Friday, November 02, 2007

English in for a race?

Dr Dee, I feel bad that I dismissed your endorsement of Kathy Dahlkemper so off-handedly (is that a word?) It appears that for once the Democrats are interested in putting up a serious challenge against Phat Phil. I'm shocked, but I guess they see this whole Bush-driven negative-Repulican backlash thing as making Phil vulnerable.

Personally, I couldn't believe it when Phil got elected back in 1992, after Ridge vacated the seat. From what I recall, the Erie County Democrats, with Ian Murray acting as the party director at the time, badly mismanaged the race and ended up sending three or four fairly strong candidates against each other, which split the vote up here and allowed a badly underqualified guy from Mercer or Butler - Bill Leavens I think was his name, to walk away with the Democratic nomination. Phil, who I always thought came off as a clown (of course, I felt the same way about George W., so that shows what I know), ended up crushing Leavans in November and hasn't looked back since. Sure, Ronnie DiNicola gave it another go in 1996, but he was a bit too California for people around here, not to mention the Mercer County area where I was living at the time.

I will say Phil has managed to fix up his image, at least in my eyes, during his years in office, and I'm interested to see how the Dems will attack him. I guess I could say I'm also disappointed that it has taken the Dems so long to mount a serious campaign against him. I mean has it really taken everyone this long to figure out that Bush and his cronies have been mucking things up? Phil's been in office for like 15 years and the best you could come up with was Stephen Porter? Come on. Now that the guy is finally gaining some serious seniority, experience, and allies, you want to throw him out. Oh well, maybe some fresh air would be good.




DrD said...

No problem. Actually, I agree that it will take some smart coordination to knock off Big Phil.

And, if you remember, I didn't say that Kathy would win. I said she would have widespread support. The Dahlkempers are smart and well-connected, and that will translate into votes.

I figure if Stephen Porter could make the race close, Kathy could make it closer. It's going to be hard for English to smear her, because she's squeaky-clean and has been involved in a lot of community service through Frontier Park.

I also agree with your notions that 1) Phil has fixed up his image, and 2) he has developed some influence for the district. In my view, voters too often want to "throw the bums out" even if that means decreasing the ability of their district to "bring home the bacon." It's a party-line thing.

Kyle Foust is another guy who might be able to challenge English. Kyle teaches at Mercyhurst. He is well-respected and well-liked.

But it's up to the Dems to not "eat their own young" when it comes to picking a representative. They need to pick a single candidate and stick with him/her.

I'm glad you finally came around to this conversation. I thought you'd have more to say on this topic...


Ralph said...

From what I can find, Phil's last two results against Porter are like
60%-40% in favor of Phil
54%-42% in favor of Phil, so Porter was clearly gaining on him, if only slightly.