The Schuylkill County Republican Committee released an attack on Commissioner George Halcovage ahead of next week’s Primary Election.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday morning, the GOP Committee shared an email purportedly from the widow of the late-Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier, Kate, addressed to Halcovage.
The image of the email shows it was sent May 3. While it appears to be addressed to Halcovage, it does not include his full email address (at least what was shown), so it’s unclear if it was received by the embattled Commissioner.
Commissioners Chairman Boots Hetherington is CC’d on the purported email. Commissioner Gary Hess and County Administrator Gary Bender are BCC’d.
The tone of the message shown in the Republican Committee’s image is scathing, to say the least. It reads (verbatim):
I didn’t think you could stoop any lower but again nothing surprises me. What a sad pathetic life you live going through the paper looking for a good funeral to go to and if it would get you any votes. How many of these people do you actually send a sympathy card to with a donation in? None would be my guess.
Did anyone ever explain to you that funerals are for friends and families and not politicians!
You dared to come to one of Frank’s best friends’ funerals at the end of the Mass just in time to prance yourself up the aisle for communion so everyone could see you. Then to top it off you had the audacity to go out and top on the car window of his loving wife, again so everyone could see you. You are unbelievable. Surprised you didn’t show up for a take out meal like you always do. One lady did comment “What is he doing here? I thought he got arrested.” One thing to remember is that Frank’s friends are not your friends.
One other thing is I’d request that you donate the $8,200. you so boldly took from Frank’s account without any notice to me to the pioneer tunnel for the building they are dedicating in his memory.
Kate Staudenmeier Purported email from Kate Staudenmeier to George Halcovage, Shared by Schuylkill County Republican Committee on Facebook, May 9, 9 a.m.
Surrounding the image of the purported email is a red box with two cutout photos of Halcovage. In bold white letters it reads, “THE REAL GEORGE HALCOVAGE” and “SAY NO TO GEORGE HALCOVAGE ON MAY 16TH!”
In a message from Schuylkill County Republican Committee’s post is more text. That reads …
“WIFE OF LATE COMMISSIONER STAUDENMEIER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST HALCOVAGE— At a time when a family/loved ones were at their most vulnerable, George Halcovage took advantage of the situation for votes. Even worse, following the death of Frank Staudenmeier in 2020, George DRAINED their joint campaign account and put all of the money in his name, even after Mrs. Staudenmeier asked that Frank’s portion of the account be used to improve the Pioneer Tunnel, one of Frank’s pride and joys. On May 16th, say NO to censured George Halcovage!”
Halcovage Comments on Shared Email
Halcovage did not respond to our rather late request for comment on Tuesday. However, he did respond in text to the Republican-Herald about the post shared by the Schuylkill Republican Committee earlier in the day.
He wrote, as the paper reported, that the funeral that’s the subject of the email “was also a friend of mine for close to 30 years” and that he knew the deceased before he knew the late-Commissioner. Halcovage also told the newspaper that when the deceased’s brother died, “he was “I was asked to sing at his funeral.”
And regarding the subject of the campaign money, Halcovage said that the money in his and Staudenmeier’s joint account “legally went into my campaign account” and he said it was approved by the campaign’s treasurer and Dept. of State.
This move a week away from the May 16 Primary Election, in which Halcovage is seeking re-election, is just the latest from the Schuylkill County Republican Committee attempting to denounce the candidate.
Members of the Republican Committee also made a symbolic move last month to censure Halcovage. And back in February, State Sen. Dave Argall warned Committee members attending a candidates forum – which Halcovage did not attend – that voting for him would lead to the party losing its majority on the Commissioners board in the November General Election. (READ: Argall Slams Halcovage Re-Election Bid During Candidate Forum)