In other political news: The Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans recently held elections for its executive board. Board members include (from left) Seth Kaufer (vice chair), Phil Innamorato (chairman), Darin Bartholomew (treasurer), Dan Mulvenna (political outreach) and Elissa Prichep (events).
There will apparently be no prime-time television debate between the two major-party candidates for mayor.
NBC10 tried to schedule a debate between Democrat Jim Kenney and Republican Melissa Murray Bailey, but the station canceled its plans after declining to meet demands of the Kenney campaign.
“Jim Kenney is finally showing his true colors by using career politician tricks to protect his career politician job,” Bailey said. “The people of Philadelphia deserve a real debate on issues, in prime time when they can see it. What’s Jim Kenney afraid of?
“I’m ready, willing and able to face the public and face Jim Kenney. Like Chip Kelly said, ‘We’re from Philadelphia and we fight.’ I’ll fight for everyone in Philadelphia, and stand up to the corrupt political machine.”
Bailey acknowledges she is a decided underdog due to the city’s 7-to-1 Democratic voter registration edge.
Last week, she attended Stu Bykofsky’s final Candidates’ Comedy Night, a fundraiser for Variety — The Children’s Charity. Kenney did not attend.
“If Jim Kenney isn’t willing to stand up for himself and his own campaign, how can the people of Philadelphia trust him to stand up for them?” Bailey asked.
Meanwhile, former Gov. and Mayor Ed Rendell announced his endorsement of Kenney, a former city councilman.
“Jim Kenney has a long history of fighting on behalf of working families and their children,” Rendell said in a statement. “Through my work with him during my time as mayor, I know that he understands that providing fair wages and increasing resources to public schools are important steps toward making Philadelphia a world-class city. I look forward to working with him to ensure that working families are protected and equitable opportunities are provided to Philadelphians in all neighborhoods.”
“I am honored to have the governor’s endorsement,” Kenney said. “As mayor, he brought this city through a tough fiscal crisis, and as governor, he demonstrated his commitment to Philadelphia’s children by funding our schools. He will be an important ally, and I look forward to working with him to increase opportunities for working families and provide fully funded schools for our city’s children.”
Andrew Stober, an independent candidate for an at-large City Council seat, said he was disappointment, but not surprised, that his nominating petitions were challenged by Republicans.
“For decades, the Philadelphia GOP has been a go-along-to-get-along party. The fact that they will make every attempt to silence real, independent voices and protect their own fiefdoms shows nothing has changed,” Stober said.
Stober submitted over 2,000 nominating signatures, collected by the candidate and volunteers. To get on the ballot, 1,325 valid signatures are needed.
“I will easily beat this frivolous challenge in court. Real debate on Council requires independent-minded elected officials of all political stripes, who owe their election to voters, not party bosses. I will be a city councilman who is beholden to nobody except the citizens of Philadelphia,” Stober said.
Stober’s campaign manager, Dave Mellet, believes the challenge will be quickly defeated.
“This is a laughable challenge that shows just how afraid the Republicans are of Andrew Stober’s candidacy,” Mellet said. “Republican politicians for the past fifty years have taken these Council seats — and our citizens — for granted, and have done little to deserve the privilege to represent the citizens of our city on our City Council.”
John Jenkins, the Republican candidate in last year’s 2nd Senatorial District election, died last week. He was 31, lived in Mayfair and worked as admissions director at West Catholic High School.
“John was a fighter for our party and his neighborhood,” said state Rep. John Taylor, the local party chairman. “He was strong, determined and motivated, and this loss, at such a young age, cuts deeply. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, including his wife Carmen and his two little girls. He will be greatly missed.”
Local party executive director Joe DeFelice said, “John did anything we asked him to do whether it was run for state Senate, recruit committee people or help out on numerous campaigns. John and I worked very closely in our Mayfair neighborhood as well as on the board of the Mayfair Civic Association, with the Mayfair Town Watch and at St. Matt’s where John served as a lector. He was really a good friend of mine and fiercely loyal and a tremendous loss to the party and the neighborhood. This loss really hurts and we can only hope Carmen and his little girls find peace. He was definitely one of the good guys and I’m still in shock; rest in peace friend.”
A funeral Mass was held Tuesday at St. Matthew.
The Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans recently held elections for its executive board.
The new chairman is Phil Innamorato, a Torresdale resident and aide to U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. The head of public affairs is Rhawnhurst’s Brian Caputo, an aide to state Rep. Martina White. In charge of political outreach is Mayfair’s Dan Mulvenna.
Other board members are Seth Kaufer (vice chairman), Darin Bartholomew (treasurer), Elissa Prichep (events) and Jake Zenisek (secretary).
Republicans are criticizing Katie McGinty, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
Last week, former Gov. Ed Rendell was named chairman of her campaign.
McGinty ran for governor in 2014, but finished last in the four-person primary. She served six months as chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf before resigning to face former congressman Joe Sestak in the Senate primary.
McGinty and Sestak are vying for the right to face Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
“The Democrat Party bosses continue to line up behind their candidate, Katie McGinty,” said Megan Sweeney, Republican Party of Pennsylvania communications director. “Democrats in Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg will do anything to defeat Joe Sestak, even if it means leading the campaign of a candidate who came in dead last during her previous statewide race. Today’s announcement only serves as further proof that the establishment Democrats are ready to do whatever it takes to defeat Joe Sestak.”
Sweeney is demanding to know where McGinty stands on President Barack Obama’s climate plan. One analysis said the plan could raise electricity costs by 14 percent in Pennsylvania.
“Now that Katie McGinty is officially running for office, she owes voters an answer about the president’s radical climate plan,” Sweeney said. “Will McGinty back a double-digit rate hike on every Pennsylvania family and business? Will she stand with President Obama and turn her back on the people she wants to represent? Pennsylvanians deserve to hear from her — not down the road, but now.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee recalled past Rendell comments about how tough Sestak will be to beat in a primary. Rendell supported Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 primary, but Sestak defeated him.
“Establishment Democrats are making their second attempt to muscle Joe Sestak out of a Senate race, after failing to do so in 2010,” said NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. “Fresh off a last-place finish in the governor’s race, Katie McGinty has enlisted a party boss to prop up her campaign — but even Ed Rendell has said it’s ‘crazy’ to face off against Sestak in a primary. With the party establishment facing off against a voter favorite, this promises to be a very messy primary for Democrats.”
The Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Republican Emil Giordano for Superior Court.
Giordano, a Northampton County Common Pleas Court judge, faces Democrat Alice Beck Dubow, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge.
“It is an incredible honor to have the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police Pennsylvania State Lodge, an organization I respect tremendously,” Giordano said. “As a judge, former prosecutor and public defender, I have a unique perspective on the difficult job our police officers have as they lay their lives on the line every day to protect our communities.
“With the support and help of the Fraternal Order of Police and many other organizations who are supporting my campaign, I am confident that we will be successful and Pennsylvania will have a new Superior Court judge who is experienced, fair and tough on crime.”
Giordano has been a judge since 2003. Prior to being elected, he served as an assistant district attorney, assistant public defender, civil litigator and as lead counsel in his private law practice. He resides in Bethlehem with his wife Tina and his two sons, Joseph and Caden. ••