Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Been there, done that

It looks like Roggio vs. Gerlach in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District.

Just days after he said party leaders wouldn't intimidate him into dropping out of the race, Mike Leibowitz folded like an accordion. Democratic Party leaders must have made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Leibowitz's departure came after another announced candidate, Bob Rovner, dropped out when he failed to gain the support of the Democratic Party establishment in Montgomery or Chester counties.

That leaves Bob Roggio as the last man standing to challenge three-term Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach.

"I'm thrilled to have the support of Bob Rovner and Mike Leibowitz," Roggio said in a press release. "The 6th District is ready for a real change, and ready to unite around a candidate who can defeat Jim Gerlach. We need someone with real world experience in order to tackle the tough problems that are facing our district, and our country."

Roggio isn't letting his lack of political experience hold him back. Although he's never been elected to office, Roggio has worked as a volunteer for John Kerry's losing presidential bid in 2004 and Bob Casey's winning U.S. Senate run in 2006.

Roggio retired after 30 years from Zenith Products Corp., a manufacturer of bathroom organizational products. He eventually sold the company and has spent much of his time working on community projects.

I took a look at Roggio's Web site and it looks like it was patched together from every other Democratic Congressional candidate Web site. Been there, done that. It bashes George W. Bush on most issues, including jobs, health care and global warming, and calls for surrender in Iraq.

Those were the same issues Lois Murphy tried to use in 2006 against Gerlach — and lost.

Gerlach, a moderate Republican, has a record of independent voting that Democrats would be hard-pressed to link to Bush.

Gerlach has fought hard to win and keep the 6th District in Republican hands over the past six years. He battled well-known, well-funded opponents in Dan Wofford and Lois Murphy.

Roggio doesn't have anything to offer voters other than he's a Democrat who doesn't like anything Republicans do. That's not a convincing argument to make a switch for most voters. I don't think Roggio's strategy of bashing George W. Bush is going to carry the day. Bush won't be on the ballot in 2008.

Roggio is facing an uphill battle to unseat Gerlach.

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