Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 13th, 7pm, Township Building
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Chair George Badey, Vice Chair Tsiwen Law, Treasurer Rob Armstrong, Secretary Danielle Kleinman

March 11, 2018


Welcome to Pennsylvania's New 5th Congressional District (PA-5)!
What a difference a few months make! In early January, Republican Pat Meehan was a formidable incumbent representing the nation's most gerrymandered Congressional District, PA-7. Today, the #MeToo movement has exposed Meehan, who will not seek reelection, and all of Radnor Township (along with the rest of Delaware County and lower South Philadelphia and a sliver of Montgomery County) sits in the newly redrawn PA-5, courtesy of the League of Women Voters and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The new map for 2018 follows best practices for Congressional mapping by maintaining the integrity of municipal and county boundaries, keeping each district compact, and preserving communities of interest. As a whole, our new district will fairly represent the western and southern Philadelphia suburbs for the first time in years. An excellent analysis of the new map by The New York Times is available here.
Sources: Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC

PA-5 Democratic Primary Field Swells to 15 Candidates
Now that our Congressional district has gone from one that Hillary Clinton won by just 2 percentage points in 2016 to one that Clinton won by 28 points, the Democratic field has ballooned to 15 candidates (and counting). They include: public school teacher Larry Arata, lawyer and Radnor Democratic Committee Chair George Badey, professor Mary Ellen Balchunis, attorney Dan Boyle, former CIA officer Shelley Chauncey, State Representative Margo Davidson, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor of Labor Rich Lazer, former Morgan Stanley wealth manager Lindy Li, former federal prosecutor and healthcare advocate Ashley Lunkenheimer, attorney Dan Muroff, attorney Mary Gay Scanlon, bioengineer Molly Sheehan, State Representative Greg Vitali, and journalist David Wertime.

Delaware County Democratic Committee Holds 2018 Nominating Convention
On February 18th, the Delaware County Democratic Committee held its annual nominating convention at Strath Haven Middle School in Nether Providence. 353 delegates from 48 municipalities attended to endorse the reelection of Governor Wolf and Senator Casey, all incumbent Democratic State Representatives (including Greg Vitali in the 166th, which includes parts of Radnor Township), and new candidates in the 162nd, 163rd, 165th, and 168th. (First-time candidate Jennifer O'Mara is running in the 165th, which represents the other parts of Radnor Township.) Anthony Hardy Williams received the endorsement for the 8th Senatorial District. An open primary will be held in the 26th Senatorial District. No Congressional or State Committee endorsements were made at this time.
Delaware County Councilmember Kevin Madden addressing audience at Delaware County Democratic Committee Nominating Convention

Nomination Petition Period Closes for Non-Congressional Races
The regular petition period closed on March 6th, and there were no big surprises. Governor Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey will be on the May ballot. For the State House races, half of Radnor is in the 165th Legislative District, and the other half is in the 166th. In the 165th, an exciting and energetic political newcomer, Jennifer O'Mara, will be the Democratic candidate to challenge freshman incumbent Republican Alex Charlton. In the 166th, Democrat Greg Vitali will be running for his 14th two-year term. In addition to running for his State House seat, Greg has also announced that he will be simultaneously running for Congress in the newly redrawn 5th District.

Democratic Commissioner Candidates Appointed for Special Elections in Wards 1 and 7
In addition to the "normal" primary election in Radnor this May, we are holding TWO special elections for Township Commissioner in Ward 1 and Ward 7, respectively. Normally, people are only allowed to vote within their party of registration in the primary. For that reason, Independents often do not bother to show up for primary elections because they cannot vote for any candidates (they can, however, vote on a referendum question if there is one). This year, however, Democrats, Republicans AND Independents in Wards 1 and 7 CAN vote on May 15th for their Township Commissioner. It is basically a general election for these two Commissioner races--but held in May instead of November. The winners will serve out the remaining unexpired terms until the seats are up for a full four-year term in November 2019.

Because it is a special election, there are no nominating petitions and no primary election. Instead, the rules of the Democratic Party dictate that the Democratic Committeepeople (both elected and appointed) in each ward shall convene and vote to appoint the Democratic candidate who will then appear on the ballot in May. The "convention" where the Democratic Committeepeople "convened" was held on Saturday, March 10th, and after reviewing resumes and interviewing prospective candidates, the selections were made. In Ward 1, John "Jack" Larkin will be the Democratic candidate for Commissioner, and, in Ward 7, Sean Farhy, the current Interim Commissioner, will be the Democratic candidate. The Radnor Democratic Committee believes that both Jack and Sean will represent the values of our party and the interests of their constituents well and run strong campaigns to retake the majority on the Board of Commissioners. Come to our meeting this Tuesday, March 13th, to meet them both.

