Scott Perry draws GOP primary challenge over his ‘ridiculous’ attempt to overturn the 2020 election

John Henry Newman, a Carlisle native, announced that he is challenging Congressman Scott Perry in the primary for Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District on Jan. 23, 2024 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

January 23, 2024

It turns out Democrats aren’t the only ones upset with Congressman Scott Perry’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. John Henry Newman announced on Monday that he’s challenging the congressman in the Republican primary.

Tuesday officially marks the beginning of when prospective candidates for state and federal races are allowed to start collecting signatures to make it on Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary ballot.

One candidate who has longer than normal odds of making it through the primary is Carlisle native John Henry Newman, a moderate, pro-democracy Republican who is hoping to gather enough signatures to challenge Congressman Scott Perry (R-York).

Newman hopes his candidacy will further fuel the conversation around Perry and his role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and disenfranchise millions of Pennsylvania voters.

“Anybody who has been in politics as long as Scott Perry has knows all about voter registration, counting votes and election monitoring, and the idea that there would be any systematic fraud in such a highly structured and well monitored procedure is just ridiculous,” Newman told reporters at a press conference outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.

“He cannot believe that. So I don’t understand why he would make this claim. It’s just, it’s not possible. It did not happen. And he’s misleading the constituents of the district by saying so and misleading is not leadership.”

After being asked if Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, Newman said “Yes, absolutely. There was no fraud. The mail-in ballots were handled properly.”

Perry acted as a point person between officials in former President Donald Trump’s administration and local republican legislators who tried overturning Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results. The Keystone previously highlighted how Perry worked with Republican legislators to spread misinformation regarding Dominion voting machines and other unfounded claims surrounding the 2020 election.

Newman, who has been a registered Republican for the past 50 years, worked as a teacher, administrator, and scientist at Northwestern University, MIT, and at two colleges in Pennsylvania, according to his campaign webpage. He also used his science and technology background to work as a business owner, contractor, and employee with the federal government.

Newman sees himself as a Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or Eisenhower Republican and hopes to capitalize on a dissatisfaction some Republicans have with the incumbent congressman. Last November, the Welcome PAC and Republicans Against Perry, a newly formed organization, launched an ad campaign highlighting Perry’s extremism and connecting Perry to Mastriano according to the Patriot News.

“I’ve felt that over the years the party has moved away from me,” Newman told reporters.

“There are many Republicans in the district and across the state who feel exactly the same way. There are many disaffected voters who have become independents and who are looking for someone with a position of my kind.”

Newman has until Tuesday, Feb. 13, to collect his required 1,000 signatures.


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.



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