The Republican Party has two candidates for city commissioner in next Tuesday’s election – Joe Duda, the 16-year incumbent, and Al Schmidt, who’s been active with an insurgent group critical of the party leadership. So what does the party leadership do with its sample ballots? Schmidt’s name is on there, in the same blue ink used for most of the other candidates. Duda’s name and ballot position are in red ink, standing out from the others.
All a matter of routine, says party leader Vito F. Canuso Jr., whose election as party chairman was overturned by Republican State Committee last year because of various irregularities. Schmidt was his opponent.
“We decided to put the names of incumbents in red ink,” Canuso said. “We always do it that way. The incumbents are the ones who have not tried to stab anybody else in the back, who haven’t violated Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, don’t speak ill of other Republicans.”
Schmidt said he’s consulting a lawyer. A similar sample ballot, also produced at Strassheim Printers for multiple wards in Northeast Philadelphia, has Duda’s name in red and instead of mentioning Schmidt, it says “SKIP #119,” Schmidt’s ballot number. That ballot says it’s “paid for by Friends of Joe Duda.”