Prevent Gun Violence: Tell Congress That Their "Thoughts and Prayers" Are Not Enough
On February 14th, a high school in Broward County, Florida, experienced a mass shooting when a former student used a legally purchased assault weapon to kill at least 17 students. This marked the 30th mass shooting and 18th school shooting to that point in 2018. Donald Trump and Members of Congress continue to extend “thoughts and prayers,” but it’s not enough. It is time for Congress to do something to stop this type of gun violence. Find out how you can pressure them to do so here.

Contribute to the RDC Special Election Fund
With the Vacancy Board's appointment of Republican Matt Marshall as the Interim Commissioner of Ward 1 on January 22nd, we have lost our Democratic majority on the Township Board of Commissioners. We need your support so that we can help Jack Larkin and Sean Farhy run strong, effective campaigns in their wards. Even if you do not live in Ward 1 or 7, you will be well served if Democrats regain the majority on the full Board. Every dollar you contribute helps; please help by clicking here!

Help Your Preferred Democratic Congressional Candidate Get on the Ballot
If you are a registered Democrat in the newly redrawn PA-5 (which encompasses all of Delaware County, lower South Philadelphia, and a sliver of Montgomery County), you have until March 20th to help your preferred Democratic candidate get his or her name on the ballot in the May primary by signing and/or circulating their petition. Each candidate needs to collect at least 1,000 valid signatures from registered Democrats who reside in PA-5 in order to appear on the May ballot, and many are aiming to collect three times as many signatures in order to avoid petition challenges by the other candidates. Please note that each signatory can only sign one candidate's petition.


Nomination Petition Period for U.S. Congressional Races in Pennsylvania
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 Congressional candidate running in the newly redrawn PA-5 get on the ballot by signing their petition and/or acting as a circulator for their petition!

Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, March 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.

March For Our Lives (Philadelphia)
Saturday, March 24th, 9am-3pm
Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
On March 24th, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC, to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. March with them in Washington or march in your own community, such as at this sister march in Philadelphia. The collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard. RSVP here.

Women's Democratic Club of Delaware County Annual Martha Wilson Anniversary Brunch
Saturday, March 24th, 11am-3pm
The Oaks Ballroom
511 Oak Lane, Glenolden, PA
The Women's Democratic Club of Delaware County would like to invite you to our Annual Martha Wilson Anniversary Brunch. This year, our special guest is Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, and we have planned a “Day Party” to celebrate the hardworking Democratic women candidates of Delaware County. RSVP here.

Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, April 10th, 7pm
Radnorshire Room, Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor, PA
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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 or change your party affiliation in time for the Primary and Special Elections on May 15th!

Monthly Radnor Democrats Meeting
Tuesday, May 1st, 7pm
Radnorshire Room, Radnor Township Municipal Building
301 Iven Avenue, Radnor, PA
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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!

Tuesday, May 15th
Click here to find your polling place. THEN GO VOTE!

This Tuesday, March 13th, a special election will be held in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in southwest PA to fill the vacancy created by last year's resignation of Tim Murphy, a self-avowed family values and anti-abortion Republican who was undone when his mistress revealed that he had urged her to "abort [their] unborn child." Even though Trump won PA-18 by 20 percentage points in 2016 and the last Democrat who challenged Murphy in 2012 garnered only 36 percent of the vote, recent polls indicate that the race is locked in a deadheat between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor and ex-Marine. And Lamb has surged despite the GOP pouring millions of dollars of outside money into this race and Trump visiting the area twice to campaign for Saccone. Help Conor Lamb pull off a historic upset by contributing here

Rob Armstrong
Treasurer, Radnor Democratic Committee

Rob Armstrong currently serves as the Treasurer of the Radnor Democrats and as a Radnor Democratic Committeeperson for voting precinct 3-2, which uses St. Mary’s Episcopal Church as its polling station. For the last ten years, Rob has enjoyed being very involved in helping to elect our local Democratic Radnor School Board and Commissioner candidates. His deep interest in politics was inspired by the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign and its pragmatic approach to improving the lives of all people. He took to heart Dean’s belief that “every American should run for public office once in their life” and that public service to your community is a noble endeavor. 

Rob was elected to the Radnor School Board in 2009 and served one term. During his four years on the School Board, he served as Finance Committee Chairman for two years and Vice President of the School Board for one year. In this time, Rob focused on advocating for fiscally smart strategies and empowering the school district’s teachers and staff. His belief is that good schools build good communities. He championed savings from operational efficiencies, contract renegotiation, and refinancing portions of the school debt, which resulted in taxpayer savings of five million dollars. 

