Dems will not endorse Tonkin

| 28 Jul 2015 | 12:11

By Nathan Mayberg
The Pike County Democratic Committee will not endorse District Attorney Ray Tonkin in his re-election bid despite his capture of the Democratic line through write-in votes in the May primary.

Tonkin, a registered Republican, announced last week that he will seek re-election this November on the Democratic line, but he will not switch his party registration.

Tonkin lost a Republican primary to local attorney Kelly Gaughan in May by a vote of 2,168 to 1,978, but won a write-in contest under the Democratic line by a vote of 465 to 352.

Therefore, Tonkin will still appear on the Democratic line this November despite the lack of backing from the county's Democratic leadership.

On Monday, Pike County Democratic Committee Chairman Bruce Taylor said the committee voted to endorse a slate of candidates in a number of town and county races, including David Ruby and Steven Guccini for county commissioner.

Taylor said the committee voted on Saturday to only endorse registered Democrats for the November races.

Therefore, he said, the committee won't endorse Tonkin since he has not switched parties.

"We're not endorsing anybody who is not a member of the Democratic Party," Taylor said.

Taylor said the leadership of the committee wasn't involved in the write-in campaign and that the write-in votes were a "by-product of the friction between the two (candidates) in the Republican race and it spilled out to the general public."

Tonkin has not asked for the committee's support, Taylor said.

Gaughan attended a recent Democratic Party picnic and was received "cordially," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, a trial looms for Eric Frein, who has been charged by Tonkin with the death penalty for allegedly shooting two state troopers, killing one, in an ambush outside the Blooming Grove State Police barracks on Sept. 12, 2014. The trial could be months away.