York County trio drops from Philly legislative race


For the time being, three York County Republicans are giving up their bids for the Northeast Philadelphia House seat that used to belong to Dennis O’Brien, now a City Councilman.

Leroy E. Wentz, a tax collector for the borough of Hanover, had filed for the seat along with chicken farmer Allan R. Case and businessman Marc Woerner.  But they withdrew their candidacies last week,  as  the prolonged dispute over legislative redistricting made clear that Philadelphia voters  -- not York County residents – would be choosing the candidates in the April 24th primary election.

A legislative redistricting plan developed last year had the seat shifting from Philadelphia to York County.  But the plan was thrown out in January by the state Supreme Court. So the old legislative boundaries, adopted in 2001, remain in effect, at least until a new redistricting proposal wins court approval.

“I still like cheesesteaks and the Phillies,” Wentz said.  “But until they resolve all these issues, there’s no point trying to stay on the ballot…The way things stand right now, we’re not really legal candidates.”

The York County withdrawals leave three Northeast  Philadelphia residents in the race: Republicans John McCann and David Kralle, O’Brien’s former aide, and Democrat Ed Neilson, a former official in Gov.  Rendell’s  administration and former political director for the city electricians union, Local 98.