Rob Bresnahan appears to question legitimacy of Matt Cartwright’s 2022 victory

Rob Bresnahan

Screenshot of Rob Bresnahan

By Sean Kitchen

June 13, 2024

Rob Bresnahan shared misinformation about his opponent’s 2022 election victory by seemingly blaming it on a shortage of paper ballots, even though officials stated the shortage did not impact the outcome of the election.

Rob Bresnahan, a Republican running for congress in Northeastern Pennsylvania, was recorded at a recent campaign event seemingly questioning the legitimacy of his opponent’s 2022 election victory.

Bresnahan is an extraordinarily wealthy first-time candidate that holds millions of dollars in assets thanks to inheriting his grandfather’s construction company, Kuharchik Construction, at a young age, and is challenging Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Luzerne) this November. 

At a recent Lackawanna GOP Meet and Greet in Scranton, Bresnahan was asked multiple times by an audience member what are “Republicans going to do about the stealing and cheating?”

The Keystone obtained audio of the exchange, in which Bresnahan responded by saying: “that’s a great question, because I’m in that boat and I don’t know what the plan is.”

The conversation between the two then veers into questioning the legitimacy of Cartwright’s 2022 election victory over Jim Bognet due to Luzerne County running out of paper ballots on that election day. 

Spoiler alert. It didn’t affect the outcome of the election, which Cartwright won by roughly 7,000 votes (or 2.4 percentage points). 

I’m running for Congress, and I look at the controllables,” Bresnahan told the attendees. “I run a picture-perfect race where we can, how we can, with what I have. I mean, look at Luzerne County. The home of – and PA-08, in 2022, the home of Dunder-Mifflin ran out of paper. How ironic.”

The audience member then revealed he worked for Bognet and yelled “[Bognet] got railroaded. He won that election.”

Bresnahan responded by saying “Sure, and every single Republican precinct.”

“You do what you can, I mean, I’m not sure if I trust this Department of Justice, but they already have eyes on Luzerne County,” Bresnahan continued. “Listen, that’s probably unfortunately outside of my pay grade, but we have to be cognizant of it, and we have to be able to vote the way that we need to vote.”

Bresnahan’s campaign responded to a request for comment about his remarks.

“Rob believes that Congressman Cartwright won the election and, as a result, his policies continue decimating the working-class people of Northeast Pennsylvania who are desperate for a fresh voice in Washington,” a spokesperson for the campaign said in an email.

WVIA News reported that Luzerne County was one of four Pennsylvania counties being monitored by the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division “to help assess compliance with the federal voting rights and laws around the country,” according to the DOJ’s website.   

Votebeat reported on Luzerne County’s issues in the months following Election Day and pinned the paper ballot shortage on inexperience and high turnover in the county’s election offices. 

Luzerne County District Attorney, Sam Sanguedolce, issued a report in June 2023 backing up the original reporting and dismissed claims that Republican precincts were targeted by the paper shortages in order to suppress votes.

“This would be about the stupidest way to try to criminally influence an election,” Sanguedolce told Votebeat. 



  • 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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