Elephant Corner 11/14/2019

Filed under: Featured News |

COUNCILMAN David Oh is the sole remaining Philadelphia Republican to be elected in a competitive citywide race.

Last Tuesday was not a good day for Republicans in the Philadelphia region.

In Chester County Democrats won all of the row offices on the ballot. In Delaware County, the county commission now has a Democrat majority. We only won one of the two Superior Court positions with MEGAN McCARTHY KING’S election.

Luckily, incumbent COUNCILMAN BRIAN O’NEILL (R-10th District) won over a formidable Democrat opponent. A Family Workers’ Party candidate, KENDRA BROOKS, took one of the two seats on City Council that has traditionally gone to a Republican.

The one successful Republican candidate for City Council-At-Large was incumbent COUNCILMAN DAVID OH, whom many Republicans berate as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

Oh had minimal support at best from the Republican City Committee members.

The candidates that had the most support of ward leaders were DAN TINNEY and incumbent COUNCILMAN AL TAUBENBERGER, both of whom lost.

The Chairman of the RCC, MIKE MEEHAN, already was on thin ice. While liked by many members of City Committee, h is not seen as a leader. This trouncing was the icing on the cake for Meehan foes. Calls for his resignation came from some of the more likely sources such as 5TH WARD LEADER MIKE CIBIK, who lost to Meehan for RCC Chairman last year. But Cibik was far from alone.

Meehan resigned on Nov. 9, effective at RCC’s meeting on Tuesday.

Meehan had told another media outlet that Neumann Goretti High School PRESIDENT JOE McCOLGAN or 56TH WARD LEADER JIM PIO might take on the leadership. But Pio was not interested at this time. McColgan would have problems with his employer, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, running for such a visible political position. There was a member of the RCC who is an employee of another diocesan school with a much less-visible administrative job.

Pio pushed for the election of STATE REP. MARTINA WHITE (R-Northeast) to replace Meehan. White is highly popular in her district, which has 2-1 Democrat registration. She is also popular with most RCC members (who are the ward leaders). She is seen a consensus candidate. She has demonstrated an ability to raise funds, which is important to the cash-poor RCC. The RCC under Meehan has experienced weak attendance for its signature fundraisers, the Billy Meehan Clam Bakes and the Fall cocktail parties.

Republican officials outside the city were happy to see White’s candidacy. There is a genuine concern that a weak RCC Chairman could negatively impact future statewide and national elections. Containing the losses in Philadelphia is considered key to winning a statewide position.

Pennsylvania SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE MIKE TURZAI (he has not interjected himself into the change in RCC leadership) has noted that it is important for a statewide candidate to come out of Philadelphia with a manageable loss and to flip Allegheny County.

In addition to the replacement of Meehan by Martina White, the treasurer and general counsel positions are open. The treasurer, CALVIN TUCKER, as well as the general counsel, former JUDGE PAUL PANEPINTO, resigned before the elections to my knowledge. Tucker resigned owing to his new position with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania as the head of outreach to minorities.

Also assume that the new chairperson can and will probably replace the assistant treasurer and assistant secretary as these are appointed and not elected positions. The general counsel position is, according to the by-laws, an appointed position even though the GCs were elected at the last two changes in leadership. The treasurer is clearly an elected position and probably needs to be filled, as the RCC, like all PACs, has a filing due on Dec. 5.

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