Party activists look toward November

Voter traffic was light. Most
times there were more campaign signs than voters at the various polling places,
but the party faithful had their say in the April 24 primary.

While turnout was low, party
activists think that will change come the general election for president on
Nov. 6.

Chadds Ford Democratic Party
Secretary Jesse Sheppard said the primary was just practice for November and
that there’s a lot of work to do before then. With the focus so far being on
the Republican presidential nomination process, Sheppard said he’s excited
about getting Democrats back into the political conversation.

“The page will turn and people
will be interested in hearing Obama,” he said.

Republican Hugh Donaghue simply
said he thinks voter turnout in November will exceed what there was in 2004.

Turnout was so heavy for the
Bush/Kerry race in ’04 that the old polling place, the former township building
on Station Way Road, was deemed inadequate as a future voting location.
Township residents later voted at St. Cornelius Church and now use Calvary
Chapel as the polling site.

Chadds Ford Township Republican
leader Mary Kot agrees that the November election will have a large turnout and
that the local GOP needs to be ready.

“We will be trying to register
new Republicans as often as possible,” Kot said, “and we’re planning to recruit
new volunteers since we will need a lot of volunteers because it will be so
busy…Republicans are in a good position to win in November and I hope we can
take advantage of that, but we have a lot of work to do.”

She added that the party wants
to facilitate the voting process by getting some scooters or wheelchairs for
older voters because of the long walk from the parking lot at Calvary Chapel.

Primary results

One contested race of local
interest, the one for the Republican nomination for the 9th Senatorial District
in Pennsylvania saw incumbent and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi defeat
challenger Roger Howard.

Pileggi said he was pleased
with the lopsidedness of his win.

“I was very pleased with the
result of the primary election. Seventy percent of the people who came out to
vote supported me for re-election even though there was a very long and
concerted effort by an opponent to convince people that my tenure was not a
positive one,” Pileggi said in a telephone interview a day after the primary.

He said it was personally
gratifying that the voters rejected his opponent’s negative campaign.

His next goals include working
for legislation that work out a $4 billion imbalance in the unemployment compensation
trust fund. He said that’s very important to job creators. He also wants to
reform the charter school legislation to eliminate what some people see as a
negative impact on public school districts.

“Most importantly and centrally,
we will be working very hard to have a budget done on time with no new taxes,”
he said.

Democrat Patricia L. Worrell
will challenge Pileggi in the fall.

In the 158th state Legislative
District, Republican state Rep. Chris Ross ran unopposed, as did Democrat Susan
Rzucidlo. The two will face off against each other in November.

In the 160th District, Republican
Steve Barrar ran unopposed. The Democrats have not put up a challenger to him
in the general election.

For the U.S. representative
race in the 7th District, incumbent Republican Pat Meehan ran unopposed, as did
George Badey for the Democratic Party nomination.

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, the
Republican incumbent in the 16th Legislative District ran unopposed. He’ll face
Democrat Aryanna Strader in November.

Five Republicans sought their
party’s nomination for U.S. Senate with the win going to Tom Smith. He’ll be
challenging incumbent Bob Casey who easily defeated a primary challenge from
Joseph Vodvarka.

In the Republican presidential
primary, presumptive nominee Mitt Romney easily won with 58 percent of the
vote. Coming in number two was Rick Santorum who was still on the ballot
despite having pulled out of the race earlier in the month.

On the Democratic Party side, the
most contested race was for attorney general with Kathleen Kane defeating party
endorsed candidate former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. Kane is the first woman to
be nominated for state attorney general in Pennsylvania.

Voters also elected delegates
for this summer’s national conventions and for local Republican committee
people.

Committee people elected in
Chadds Ford were Paul Koch, Mary Kot, Rick Eckman and Valerie Hoxter. In
Birmingham, Mary Evans, John Newsom and Deborah Hineman were elected and in
Pennsbury the committee people are Sara Camerlango, Perry Camerlango, Carolyn
Bunny Welsh, Harry McKinney, Sharon Jones and Eileen Mallouk.

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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