America First candidate Teddy Daniels was not allowed to speak at the Pennsylvania GOP Committee Central Caucus despite having a time slot booked, central caucus co-chair Richard Stewart confirmed to National File.
Daniels’ team was informed on Friday that his speaking time would be between 4:30 and 5 pm. But after arriving at the event, caucus co-chair Dick Stewart told Daniels he would not be allowed to speak due to lateness.
Daniels — a purple heart veteran who recently announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania Lt. Governor — detailed the incident on a Facebook livestream.
Stewart reportedly told Daniels that he was “late” and was upset that Daniels had not been there all day, like other candidates. “Other candidates have been here all day and you weren’t here,” Stewart reportedly said.
Daniels had travelled across the state after meeting with small business owners in Western PA on Saturday afternoon, according to a statement he made through Facebook Live.
“The Central Caucus GOP chair denied me my opportunity to address the good people who came to this committee today,” Daniels said. “Is he not afraid of what I have to say? That a combat-wounded veteran gets denied his right to speak by the state party, by Dick Stewart, the Central Caucus chair.”
According to Daniels, there were attending committee members who told him what happened was “wrong” and believed he should have been allowed to speak. “Obviously, these kingmakers are already looking for their little pick.”
“This is swamp party politics,” Daniels continued.
National File reached out to Dick Stewart for comment. “The guy showed up late,” Stewart said. “If the guy wants to be a serious candidate he should show up on time. There were people waiting all day to speak. He’s just an incompetent candidate.”
Stewart claimed to have never met Daniels prior to the event. “I had never heard of the guy,” Stewart said. National File then reached out to Teddy Daniels and his campaign to ask about the timeline.
“The PA GOP’s Mr. Stewart had a phone call with the campaign scheduler around 2:00 PM. It was during this time that Daniels’ scheduler was told Teddy would be speaking at 4:30. The campaign followed up by email to confirm Teddy’s attendance, but Stewart never replied to the email,” said a spokesperson for the Daniels campaign.
National File reviewed the email, which was sent to Stewart at 2:24 PM on Friday.
Former PA Speaker of the House Mike Turzai was another late addition to the list of speakers.
According to Stewart, Turzai missed the initial deadline to register, but was still allowed to speak at the end of the event. Turzai arrived at the event shortly after noon, Stewart said.
“He was there all day, just like the other candidates. That’s what the other guy, Daniels should have done if he wanted to speak. That’s why I said he’s an incompetent candidate,” he said.
After listening to the attending candidates, committee members conducted a straw poll of candidate preferences in both the governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate races, and separately indicate whether they think the state committee should even make an endorsement.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 12 candidates registered to speak in the governor’s field (not including Turzai), eight for the Senate seat, and nine more for lieutenant governor.
It is unknown whether or not Daniels was included in this figure.