Saturday, May 30, 2015

Analysis of the 2015 Pennsylvania Primary Election for Reading School Director

           On the Republican ballot, I placed first out of five candidates for the GOP nomination for five four-year term seats on the Reading School District Board of Directors, with over 500 votes.  On the Democratic ballot, however, as School Board candidates in Pennsylvania are permitted to cross-file, I received nearly 1,400 votes and was short of  being nominated by America’s oldest political party by only 64 votes, finishing seventh out of ten candidates. 

            I am honored to have received over 1,900 votes overall, which was the fifth-highest overall total among candidates for four-year terms.  I was among the top five in votes on the Democratic ballot in 16 precincts out of 44.  I appreciated the strong bipartisan support I earned. 

            The results, although unsuccessful on the Democratic ballot, in a district in which Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans, are striking, considering that my Democratic running mates and I were heavily outspent by money from outside the District for this non-paying job.  Our opponent’s spending, the final total of which will be reported next month, allowed the campaign committee for the winning slate of candidates to spread misleading information without a sufficient ability for our campaign to refute it.  In addition to our opponent’s alleged campaign finance violations, for which my running mates and I have filed a complaint with the Berks County Board of Elections, we proved in Common Pleas Court that the other campaign had relied upon various illegal or unethical methods to get on the ballots in the first place.  In fact, two of our opponents withdrew from the Republican ballot in the face of ballot petition challenges. 

            Nevertheless, the results suggest that many Republicans and Democrats, especially those who were familiar with me, appreciated my record as a School Director as an experienced reformer, for which I am grateful. 

            My campaign message of fiscal responsibility paid off for the taxpayers of Reading the day after the Primary when the Reading School Board voted not to raise taxes for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, after I had criticized as unnecessary its increase of taxes for this year to the highest legal limit.  I intend to continue to promote fiscal responsibility, openness and transparency and holding the School District Administration accountable through proper oversight.    

           I thank all those who voted for me or supported my campaign in any way!

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