15-Term House Member Upset in Chesco
By Bob Small
There were five incumbents who won’t be returning to the Pa House after the results of November’s election. Two of them, one from each party, were incumbents of three decades’ standing.
Democrat Paul F. Friel, Jr., won 55.6 percent of the total votes, while incumbent Timothy F. Hennessey garnered only 44.24 percent.
Timothy F. Hennessey was first elected to Pennsylvania House District 26 in 1992. Bob Casey, Sr., was then the governor. The newly redistricted PA House District 26 now covers Phoenixville and 10 other Chesco municipalities.
Friel cited many factors for his victory, including the redistricting of House seats to favor the Democrats, the importance of the abortion issue, and the appeal of the individual candidates at the top of the ticket.
Timothy F. Hennessey has been active throughout his terms in office. Most recently, his safe-driving bill was signed into law. In addition, along with others, he advocated for funding for Montgomery County’s New Missions Child Advocacy Center, and he has been involved with other issues including the issue of driverless cars. See his website for more details.
On Dec. 4, 2021, Hennessey was one of the 64 Republicans who signed a four-point objections bill challenging Pennsylvania’s electoral votes in Congress on Janury 6. Hennessey was later quoted as saying he was “shocked and appalled by” the violence of January 6. He went on to say “the election is over, Biden won”.
Friel is a member of the Owen J. Roberts (OJR) School Board. He says OJR hasn’t been caught up in CRT (Critical Race Theory) or gender and trans issues. In fact, OJR hasn’t changed its stance on these policies for at least a decade.
The other long-term State House incumbent to lose his position on Nov. 8 was Democrat Chris Sainato of Lawrence County in the 9th District.