Remember The York County Upsets
By Bob Small
Normally, I wouldn’t discuss political goings-on in York County, a hundred miles from Swarthmore and Delaware County. After all, what could possibly happen there that is meaningful to us in Delco?
However, at this time a very effective rebellion has taken place in York, and two long-term GOP incumbents have been upset. Both chaired their respective Appropriations Committees and we will discuss Keith Gillespie’s even more surprising loss in an upcoming post.
These losses led York County GOP Chairman Jeff Piccola to resign within minutes of the polls closing.
The 94th District consists of 14 towns: Chanceford Township, Delta, East Prospect, Felton, Lower Chanceford Township, Lower Windsor Township, Peach Bottom Township, Red Lion, Stewartstown, Windsor, Windsor Township, Winterstown, Yorkana, and parts of Springettsbury Township. This district had been a GOP stronghold since 1969. Prior to that, seats were apportioned by county.
Representative Stan Saylor was defeated by Wendy Fink, who had 5,408 votes to Saylor’s 4,300. Mike Jones (R-93rd) was one of the most prominent people to support her insurgency. Keep in mind that Saylor served almost three decades in politics and described himself as the “most conservative House Appropriations Chairman in decades”, yet, he was defeated.
“This victory really belongs to the people,” Ms. Fink said. “They came out. They made their voices heard. They demanded change, and I look forward to serving them in any way that I can.”
Piccola had sought to have Mike Jones censured by the party for his endorsement of Wendy Fink. The party, quite rightly, refused to comply.
Wendy Jo Fink, like many state representatives of both stripes, has promised to eliminate school property taxes. If she finds the magic formula to eliminate school property taxes without reducing school funding, we may want her to present her formula in Delco.
Leo Knepper, the political director of the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) said “Just because you have an ‘R’ behind your name doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing.”
Citizens Alliance for Pennsylvania took some credit for some of these victories. See their website for information.
Let me end with the Democratic perspective. Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford (D-70) has said “Compromise has become a dirty word.” He worries that the ideological wing of the Republican Party is growing, while the governing wing is shrinking.”