Sunday, February 24, 2008

Democrat vows to stay in 6th Congressional District race

And then there were two ...

Montgomery County Democrats met recently to endorse candidates in contested primary races. The big news from the meeting was the party endorsement for Bob Roggio to challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, a three-term Republican.

Roggio won the Montgomery County endorsement easily over two rivals, Bob Rovner and Mike Leibowitz, according to The Mercury.

Roggio received 59 out of 75 Montgomery County votes. At the Chester County endorsement convention last month, Roggio got 88 out of 111 votes. The 6th District also covers parts of Berks County and a tiny portion of Lehigh County.

Rovner dropped out of the race Saturday and endorsed Roggio. No surprise there. Rovner's biggest contribution to the race so far was telling a newspaper, "I have nothing bad to say about Jim Gerlach."

But Leibowitz vows to stay in the race.

"I think I'm the strongest candidate to take on Jim Gerlach, and I think I have broad-based support across the 6th Congressional District," Leibowitz told the Daily Local News.

"The best way to pick a candidate is not to ask 80 political insiders sitting in a smoke-filled room," Leibowitz added. "The best way to pick a candidate is through a primary. For Rovner to suggest people don't deserve the chance to have their say in a primary, is old-time party politics."

Candidates who have filed nominating petitions for the April 22 primary election have until Feb. 27 to withdraw their names from the ballot. Let's see if Democratic Party arm-twisting can persuade Leibowitz to drop out by Wednesday.

Gerlach (that's him smiling above) doesn't seem too worried about a potential Democratic challenger.

Before the endorsement vote, Gerlach's campaign put out a press release pondering which of the three potential challengers would come out ahead with the title of "most liberal."

"Bob Roggio has pledged to raise taxes by over $2,000 per year on Pennsylvania taxpayers, Mike Liebowitz wants to spend billions on socialized bureaucrat-driven healthcare run by the same government who can't secure our borders, and Bob Rovner has said he has nothing bad to say about Jim Gerlach," said Mark Campbell, Gerlach's political director. "We agree. Congressman Jim Gerlach has been ranked one of the most independent members in Washington, supports making tax cuts permanent, securing our borders, making healthcare affordable through private market solutions and has led efforts over the last decade to preserve farmland and open space. Jim Gerlach will proudly put his record, accomplishments and service up against either of these three candidates this fall."

Montgomery County Democrats also endorsed candidates in two other contested races, according to The Times-Herald in Norristown.

Democratic committee members in that 61st House District voted 25-7 to endorse the candidacy of political insider Frank X. Custer of Upper Gwynedd, over Todd Eisenberg, a lawyer from Montgomery Township.

The seat is now held by Rep. Kate Harper, a Republican seeking reelection.

Custer is a public relations consultant who previously served as the press secretary and senior adviser to Rep. Joe M. Hoeffel when Hoeffel was in Congress. Custer previously ran for Montgomery County commissioner.

The 61st District includes Upper Gwynedd and North Wales and parts of Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery Township, Plymouth, Towamencin and Whitpain.

In the contested race for state treasurer, Montgomery County Democrats went with somebody they knew.

The majority of the 300 Democratic committee members that attended the convention gave the nod to Lower Merion businessman Rob McCord over three other prospective candidates in his bid to become the party's nominee for state treasurer, according to reporter Margaret Gibbons.

The unchallenged Republican candidate for that post is former Montgomery County Commissioners' Chairman Thomas J. Ellis, a lawyer from Cheltenham.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Leibowitz is so strong, why won't anyone take him seriously the second time around? (mind you I am saying that remembering the whiney horse they backed twice, Lois Murphy)

Leibowitz is not universally know within his home township, and has no money. It's pretty hard to run without ANY coin behind you, isn't it?

Face it, Bob Roggio is a strategy: the candidate from smack dab in the middle of Gerlach Country.

However, that being said the Dems should just "Dream On". Hoeffel, who was once a Republican, didn't maintain the seat - not for his lack of trying but little things like perhaps it could be said his staff was always looking for the next best job opportunity?

Gerlach does right by his constituents - all of them, not just the GOP minded. He is also smack dab in the middle politically.

He's a good guy who deserves to stay in office as long as he feels like running.

As for Rovner dropping out, whatever will he do with all those "parked" website addresses now LOL?