By: Sean Guay
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The field of Republican candidates for lieutenant governor has expanded with Brandon Flood adding his name to the list of at least three other campaigns which are expected to announce their financial reports in January.
Two former state reps from western Pennsylvania, Jeff Coleman, and Rick Saccone, have announced their respective campaigns. Clarice Schillinger, a political newcomer from the suburbs of Philadelphia is expected to announce. Schillinger has found great success this year managing campaigns for school board candidates.
New Castle Mayor Chris Frye also announced his bid for lieutenant governor.
Jeff Coleman told Harrisburg100 his campaign is very straightforward. Coleman is a former two-term member of the PA House representing Armstrong and Indiana Counties with a conservative voting record. He founded Churchill Strategies in 2005—focused on running civic, issue-based campaigns. Now, after a 17-year absence Coleman is “returning to politics with a campaigned focused on civil discourse.”
Dr. Rick Saccone, a retired Air Force counterintelligence officer, entered the race for lieutenant governor in September 2021. Dr. Saccone previously served four terms as a lawmaker in the state House of Representatives from Allegheny County until 2018. He also taught Political Science and International Affairs for 21 years at St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania.
When asked about his priorities for Pennsylvania if elected as lieutenant governor, Dr. Saccone told Harrisburg100, “I will use that statewide platform to pursue issues important to Pennsylvanians right now. I will use my efforts to ensure we never experience unnecessary mandates related to vaccines and will strongly advocate to ensure the poison of CRT is never taught in our public schools. I will advocate for the unborn and our precious Second Amendment. I will work hard to finish the job of school property tax reform which we partially addressed in 2017 with a Constitutional Amendment passed by the voters. I promise that the only flag that will hang from my balcony in Harrisburg is the AMERICAN flag.”
Dr. Saccone spent much of his career as a Senior Counterintelligence Agent identifying, capturing and interrogating insurgents.
Clarice Schillinger, founder of the Keeping Kids in School PAC, is expected to officially announce her campaign for lieutenant governor in January 2022.
Schillinger started the PAC when she noticed Covid was being used as a political weapon to keep schools locked down. After successfully campaigning for school board primary elections, in which candidates she backed won 94 out of their 96 races, Schillinger secured up to $500,000 in donations from a Pittsburgh donor in July to continue her work, now under the name Back to School PA PAC. The organization provided $10k checks to 50 local PACs that supported 300 School Board Candidates.
Schillinger spoke with Glen Beck live on TheBlaze TV about her campaign to battle the coordinated effort of the teachers union to keep schools closed.
Former Democrat Brandon Flood, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons from 2019 – 2021, has now changed his political affiliation to campaign for lieutenant governor as a Republican in 2022. If elected, Flood said he will be positioned to follow through with his greater vision for the PA Board of Pardons.
The biography of Brandon Flood, a Harrisburg native, includes a long list of achievements that he accomplished in less than 10 years. While holding a variety of other positions on state and local boards, Flood simultaneously served as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus from 2013 – 2017, and Chairman of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference from 2015 – 2019.
Flood grew to prominence, making a name for himself around the state and nationally after being appointed by John Fetterman in 2019. Likewise, the credibility of Fetterman as a diverse politician who was working with disenfranchised minorities grew significantly when partnered with Flood. However, as agenda’s shifted, their relationship likely was strained by Fetterman prioritizing his campaign for U.S. Senate over his duties to the PA Board of Pardons.
Last week Flood suddenly announced his resignation from Dauphin County Prison’s advisory board, telling PennLive that “he wanted more time and energy for other opportunities.” Two days later he resigned from the PA Board of Pardons citing the “failed leadership” of Lt. Governor John Fetterman in the explanation of his departure, and said they agreed to go their separate ways when Flood “expressed interest in running for public office next year,” he told PennLive. During the interview, Flood said he had to part ways with Fetterman because: “no job is worth me compromising my integrity and turning a blind eye to failed leadership, irrespective of one’s previous acts of magnanimity or political affiliation.”
Various theories have been floated to explain the sudden announcements of Flood leaving the Democrat party after resigning from his duties to Dauphin County Prison’s advisory board, parting ways with Fetterman, and leaving the Board of Pardons. Folks on both sides of the aisle are questioning if Flood is sincere in his bid for lieutenant governor as a Republican. Some members of the extreme left in Harrisburg have called Flood a Democrat sellout, using less than pleasant terminology. Some Republicans have speculated that Flood appears to be a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and others have called into question if Flood is eligible to hold public office.
Brandon Flood remains steadfast in his approach.
Flood has previously referred to himself as a moderate Democrat with conservative leanings. He now believes that registering as Republican gives him the best advantage for “ease of ballot access,” because the Democrats have already selected their nominee for lieutenant governor. Flood said he is a candidate who has “a proven track record of effectively working across the aisle.”