According to unofficial numbers from Delaware County, Mrs. Krueger-Braneky has received 4,791 votes, while Paul Mullen, who for some unfathomable reason had been tapped by the GOP, got 4,268 votes. Mullen is the county’s AFL-CIO president and had been supporting Democrats until this election.
There were 988 write-in votes cast most of them likely going to Republican write-in candidate Lisa Esler.
Mrs. Krueger-Braneky beat Mullen by more than 1,000 votes in Swarthmore.
The seat was vacated April 30 by Joe Hackett who easily beat Mrs. Krueger-Braneky last fall 12,612 to 9,916. Hackett said he wanted to return to law enforcement.
Why the county Republicans would pick a candidate like Mullen who they should have known would absolutely outrage a substantial portion of the base is certainly a mystery. Why they would pick a man unwilling to face questions from the public is beyond comprehension.
More significantly, with a pension bomb looming and property taxes rising, they should have understood that it was necessary to take the appropriate stands on issues such as banning teacher strikes and ending prevailing wage rather than picking a candidate that would oppose reforms.
Hopefully, they learned a lesson. We are not sure.
Now, for some secrets from the campaign.
Lisa Esler did not want to run. When she heard Mullen was seeking the candidacy she made her own submission with the expectation that the GOP would pick a compromise candidate. If the party leadership, picked the toil-in-the-vineyard hack she expected them too — rather than a supporter of extreme liberal candidates and an opponent of the fiscal reforms that she saw as a school director as being desperately needed — she would have shrugged her shoulders and maybe even worked to get him elected.
Further, she is certain the endorsement meeting May 28 was fixed despite the protestations of County GOP Chairman Andy Reilly. A Facebook posting was made an hour before the meeting declaring Mullen to be the nominee. No amount of spinning can change that.
Neither, can any amount of spinning change the reality that Mullen avoided explaining where he stood on anything.
Anyway, kudos Lisa Esler. You can only be proud of yourself.
And congratulations Leanne Krueger-Braneky