"Phil and I made a miscalculation. We're big boys, and we intend to run for the school board as Republicans," Horowitz said Thursday.
Meeting Wednesday night, the Haverford Republican policy committee declined to endorse any candidates for the school board. Both Hopkins and Horowitz, along with incumbent Richard Giangiulio and newcomer Kathleen Hanna appeared before the committee, seeking school board endorsements. Giangiulio and Hanna are longtime Republicans.
"We wish all the candidates well," township GOP chairman Joe Kelly said in a prepared statement Thursday, "The Republican Party will not endorse an official slate. The Republican Party urges the Democratic Party to keep partisanship out of the school district."
Haverford Democratic chairman William Myrtetus said the Democrats would endorse four candidates in the primary. They will announce their slate on Tuesday, Myrtetus said.
"Joe Kelly is an outrage to mention partisanship," Myrtetus said. "He
put politics into the school board by proselytizing Democrats and then failing to support the Democrats after he did this. He is only telling us to stay out of the race in order to hide his own embarrassment."
Horowitz and Hopkins said Thursday they would file in both primaries.
Republican Stephen Campetti, president of the Haverford Board of Commissioners, said he was not impressed with any of the four candidates at the endorsement meeting.
"They had no platform," he said. "They only promised to raise taxes. They didn't say what they would do to help the GOP if we backed them."
The four candidates were quizzed over their stands on school taxes and their attitudes toward patronage, according to several people who attended the meeting.
"They were pretty honest," said Kelly, a Haverford commissioner and member of the Delaware County Council. "They said that school board taxes will continue to rise."
In the past, local Republican leaders have been divided over whether the party should enter school board politics. Experiences in the last 10 years have convinced some GOP leaders that there are few gains to be made by entering the fray.
"The issues are intense. People are concerned. It's a thankless job," Dolores Hodges, a GOP ward leader, said recently.
The school board has raised the property-tax rate to pay for increased school budgets, while the Haverford commissioners have been able to keep the property-tax rate for other municipal services at the same rate for the past four years. The commissioners have been able to do this because the township has received increased revenues from building permits, real-estate transfer taxes and fees for licenses.
Kelly said some members of the policy committee questioned the sincerity of Hopkins and Horowitz in becoming Republicans.
"They felt their reasons for becoming Republicans were self-serving, particularly their statement that they came over to the GOP because it would help them win," Kelly said.
Kelly said the candidates were asked whether, as school board members, they would vote to fire school board solicitor William P. Lincke if the GOP gained control of the board. The Democrats now have a 5-4 majority on the board.
"I believe two of the candidates said they would fire Lincke and two said they would not," Kelly said.
The candidates also were asked whether - "all things being equal" - they would appoint Republicans to school jobs. Kelly said the candidates all said they would.
"It's natural for the Democrats to pick Democrats," said Campetti. "It would be natural for us to pick Republicans . . . To the victor goes the