Rob Armstrong graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. He received an M.A. in Communication Management from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Rob worked as Senior Financial Analyst at Entercom, a radio conglomerate based in the area, where his work included financial analysis, information technology, and operations, for over 100 radio stations, with revenues in excess of $400 million. Rob has been a stay-at-home parent for the past sixteen years. He lives in Wayne with his wife and their two daughters (who currently attend Radnor Middle School and Radnor High School). Prior to joining the Radnor School Board, Rob served two years as PTO Treasurer for Ithan Elementary.

Rob is the author of the novel “Daddy 3.0: A Comedy of Errors.” He is currently working on his next book.


Fasten your seat belt for a wild and crazy primary election season in Southeastern PA.

On January 22nd, the PA Supreme Court threw out our commonwealth's old Congressional district lines, calling them unconstitutional. The court gave the legislature and the governor a February deadline to present new maps that could pass constitutional muster. When the legislature failed to do it, the Supreme Court issued its own new district lines on February 19th. Delaware County got its wish. The ENTIRE county is contained in the new 5th Congressional District. Delaware County, with over 560,000 people, is not large enough to fill an entire district, so the new 5th District also contains a sizable chunk of lower South Philadelphia from river to river, the 40th Ward (Southwest Philadelphia) and a small sliver of Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County. Almost 80% of the new 5th District is Delaware County, so one would think that our county would get one of its own in Congress. Not so fast. In a political drama that is still playing out, one South Philadelphia candidate, Rich Lazer, with the backing of South Philly labor boss John ("Johnny Doc") Dougherty and Mayor Jim Kenney, appears to have a possible path to victory. How could an area with less than 20% of the population in the district claim the seat? Math. More than 10 Delaware County candidates have thrown their hats into the ring. If they all stay in and split the suburban/DelCo vote, a solid South and Southwest Philly voting block could install a South Philly Congressman in our district.

This is especially troubling to Delaware County Democrats, since Johnny Doc has been known to support Delaware County Republicans. While he is free to do that if he believes it helps his unions, it has not endeared him to Delaware County Democrats, and they will soon be convening to consider endorsing a Delaware County candidate who would presumably be able to stop the South Philly takeover of the new 5th District. As of last count (it changes almost daily), there are 15 candidates in the Democratic race, including the undersigned. Most of the candidates are intelligent and articulate, agree on all the major issues, and would make a fine Representative in Congress, but we need to endorse someone who will be able to win the primary against Lazer, the South Philly candidate. If the DelCo-endorsed candidate is unable to take enough votes out of South Philadelphia to offset the DelCo split vote, Lazer, a 32-year-old former Deputy Mayor for Jim Kenney, will be our candidate in November to go up against what looks like will be a Delaware County Republican candidate. We in Delaware County need to get behind the Delaware County candidate who will be able to win the primary; otherwise, Lazer will be the candidate. The district is heavily Democratic and heavily Delaware County, but Lazer may be the only Democrat capable of losing in November, since he could be painted as a Johnny Doc South Philly guy against an accomplished professional Delaware County Republican candidate.

As most of you know, I was the Democratic candidate for Congress in 2012 in the rigged 7th District. I moved to Radnor from South Philly in 1987, after which I became involved in the Radnor Democratic Party, and I have been Chair or Vice Chair of the Radnor Dems since 2004 and have been involved in Democratic Party issues for decades. I have lived in the new 5th District my whole life. I decided to run for Congress this year, in part, because I think I'm the only one who could win against the South Philly candidate. That is because I was born and raised in the South Philly section of the new 5th District. I was elected Democratic Committeeperson in 1978 in South Philadelphia's 39th Ward at age 20, and became Ward Vice Chair from 1984-87. As a lawyer, I currently represent over 40 Mummers clubs in South Philadelphia and maintain a lot of political, social, familial and professional contacts there. I will take a lot of votes away from Lazer in South Philly, so even though DelCo will be split, I will be able to split South Philly's votes and win. Please check out my
campaign website and in particular check out the "Videos" section, with our new 60-second commercial spot, my NBC 10 televised debate clip with Pat Meehan on the topic of Planned Parenthood, and my CNN national televised involvement in the litigation surrounding the 2000 Presidential election. I have been working hard within our party and have been preparing for this Congressional seat my whole life, have always been a strong advocate for the rights of women, and I'm hoping that this will finally be the year. Please come to our meeting this Tuesday to sign my nominating petition. You can only sign one petition, and the first one you sign is the only one that will count.  --George Badey
All Politics Is Local, and positive change starts at home. Help us to build our party from the ground up, because today's local officials could become tomorrow's state and national leaders. Volunteer and/or donate today.
Copyright © 2018 Radnor Democratic Committee, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 7024
Saint Davids, PA  19087

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