Major Developments Shake Up PA-7 Race
During the past month, several developments have fundamentally reshaped the U.S. Congressional race to represent Pennsylvania's 7th District, which currently includes all of Radnor Township. On January 20th, The New York Times reported that incumbent Republican Pat Meehan, who was also a member of the House Ethics Committee, had used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims by a former staffer. A few days later, Meehan announced that he would not seek reelection. On January 22nd, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that our state's Congressional district map is a partisan gerrymander that "clearly, plainly and palpably" violates our state constitution, banned the current map from being used in this year’s primary and general elections, and ordered that a new map be submitted to the court by February 15th. Republicans have so far refused to comply with the court's order, but the U.S. Supreme Court denied the GOP's request for a stay on February 5th. In the meantime, the field of candidates has swelled on both sides. In the Democratic primary, the declared candidates now include former federal prosecutor Ashley Lunkenheimer, State Representative Greg Vitali, former CIA officer Shelly Chauncey, State Senator Daylin Leach, real estate broker Elizabeth Moro, bioengineer Molly Sheehan, and lawyer and former city ward leader Dan Muroff. IT professional Drew McGinty withdrew from the race on February 2nd.
Current (but hopefully soon to be former) boundaries of PA-7 a/k/a Goofy Kicking Donald Duck (Source: National Atlas)
Tens of Thousands Gather for Women's March on Philadelphia
During the weekend of January 20th-21st, tens of thousands of people in Philadelphia joined hundreds of thousands more marchers worldwide at Women's March 2.0 events. Promoting the theme "We Resist, We Persist, We Rise," speakers included Rebecca Rhynhart, Philadelphia's first woman city controller.
Matt Marshall Appointed Ward 1 Interim Commissioner
On January 22nd, in a 4-3 vote, the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners (with the addition of John Smith as chair of the Vacancy Board) appointed Matt Marshall as the interim Commissioner for Ward 1. Marshall replaces Jim Higgins, who announced his retirement on December 18th. Marshall is a commercial real estate professional who has served on the Township Planning Commission. He has stated that he does not plan to run for the position in the special election to be held on May 15th, even though he previously ran for it as a Republican in 2015. If you are a resident of Ward 1 who is interested in running for Commissioner, please review the "Did You Know?" section below and contact George Badey
Contribute to the RDC Momentum Fund
We are asking for your help to expire some outstanding local campaign expenses and begin rebuilding our coffers so that we can again help our local candidates run strong, effective campaigns to all Radnor voters in the next election cycle. Running for office costs money, especially for creating marketing materials. In 2018 and 2019, we will have even more Radnor offices up for election. In May 2018, there will be special elections to fill the remainder of the unexpired Commissioner terms in Wards 1 and 7. In 2019, there will be four more Commissioner races (in Wards 1, 3, 5, and 7) and five School Board seats up for grabs. Let’s keep the Democratic momentum going in Radnor. Every dollar you contribute helps. Please help us regain our financial footing by clicking here!
Help Democratic Candidates Get on the Ballot
If you are a registered Democrat in Pennsylvania, you can help our Democratic candidates get their names on the ballot in the May primary. Please attend the RDC meeting on February 13th to find out how and to get started! This year, there will be two petition periods: February 13th through March 6th for all offices except U.S. Congress and February 27th through March 20th for U.S. Congressional races.
Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, February 13th, 7pm
Radnorshire Room, Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor, PA
All are welcome and encouraged to attend. We expect to host many interesting speakers, including current candidates for state and national office. Please click on the "Important Dates in 2018" Quick Link in this newsletter to view other scheduled meetings and important dates this year.
Nomination Petition Period for Races Other Than U.S. Congress
February 13th through March 6th
Candidates for the May 15th primary, other than candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, must circulate and file their nomination petitions during this period. Please help your fellow Democrats get on the ballot by signing their petitions and/or acting as a circulator for their petitions!
