WILLIAMSPORT – State Rep. Fred Keller (R-85th, Kreamer) is now the GOP nominee for May’s special election to replace former US Congressman Tom Marino in Washington, but that didn’t come without some drama. Union Township Supervisor and one of the Union County conferees Billy Allred said on WKOK’s On The Mark the favorite, State Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-83rd, Williamsport), was accused of abusing his stepson and ex-wife.
Allred says rumors of it had been spreading for some time, but the conferees also received an email from Wheeland’s stepson, graphically describing what happened, “I spoke with Jeff on the phone. I gave him the details of what I had heard. He said its absolutley not true and he was going to provide a letter from his ex-wife stating it was not true, proving that is was not true, but that letter never came.”
Allred said Wheeland did withdraw from the race, but before doing so, he had the full support of former congressman Marino, who even though he said he was going to stay out of the race, was heavily involved in the process, “He was involved all day on Saturday. He gave a speech at the beginning. He was canvassing with conferees throughout the day, and not only he, but some of his friends and campaign staff were doing the same thing.”
Allred says Keller emerged as the top candidate, beating out Doug McLinko of Bradford County and Jessica Hosley-Bowman of Clinton County in the final vote. Keller will face Democrat Marc Friedenberg in the special election to represent the U.S. 12th Congressional District May 21.