Gop Ward Leader Loses 2d Election By 2 Votes

Posted: July 03, 1986

Republicans in Olney and Feltonville engaged Tuesday in that most un- Republican of exercises - public disagreement - and turned a veteran ward leader out of office by a two-vote margin.

Daniel Meenan, 43, was elected over incumbent William Yeager in the 42d Ward. It was the second election in the 42d in a month; the first, which Meenan won by one vote, was nullified by the Republican City Committee.

Meenan defeated Yeager, 24-22, in a Tuesday election monitored at the Schwarzwald Inn by city party leaders. If the election is ratified Monday, as expected, by the Republican City Committee, it will end the kind of divisive and sometimes bitter chapter in ward politics more familiar to Philadelphia's Democrats than to the usually sedate Republicans.

Tuesday's ward election was ordered after the first ward election, held last month, was invalidated by the city committee after Yeager protested Meenan's 23-22 victory. The party leaders ruled that one of the committee people who voted in the election, Jeanette Morrell, had been improperly placed on the ballot and that she should not have been permitted to vote for ward leader.

"It's been a very, very trying time," said Meenan yesterday. "We spent 23 hours in court, dealing with challenges to petitions and withdrawals. . . . I'm relieved that it's all over. I'd just like to go forward and do something for the people of this ward.

"Bill Yeager is a fine man. . . . I just thought the ward needed new blood and some new organization."

Meenan, who was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the state legislature in 1984, is the owner of Meenan Hydraulic Service in Kensington.

The battle in the 42d Ward produced one of the few changes in the Philadelphia Republican Party's leadership structure. The GOP city committee has yet to decide a contested election in Ward 40-A in southwest Philadelphia,

where incumbent Ernest Brambilla and challenger John Inemer held separate elections and both claimed victory.

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