Delaware County Democratic Committee Nominating Convention
Sunday, February 18th, 3-5pm
Strath Haven Middle School
200 South Providence Road, Wallingford, PA
Credentialing begins at 2pm. Note that only members of the Delaware County Democratic Committee and its political subdivisions may cast votes in the convention. However, candidates and their circulators are welcome to gather signatures for their petitions outside the convention hall.
Jennifer O'Mara Petition Signing Party and Fundraiser
Saturday, February 24th, 3-5pm
Home of Marie Turnbull
510 Sharpless Road, Springfield, PA
Come meet and support Jennifer O’Mara, candidate for State Representative for the 165th Legislative District, encompassing portions of Radnor, Springfield, and Marple Townships, as well as Morton Borough. And, if you’re a registered Democrat living in the 165th, come sign the petition for Jenn to appear on the primary ballot in May. You can learn more about Jenn and her campaign by visiting her website. RSVP to Marie Turnbull. Contribute here.
Nomination Petition Period for U.S. Congressional Races
February 27th through March 20th
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 must circulate and file their nomination petitions during this period. Please help your preferred Democratic candidate to replace Pat Meehan in PA-7 get on the ballot by signing their petition and/or acting as a circulator for their petition!
A Conversation with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Sunday, March 4th, 5pm
Home of Jannie Lau & Todd Longsworth
132 Trianon Lane, Villanova, PA
Please join Senator Brown (D-OH) and hosts The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Jannie Lau & Todd Longsworth, and Wendy Wolf & Jack Behrle for an afternoon of conversation and refreshments. Sherrod Brown is one of several key Senate Democrats defending their seats this year in states that Trump won in 2016. RSVP and/or contribute here.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Delaware County Democrats Annual FDR-JFK Dinner
Friday, April 13th
2700 Drexelbrook Road, Drexel Hill, PA
Support the DelCo Dems by becoming a member of the Chairman's Circle. Membership entitles you to two tickets to their annual FDR-JFK dinner and their annual holiday party, as well as the Chairman's Circle reception at the home of Chair David Landau.
Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, April 16th
Click here to register to vote in time for the Primary and Special Elections on May 15th!
Deadline to Apply for Absentee Ballot
Tuesday, May 8th
Will you be out of town or otherwise unable to vote in person on Primary Day (May 15th)? If so, click here to request an absentee ballot in time for the Primary and Special Elections!
PRIMARY AND SPECIAL (WARDS 1 AND 7) ELECTIONS
Tuesday, May 15th
Click here to find your polling place. THEN GO VOTE!
DID YOU KNOW?
The special elections to fill the 1.5-year unexpired terms for the 1st and 7th, respectively, Ward Commissioner seats will be held on May 15th, the same day as the May Primary. Unlike the Primary elections, everyone, including Independent voters, will be permitted to vote for Commissioner in those two wards.
In this scenario, each political party is required to appoint/select a candidate to run for that office. There will be no "Primary Election" to select the Commissioner candidates.
Honoring our commitment to "Openness," the Radnor Democratic Committee will accept applications from Democrats residing in those two wards, respectively, who are interested in running. The Chair of the RDC will appoint committees to review the applications and interview the applicants and select a candidate from each ward. Our goal is to select the best candidates through an open and transparent process.
We will be placing notices on Facebook and, depending upon the response, may even place a notification in local news publications.
If anyone is interested, please submit your resume and a brief statement (less than 1,000 words) on why you want to be the candidate and send both to George Badey. Please submit your materials by February 28th.
We expect to review all of the applications and hold personal interviews the weekend of March 3rd-4th.
Candidate, 165th Legislative District
Jennifer O’Mara believes there is more that unites us than divides us, and she is committed to the idea of government working to serve the people. As an elected official, she will advocate for quality education for our children, affordable healthcare for all, good job opportunities for all skill levels, and the finest care for our veterans. Her dedication to public service is deeply rooted in her own experience, and her ability to deliver practical solutions has been similarly forged by her challenging personal journey.
