The congressional campaign manager for Mary Beth Buchanan -- a man named Kurt Acker who was formerly a staffer for state Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless -- resigned today in the wake of the fraud charges filed against his former boss.
Orie and her sister Janine were charged Wednesday with theft and criminal conspiracy after a grand jury found they misused government staff to run the state Supreme Court campaign last year of another sister, Joan Orie Melvin. In the grand jury’s presentment (pdf here), a former intern to the senator quoted Acker as saying “if the Attorney General’s Office knew what was occurring in [Sen.] Orie’s office, that ‘they all would be in handcuffs.’”
Acker submitted his resignation to Buchanan -- the former U.S. Attorney who is running for the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless -- just after noon today. “Due to circumstances beyond my control, I believe I have become a distraction from your message and I would not want to impede your march to becoming our next congresswoman,” he wrote.
Buchanan would not comment about the Orie case today. In a phone interview, she said Acker was one of a number of people who applied to work for her campaign in January, in advance of her official entry into the 4th District race.
She is running against attorney and former Bush administration faith-based initiatives official Keith Rothfus for the GOP's nod May 18. Altmire is running unopposed in the Democratic race. Links to their campaign websites are available on the Early Returns congressional page here.
Photo: Mary Beth Buchanan, Washington Post.