Delaware County Republican Chairman Andy Reilly appeared on the Dom Giordano show, Monday, (June 15) to defend the man the GOP picked to fill the vacant 161st District Seat in the Pennsylvania House.
Why the candidate himself couldn’t appear is certainly a point of wonder especially as Andy couldn’t answer questions about where the candidate stood.
The candidate is Paul Mullen, who is business manager of IBEW Local 654 and until very recently was president of the county AFL-CIO. Mullen was a personal supporter of Joe Sestak, Toomey’s opponent, five years ago.
This is what Mullen said in 2010 about Sestak: A lot of politicians say they’ll support you when they run, then they turn their backs on you. Joe’s the opposite. He stands tall with the IBEW. Members here—they know Joe. He’s been to the hall several times and he’s toured our training facility. He’s definitely one of us.
Will Mullen support Toomey this time? Andy replied “I’ll bet you a steak dinner at a restaurant of your choosing that he will”.
Um, that’s not a yes.
Will Mullen support liquor privatization?
Andy: “I believe he does . . . it depends on how you define (privatization). What does that mean?”
One glaring issue that reveals why many of the loyal party workers are getting disgusted with the bosses is the claim that Mullen was picked by the grassroots.
“There is some kind of suggestion that the process of the endorsement of Paul Mullen was undemocratic,” Andy, who counts IBEW. Local 654 as among his law clients, told Dom. “The decision was made by the elected Republican committeepeople, one man and one woman from the neighborhoods in the district. Both candidates were provided with a list of committeepeople and addresses. They each sent a letter to the committeepeople along with their resume. We held a forum whereby both candidates were able to give their speeches, and then we handed a secret ballot, and both candidates were there to witness the tabulation. This wasn’t a decision made by the party bosses. This was a rank and file election by committeepeople.”
The forum and election tabulation was held 7 p.m., May 28 at Barnaby’s Heritage Ballroom in Ridley.
The results had been announced an hour earlier on Facebook.
The interview is 12:27 long and can be found here in Dom’s archives from June 15.
The 161st District seat was vacated by newly re-elected Rep. Joe Hackett, a Republican, on April 30. The election is Aug. 4.
Lisa Esler, the Pat Tooomey-supporting Republican, who went door-to-door for our Senator and made phone calls for him in 2010 and stayed up nervously watching returns and is going to happily support his re-election, is also seeking election to the seat.
She is more than willing to personally take questions from Dom on the air.
Mrs. Esler won election to the Penn Delco School in 2011 and developed a reputation for tackling the corruption and cronyism prevalent in state politics.
In this year’s May 19 primary election, Mrs. Esler was the top vote-getter on both Republican and Democrat ballots to retain her seat.
She is running as a write-in candidate, something the new machines make easy to do.
The non-GOP supported Democrat in the race is Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Swarthmore who lost to Hackett last fall.
Andy Reilly Covers For Mullen