Jennifer O’Mara was born in Southwest Philadelphia to a career firemen and a stay-at-home mom. After her father’s suicide when she was 13 years old, Jennifer and her family moved to Prospect Park, Delaware County. At Interboro High School, a caring public school teacher recognized that Jennifer was struggling to cope with her personal tragedy and encouraged her to channel her energies in a productive direction. Jennifer became a leader in student council, where she discovered a passion for government. She was selected to serve as a student representative on the Interboro School Board, and subsequently attended a leadership camp sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Council (PASC), an organization that Jennifer still volunteers for over a decade later.
As the daughter of a single mother, and with two younger brothers at home, affording college was a significant challenge. With the help of financial aid, student loans, and by working three part-time jobs, Jennifer O’Mara was able to attend West Chester University. She earned a dual degree in history and secondary education, and became certified to teach in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer O’Mara went on to earn a Master of Liberal Arts in English and history from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been employed for five and a half years. She currently holds the position of Assistant Director of University Stewardship, working alongside her colleagues to steward the University’s top donors. Jennifer also serves on the Board of Directors for PASC, and teaches organization and personal time management to high school students at the organization’s statewide leadership training program.
Jennifer’s friends, family, and community members know her as an action-oriented advocate, who is always ready to help others. She is incredibly hard-working and always puts the needs of others first. She navigated the college financial aid process for one of her younger brothers, who has since graduated from Temple University. She has also successfully advocated with the Department of Veteran Affairs for her husband, Bradford Bitting, a combat veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient.
Jennifer and Bradford were married in August 2017, and currently reside in Springfield, Pennsylvania, with their two cats.
FROM THE CHAIR
We in Pennsylvania are living in exciting and unprecedented times. On January 22nd, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision striking down Pennsylvania’s congressional district map as unconstitutional. The Court held that the district map, as drawn since 2011, “clearly, plainly and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania….” The Court ordered the legislature, should they choose, “to submit a congressional districting plan that satisfies the requirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution” to the Governor on or before February 9th. If the Governor accepts the plan, he must submit it to the Court on or before February 15th. If that does not happen, then the “Court shall proceed expeditiously to adopt a plan….”
The Republican legislature filed an emergency request for a stay with the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on Monday, February 5th. So at this point it looks likely that we will have new lines for the 2018 election. There are possible glitches, however, and the U.S. Supreme Court may still step in later if the legislature and Governor do not agree on a plan. The legal and political implications are unprecedented and exciting. One thing is sure; the congressional elections of 2012, 2014 and 2016 were gerrymandered so badly that in each of those years Republicans captured 13 of 18 seats even though there are almost a million more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania. In 2012, Democrats got more votes for Congress than Republicans statewide, yet Pennsylvania "elected" 13 Republicans and only 5 Democrats. Regardless of your party, that’s just bad for democracy.
Then, if that wasn’t enough excitement, BOTH incumbent Congressmen representing Delaware County, Republican Pat Meehan and Democrat Bob Brady, announced they are not running in 2018. Our own State Representative Greg Vitali (D-166) has announced for Congress. So his seat in the State House, which he first won in 1992, will also be open in 2018.
Wow! We have two open congressional seats, lines yet to be drawn, a multitude of new candidates stepping up for those seats, and an open seat in House District 166 (which comprises half of Radnor Township). In the other half, House District 165, we have an electrifying young candidate in Jennifer O’Mara.
All of this is against the backdrop of the need for Democrats to retake the U.S. Congress in 2018. If the events of the last couple weeks have not aroused your interest in politics, check your pulse. On top of this nationally important local development and the state races, Radnor Township itself has two open seats up for a special election in May. In the 1st and 7th Wards, voters will be filling those two seats – and who wins will determine which party has a majority on Radnor’s Board of Commissioners.
Lastly, this year is when our County and State Democratic Committees are up for a new four-year term. Nomination petitions can be circulated beginning on February 13th through March 6th, and we urge all interested Democrats to attend our February 13th meeting to find out more. We will also be having some interesting speakers at the meeting. Please make every effort to attend; I hope to see you there. --George Badey