Concord GOP files injunction against Save the Valley

Concord GOP files injunction against Save the Valley

The Concord Township Republican Party filed an injunction Nov. 3 to have members of the Save the Valley removed from polling places in Concord, Chadds Ford, Bethel and Chester Heights.

Save the Valley is a citizens’ group whose goal is to prevent development in the Beaver Valley area of Concord Township, an area that borders Chadds Ford Township. The group had endorsed candidates for supervisor in both of those two townships and had poll workers out during the election.

The typed injunction specified Concord Township, but Chadds Ford, Bethel and Chester Heights were written in by hand.

The document alleges that there was “an unregistered entity” which was “coercing and intimidating voters” at the Maris Grove retirement home in Concord. Save the Valley representatives named were Jason and Eric Hoover.

Save the Valley representatives and their material were to be removed, the document said.

Chadds Ford Township resident Rob Gurnee, on the board of Save the Valley, talks with a voter outside the Calvary Chapel polling place on election morning.

Chadds Ford Township resident Rob Gurnee, on the board of Save the Valley, talks with a voter outside the Calvary Chapel polling place on election morning.

Attempts to speak with people at Maris Grove were rebuffed. Reporters were not allowed on campus to speak with anyone.

Sheriff’s deputies served the papers to Chadds Ford resident Rob Gurnee, a Save the Valley board member who was working the polls at Calvary Chapel in Chadds Ford.

Chadds Ford GOP leader Mary Kot said her group had nothing to do with the injunction.

Gurnee remained on site and deputies declined comment except to say to contact the county Elections Bureau. The person who answered the phone at the bureau said he was unaware of anything, but transferred the call to the bureau’s solicitor, Frank Catania.

According to Catania, there had been reports of Jason and Eric Hoover videotaping and calling out voters at Maris Grove. Election officials there became concerned. Concord Township Republican Party attorney Ray Falzone went to court to seek the injunction, Catania said.

Jason Hoover denies the allegations. He said the only person he videotaped was state Rep. Stephen Barrar who, Hoover said, was interfering with Save the Valley’s outreach at the polls.

He added that the Democrats, Republicans and Save the Valley people all had their individual spots, but Barrar was making it difficult for him.

“No one raised their voice. I don’t know where they got the idea we were yelling at voters,” Jason Hoover said. “People were thanking me for talking to them. I don’t know where those claims came from. They’re not true at all.”

Save the Valley had endorsed Republican Samantha Reiner and Democrat Alan Horowitz for supervisor in Chadds Ford Township and initially endorsed Republican Kevin O’Donoghue and two Democrats, Dan Foster and John Wellington for supervisor in Concord.

Save the Valley later retracted the O’Donoghe endorsement because of GOP mailings that, the group said, contained misleading information regarding Concord’s commitment to open space preservation. O’Donoghue is chairman of the Concord Republican Party.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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One Response to “Concord GOP files injunction against Save the Valley”

  1. Rob Gurnee says:

    I wish to point out that I was allowed to stay at the polls at Chadds Ford. I have no idea who hand wrote Chadds Ford name into the legal document. I was engaging voters in courteous and substantive conversation and was shocked when I was initially asked to leave. It is my understanding that when contacted, officials in Chadds Ford declined to engage in the same type of behavior as officials of Concord Township did…which that led to my being able to continue to stay at the polls and talk to voters. Needless to say it was an eventful day!

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