Andrew looks to topple Barrar

He might be a longshot, but Anton Andrew thinks he has a chance to oust Steve Barrar from the state House. Andrew is the Democrat running against Barrar, a 22-year state representative for Pennsylvania’s 160th Legislative District. The Democrats think Barrar is vulnerable.

“Every day I become more convinced,” Andrew said Thursday night as the Kennett Area Democrats opened their headquarters at 120 S. Broad Street for the 2018 election season.

Andrew, 48, an attorney, tapped into his professional language to describe the situation and why he thinks he can win. He says it’s the supporters that point to a hoped-for victory in November.

“As a lawyer, I look at the circumstantial evidence, and it’s growing by the day in terms of the organizations and individuals who are paying attention. By that I mean those who are supporting the campaign,” he said.

He referenced out of state organizations from California, Virginia and Vermont as those that support him. Those organizations, he said, are selective in who they back.,

“When you look at Sister Districts, when you look at Flippable when you look at One Vote At a Time, you have organizations that are dedicated to concentrating their resources on the most flippable seats in the country and they’re all offering their support to my campaign…They don’t invest their time or resources unless they think that this is highly flippable,” Andrew said.

He continued by saying he’d like to think it’s his candidacy that is earning the support but said the reality is that “there is a careful calculation because of the way this district has been trending,” which, he said, is a movement toward being more accepting of Democrats.

But there are also issues. Andrew didn’t go deep into why Barrar himself is vulnerable but did mention some issues that “are coming back to bite” Barrar. One is the incumbent’s stance on gerrymandering. Barrar has been reluctant to support proposed changes in how congressional district lines are drawn.

“Years ago, gerrymandering was an esoteric issue, but now I knock on doors and Republicans are talking about gerrymandering is what’s causing Harrisburg turning into a swamp like Washington, D.C. That decision will come back and bite him.”

He also noted school funding, saying people want to come into the good districts but can’t afford to because the school taxes are too high. There are seniors too who are having trouble with the high property taxes.

Andrew said reliance on property taxes is not enough, that there should a severance tax on the shale industry and no closure of the so-called “Delaware loophole” that some think allows a multistate corporation to avoid paying taxes in Pennsylvania. Barrar, he said, is on the wrong side of those issues and that will hurt the incumbent at the polls.

The Democrat was born in Washington, DC, but lived in Jamaica and Trinidad for his first 10 years before the family moved to Long Island. After law school, he became a public defender in Miami for six years before moving into the Delaware Valley.

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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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