Friday, July 31, 2015

Republicans mending fences

Al Schmidt, one of the leaders of a dissident faction of local Republicans, is drawing some support from old-line ward leaders as he runs for city commissioner.

Republicans mending fences


A modest sign that the city's fractured Republican party is trying to patch itself up: Al Schmidt, who won a nomination for city commissioner without the party's official endorsement, has scheduled a fund-raiser for July 28th at the party's most venerated meeting spot, the United Republican Club in Kensington.

The sponsors include not only Marie Delany, the endorsed candidate Schmidt defeated in the race for city commissioner, but also four GOP ward leaders who've been closely allied with party chief Michael Meehan - state Rep. John Taylor, Kevin Pasquay, Bill Pettigrew and Walt Vogler.

"I believe that this is some sort of unification, these people putting themselves out to support Al," said Delany.  One factor that undermined her support for incumbent commissioner Joe Duda  -- and raised eyebrows among other Republican ward leaders -- was the primary voting in Duda's own 66th ward:  Duda carried the ward with 1,522 votes but produced only 749 for Delany, as Schmidt tallied 955.  

Assuming that the two Democratic candidates for commissioner, Anthony Clark and Stephanie Singer, ride the party's registration edge to victory, Duda and Schmidt are essentially running against each other for the third commissioner's seat.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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