Mar 1, 2016

Partisan Politics In The Lehigh Valley

I know something about partisan politics in the Lehigh Valley. In 2014, I ran as an independent for state representative in the 183rd District.  There has not been an independent in the state house since the mid 1930's.  Not only is the state house partisan, there's even competition between the counties, by members of the same party.  This area just isn't much for open elections.  In 2014,  seven of the eleven incumbents had no opponent, neither in the primary or general election.  This cycle there's slightly more competition, especially in the 183rd, where eleven term Julie Harhart has chosen not run for a 12th term.

On the Lehigh County Republican side,  with Scott Ott having moved to Texas, and the Woodman/Scheller family unit no longer being kingmakers,  Dean Browning was hoping to reassert himself. He and Glenn Eckhart are working to get Marc Grammes from Slatedale  elected as state representative in the 183rd.  Just across the Lehigh River, in the Walnutport area, the Northampton County Republicans are backing Cindy Miller. She is state senator Mario Scavello's aide, and supposedly Harhart's anointed successor.  I also was interested in running as a Republican, but as an outsider, received no offers of help from the Lehigh party hierarchy.  Cindy Miller has filed challenges to both Grammes, and another person also running from Northampton County.  Grammes supposedly failed to file his financial disclosure with the ethics office, which may well be a fatal error.  Eckhart has already mentioned running a write-in campaign on Grammes' behalf. On the Democrat side in the 183rd,  there is supposedly also a challenge to a second candidate seeking the seat.

The whole scene reminds me why I'm so much more comfortable as a independent.

billboard from 2014 election


Anonymous said...

"I also was interested in running as a Republican, but as an outsider, received no offers of help from the Lehigh party hierarchy."

This isn't the first time you've written this statement, yet I continue to be surprised by it every time I see it.

Is it really so unusual that an organization would be hesitant to help someone who wants to run as an "outsider" to that organization, or even MORE unusual that you can't seem to grasp WHY an organization would be hesitant to help someone who wants to run as someone outside that organization?

michael molovinsky said...

i didn't say that i wanted to run outside the party, but that i was an outsider, because i haven't been involved in county party hierarchy. most of my voting life i have been registered as a republican in lehigh county. obliviously, most registered party members are not insiders. the greater point of the post is that lehigh county republicans first concern is having someone from lehigh county represent the district in harrisburg. their second concern is having someone that they have been involved with. i hope that their third concern is that at least a republican, even from northampton county, win the seat, because that's all they may end up with.