Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Amazing Tales

Gleaned from the day after election returns, three amazing things that happened in Tuesday's primary.

Jericho, Meet Joshua
A Democrat wins a state Senate seat in Chester County.
It's like the Pope being elected head rabbi of Jerusalem.
Yet, Andy Dinniman defeated Republican Carol Aichele in the special election held to fill the seat of the late Robert J. Thompson. As of last night, Aichele had not conceded, saying she wanted to await the final returns.
The final returns show Dinniman winning by a margin of 5,000 votes.
Dinniman, though a Dem, is a longtime county commissioner, so he is well known about the Chester County folks.
But, it is further evidence -- as if any were needed -- of the Philly suburbs drifting to the Democrats -- or at least away from being predictably Republican.
It has immediate implications, especially for Republican incumbents (see Curt Weldon, Mike Fitzpatrick) facing serious Dem. Opponents in the fall.
Swept Away
The defeat of Bob Jubelirer and Chip Brightbill led the papers, but there's even more to the voter rebellion staged Tuesday. In the state House, 13 Republican incumbents and at least 3 Democrats lost their primaries.
But wait, there's more.
Another 12 incumbents won with less than 50% of the vote. In other words, they were spared defeat because there were multi-candidate fields. Included in this number is House Majority Leader Sam Smith, who polled 48% in his race.
Look for more incumbents to be swept away in the fall.
Write-in Wonder
You have to hand it to Carlos Matos, leader of Philadelphia's 19th Ward.
He had his own candidate to replace retiring state Rep. William Rieger in the 179th House District. It was Emilio Vazquez.
But Vazquez was knocked off the ballot by the courts for failing to fill out his ethics disclosure form correctly.
Another candidate was knocked off for failing to have enough signatures on his petition.
That left Tony Payton, a young progressive Democrat as the last-man standing.
Matos vowed to run a write-in campaign for Vazquez.
And darned if he didn't get enough write ins to defeat Payton on Tuesday.
This is one of those "We'll see you in court" cases, so it is hard to predict if the Vazquez win will stick.
But, Matos and his crew did get 976 write-ins for their man. And that is quite a feat.


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