert Guzzardi of Montgomery County said he sent the complaints in the hope someone will investigate what he called "illegal manipulation of elections" by officials including former Sen. Mike Waugh, R-Shrewsbury, the York County Republican Committee, and Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, who is a candidate in the special election.
The timing and consequences of the special election, called to fill Waugh's seat because he resigned before the end of his term, have been the topic of controversy starting almost immediately since Waugh announced his resignation.
Scott Wagner, a Spring Garden Township Republican who is challenging Miller as a write-in candidate in the special election, is joined by York County Democrats and Yorkers who say taxpayers are being saddled with the cost and inconvenience of holding the special election just because it's advantageous for Republican Party political purposes.
They have said the county and state Republican establishments wanted to install their favored candidate, Miller, into the seat during a special election so he could fill out Waugh's term through the end of the year.
Finishing Waugh's term would give Miller the benefit of incumbency in the May 20 primary and Nov. 4 general elections, when the full four-year term for the Senate seat is up for election, they allege.
The background: Last year, Waugh said he was suffering from a medical condition but would serve out his term. Then on Jan. 13 he announced he was taking a job with the state's Farm Show Complex and would resign. About three hours later, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley said a special election would be held March 18 to fill the seat.
Guzzardi's complaint alleges taxpayer resources were used for a "quid pro quo to manipulate the outcome of the Republican primary election ..."
Cawley, Miller, and the York County Republican Committee have repeatedly said Republican officials were not part of any conspiracy, but were just trying to fill the Senate seat as soon as possible so taxpayers in the 28th Senate have the representation to which they're entitled.
Kane spokesman Joe Peters said the Attorney General's office never confirms or denies whether an investigation is being conducted.
To do otherwise could jeopardize the sanctity of the complaints submitted and "smear" a party to an investigation if the investigation or inquiry is unfounded, he said.
Amanda Endy, secretary to the U.S. Attorney, said the office had not received Guzzardi's complaint as of Thursday afternoon.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.