ELEPHANT CORNER: Philadelphia Republicans Face Petition Challenges

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Today is the first day of petition-signing season for this year’s primary election. Seasoned politicos will tell you it will snow the last weekend petitions can be circulated, which is Mar. 8-9 this year. Whether or not it snows that weekend, we will probably start petition circulation with snow on the ground.

LT. GOV. JIM CAWLEY, left, was in town for Republican soirée, joined here by Phila. Regional Port Authority counsel Jim DiVergilis. Today petition drive for Cawley begins

LT. GOV. JIM CAWLEY, left, was in town for Republican soirée, joined here by Phila. Regional Port Authority counsel Jim DiVergilis. Today petition drive for Cawley begins

Getting enough signatures for GOV. TOM CORBETT and LT GOV. JIM CAWLEY should not be a problem as they are collected statewide and there are plenty of Republicans outside of Philadelphia. It is more challenging for our US congressional candidates who need 1,000 valid signatures, which really means they need to collect twice that in order not to have a problem with invalid signatures.

Please note: Four years ago the Republican candidate in the 1st Congressional Dist. was thrown off the ballot owing to petition challenges from CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY’S campaign. There are three US Congressional Districts in parts of the city of Philadelphia: the 1st, 2nd and 13th. The most-difficult one to obtain sufficient signatures is the 2nd. Although the 1st and 13th are heavily Democratic, there are some Republican strongholds in Delaware Co. (1st) and Montgomery (13th).

Republican City Committee designated three caucuses drawn on Congressional District lines to hold endorsement meetings for US Congress and State Committee seats. The 1st and 2nd Dists. held their meetings and endorsed Megan Rath and Armand James respectively for US Congress. Rath is a high-tech medical-equipment salesperson with a deep understanding of the sector and the flaws of Obamacare. James is a Philadelphia schoolteacher with a passion for school reform. The 13th has not held its endorsement meeting as of the writing of this article, and rumors are it might be held jointly with Montgomery Co., which contains much of the 13th Dist. Businessman DEE ADCOCK, who was our candidate for that seat in 2010, is interested Although grossly underfunded in comparison to his opponent incumbent ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, he managed to get 43% of the vote. However, the district has since then been reconfigured and is now more Democratic.

Every four years in the primary the Republicans elect their representatives to Pennsylvania Republican Party’s State Committee. Currently Philadelphia has 13 members. Twelve were elected in 2010. STATE REP. JOHN TAYLOR is the thirteenth member as each county’s party chairperson is automatically a member. This year, however, Philadelphia will only have 11 elected members owing to the low Republican registration figures compared to other parts of the state. State Committee elections will be by US Congressional District with the 1st and 13th getting four each. Per PAGOP rules, there must be an even number of men and women. The 1st Dist. caucus endorsed ANNIE HAVEY, MONIKA CZAPLA, JIM DINTINO and CHRIS VOGLER. The 2nd Dist. will only have three candidates; one man, one woman and another. The 2nd Dist. caucus endorsed DENISE FUREY, CALVIN TUCKER and WALT VOGLER.

The Pennsylvania State Senate approved Gov. Corbett’s appointments of City COUNCILMAN BILL GREEN and FARAH JIMENEZ to the School Reform Commission. Green will be the SRC Chairman. Green is expected to resign from City Council shortly, creating an open seat. City COUNCIL PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARK may call for a special election for that seat or he could leave it open until the next Council general election in 2015. The ward leaders of each party will select candidates for this special election.

Word on the street is Democrats may opt for one of two current State Representatives, ED NEILSON or JOHN SABATINA, JR., in order to avoid a primary fight over Sabatina’s seat. Neilson’s current seat is to be moved to York Co. owing to redistricting and he now lives in Sabatina’s.

University City Republican WARD LEADER MATT WOLFE has announced his interest in the City Council seat. It is rumored that former City Council candidate JOE McCOLGAN and New Majority EXEC. DIR. ELLA BUTCHER may also be interested.

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