Concord GOP pulls council endorsement

According to Concord Township Councilman Joshua Twersky, the township’s Republican Party has withdrawn its endorsement of him for re-election. Twersky made the announcement on Facebook.

Josh Twersky

“All in less than 48 hours, the Concord Township Republican Party has rescinded its endorsement of me for Township Council and has already endorsed other candidates. Unsurprisingly, the fix was already in and the ‘big bosses’ already had had their hand-picked people laying [sic] in wait,” he wrote.

Twersky continued by saying he and fellow incumbent John Crossan were endorsed as the party’s choices as candidates to run in this year’s May 21 primary. That endorsement came three weeks after the November 2018 general election. However, Twersky said, the GOP pulled the endorsement because he won’t toe the party line.

“[O]n Feb. 26, the endorsement that was previously extended was then conditioned on me blindly accepting whatever candidates they secretly — and through some amorphous and undefined ‘executive committee’ — decided to place on the ballot alongside my name. I was given until 4 p.m. Feb. 28, to agree to the ultimatum.”

He knew incumbents Libby Salvucci and Marge Franke were not seeking re-election, he said, but had no clue who the party was putting up as replacements.

“I told the Concord Township Republican Party the following: who in their right mind would accept such a scheme? The endorsement had already been conferred to me. At the eleventh hour, placing a condition on that endorsement that I blindly accept any candidates that are put forward is unconscionable and it speaks volumes about current party leadership, the candidates that have now accepted these concocted endorsements, and the strong-arming of Good Ole Boy politics that still runs Concord.”

The party endorsements for Council now include Crossan, along with Dana Rankin, Michael Harding and Peter Pagano Jr.

Twersky intends to run anyway: “The real bosses are the people of Concord Township. They want something new. I will be looking for their endorsement at the May 21, 2019 primary election.”

He also said it has been uncomfortable for him on the council ever since he questioned a $10 million surplus in the township finances and that he suggested taxes be lowered as a way of returning that money to the taxpayers.

“It’s been a strained relationship,” he said. “They want everyone to toe the line and I won’t do that anymore.

Concord GOP Chairman Kevin O’Donoghue acknowledged the change but said it was due to Twersky being non-committal about accepting the endorsement in December.

“Even though he would not accept the endorsement that evening, he did suggest that it didn’t mean he would not accept in the future. Without a clear answer, the Concord Township Republican Party chose to stand by Mr. Twersky and their vote for his endorsement, awaiting his final decision. As late as Jan. 17, O’Donoghue said, Twersky had still not accepted the endorsement and failed to attend a party committee meeting on the subject.

“Instead, it was rumored that he was recruiting candidates to run with him for Council, against those who already endorsed him and were ready to support his upcoming campaign, without providing a true response regarding his endorsement,” O’Donoghue said in an email.

In the interim, Salvucci and Franke decided not to run so replacements had to be found and the endorsement of Twersky remained in effect. However, according to O’Donoghue, sentiments began to change on Feb. 19 when Twersky and others held their own invitation-only meeting “with an agenda of identifying candidates to run against those that already offered Mr. Twersky their support, all without responding to the Republican Committee regarding his endorsement.”

Because of various filing deadlines, the Concord Republicans needed a formal response from the candidates. Twersky did not respond, O’Donoghue said.

“Without a formal response from Mr. Twersky and his involvement with another political organization in the region, the Republican Committee believed it best for our community and the citizens of Concord Township to identify and endorse candidates willing to peacefully work together for the betterment of Concord Township and the Republican Party.  We do not stand for bully-tactics and self-gratification. It is a known fact that Mr. Twersky has been plotting and planning to start his own party and slate of candidates for several months,” O’Donoghue said in the email.

Twersky has recently been inviting people to like a new Facebook page, the Concord New Republicans. According to the page, the organization was founded in February. Its chairman in John Caramanico.

Members “strive for controlled growth, open space, thoughtful government and diversity of background and thought,” according to the page.

According to Twersky, members are not happy with O’Donoghue and the leadership of the township 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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