FOR THE RECORD. Wagner’s campaign countered that its purported 109 missed votes “is a comparably lower 99 votes,” and that 83 “of those votes took place when Wagner was attending a three-day conference.” (PennLive)
LOOKING AHEAD. “For the four Republicans who hope to challenge” Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) reelection “bid next year, the first playoff game before the May 15 primary election will be the state party’s endorsement. That endorsement vote, scheduled for Feb. 10, could determine who stays in the primary race and who gets to brag that they won the endorsement while drawing upon the financial benefits of the party’s backing. Should the party be unable or unwilling to endorse, it would be the first time in 40 years.”
“A looming four-way contest puts the 347 state Republican Party committee members in the sticky position of choosing between two people — … Wagner and state House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) … — who have played outsized roles in helping elect Republican lawmakers.”
“Starting Jan. 6, the state party’s regional caucuses will begin meeting with the candidates and holding straw votes ahead of a formal state committee vote. Regional caucus meetings will wrap up Feb. 3, a week before committee members meet in Hershey to decide party endorsements.” (AP)
CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED. The Human Rights Campaign “released new polling data conducted by Hart Research Associates, … showing that likely voters across Pennsylvania overwhelmingly support LGBTQ-inclusive policies and are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not.” (release)
THE OTHER CLINTONS. Clinton County Commissioners Jeff Snyder and Pete Smeltz are backing former health care consultant Paul Mango (R). (Lock Haven Express)
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President Trump said on Twitter that if Mexico did not reduce the "onslaught" of migrants heading to the United States, he would send the military to close the U.S.–Mexico border. He also threatened to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, who he said had "almost no control over their population." A caravan of roughly 4,000 migrants from Central America recently crossed into Guatemala.
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President Trump has named Mary Catherine Phee ambassador to Qatar. A career foreign service officer, she currently serves as deputy special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation at the Department of State. She's been ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan and served on the National Security Council as director for Iraq.