Last weekend, some of the Philadelphia herd thundered up the Pennsylvania turnpike to Harrisburg for the winter meeting of the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s State Committee.
Philadelphia Republican voters elected 12 people to represent them on the State Committee and a number of them were seen there last weekend including PAGOP Coordinator for Philadelphia JOE DEFELICE; General Counsel of Republican City Committee MIKE MEEHAN: Leader of the 35th Ward AGNES “CHUCKIE” TILLEY; leader of the 53rd Ward CHRIS VOGLER; leader of the 21st Ward WALT VOGLER; and the President of the Pennsylvania Federation of Republican Women, PEG RECUPIDO. Leader of the 27th Ward MATT WOLFE held State Committee member LT. COL. KEVIN KELLY’S proxy. Kelly, an Air Force pilot, was on duty.
There were a series of PAGOP committee meetings on Friday including the New Majority Council. Its CHAIRWOMAN RENEE AMOORE could not be there so NMC EXECUTIVE DIR. ELLA BUTCHER conducted the meeting. Much of the meeting focused on recent successful outreach programs into the Hispanic community, especially in Lebanon Co. DeFelice introduced DANIEL ALVAREZ, who is exploring running for Philadelphia District Attorney this year; also DR. ORALIA GARCÍA DOMINIC, who is on the short list to be the next Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, addressed the group.
The annual Lincoln Day Dinner was the highlight of the Friday night. PAGOP CHAIRMAN ROB GLEASON was the master of ceremonies. The keynote speaker was Virginia GOV. BOB MCCONNELL. The event was held in the ballroom of the Harrisburg Hilton. A number of Philadelphians in addition to State Committee members came to hear McConnell’s speech, including former candidate for US Congress (PA-1st) JOHN FEATHERMAN and leader of the 5th Ward MIKE CIBIK.
The key events of the full meeting of the State Committee on Saturday morning were election of the leadership of the PAGOP and endorsement of a candidate for Superior Court. Current leadership of Chairman Gleason, VICE CHAIRWOMAN JOYCE HAAS, TREASURER CAROLYN “BUNNY” WELCH, SECRETARY JOHN MCNALLY and ASSISTANT SECRETARY PEG FERRARO were reelected. The only statewide office that will be on the ballot this year is an open position on Superior Court. State Committee endorsed VIC STABILE, who is the managing partner of the Harrisburg office of Dilworth Paxton. It should be noted that Supreme Court PRESIDENT RON CASTILLE will be on the ballot for retention, but he will not have a Democratic opponent, unlike Stabile.
Tuesday night, the Germantown Republican Club held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. The President of the Club is the leader of the 9th Ward FRANK HENDRIE. The master of ceremonies for the evening was the former leader of the 9th Ward and currently a Court of Common Pleas Judge, KEN POWELL. Powell, who was appointed by GOV. TOM CORBETT to fill out the term of a former judge, will be running for this position this year. Powell introduced the evening’s keynote speaker JAMES NEVELS, the president of the Pennsylvania Society and former chairman of the School Reform Commission. The Germantown Republican Club also gave a special posthumous award to LINDA BATEMAN. Linda, who was born in Germantown and was active for 30-plus years in Republican politics, passed away last December from complications from her long fight with cancer. Her daughter MARIA BATEMAN accepted the award.
The event was held in the club’s ballroom and had roughly 90 attendees, including Pennsylvania Supreme Court PRESIDENT RON CASTILLE, former Supreme Court JUSTICE JIM FITZGERALD and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Society CAROL FITZGERALD.
This coming Saturday at 3 p.m. TERRY TRACY, who is exploring running for City Controller, is having an event at Bonner’s Irish Pub. Next Wednesday, the monthly Republican Happy Hour will be held at Paddy Whacks on South Street at 6 p.m. A number of the judicial candidates for Common Pleas, Municipal Court and Traffic Court are expected to be in attendance. Next Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m., the Philadelphia Republican Leadership Council will hold the second in its breakfast speaker series at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. The speaker will be former mayoral candidate and Chairman of the PICA Board SAM KATZ.