As McKinley celebrated his apparent victory, the state’s Republican leadership was coming to grips with the fact that its party had just nominated someone with a long rap sheet to run in a district where the last three Democratic congressmen have left office amid scandal. That includes Jackson, who pleaded guilty last week to federal charges.
Pat Brady, the state’s Republican chairman, had no comment Wednesday about McKinley’s prospects. Privately, Republican leaders expressed dismay and concern. Given the historic Democratic leanings of the district, no national or state financial help from Republicans is likely, they said.