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Franklin County GOP committee gives Rock $20,000

September 01, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Franklin County Republican Committee has contributed $20,000 to Pennsylvania House of Representatives candidate Todd Rock, who faces incumbent Patrick E. Fleagle in November's general election.

Rock edged Fleagle, also a member of the GOP, in the primary election and is running as the Republican nominee for the 90th District seat representing southern Franklin County. Fleagle received enough write-in votes in the May 16 primary to edge Rock for the Democratic nomination.

As a committee member, Rock was able to vote for the contribution to his own campaign Aug. 24. The vote won at least a two-thirds majority, Committee Chairman James B. Taylor said.

Taylor said there are 77 committee members, but not everyone attended the meeting last week.

"I wasn't expecting that (financial amount, but) I knew I had the support of the party," Rock said.

Fleagle said the bothersome part about the contribution is that "in essence, I've contributed to my opponent," Fleagle said.

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"I have done nothing but contribute to the local Republican party, not only financially but to local candidates as well," Fleagle said. Now part of that money has been given to Rock, he said.

The committee contributed $20,000 to Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin-Cumberland, in 2004 and $18,000 to Chris Sheffield in his unsuccessful race against former state representative Jeff Coy in 2002, Taylor said. Contributions are made from the general fund, he said.

"On primary day, the Republican voters elected Todd Rock to carry the banner," Taylor said, explaining why the committee financially supported Rock instead of Fleagle. The committee can contribute further funds to a candidate, but Taylor said he doesn't expect it to do so.

Both candidates said they spent about $15,000 on the primary election. The campaigns going into November could cost as much as $70,000, they estimated.

"This campaign is going to get expensive," Fleagle said.

Rock said raising money has been easier since winning the primary, but he expects to save funds by focusing on door-to-door campaigning.

"People just send me money here and there," Rock said. "To have the support of the party is great."

Fleagle called a $20,000 contribution a "massive infusion into your campaign" and said he is planning his own fundraisers.

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