Delco GOP holds off strong Democratic challenge

Several factors seemed to favor Democrats.

Posted: November 07, 2007

Delaware County Republicans last night maintained one-party control of county government, holding off the strongest Democratic attack in years.

Republican candidates Christine Fizzano Cannon, 38, of Middletown, Andy Lewis, 51, of Haverford, and Thomas McGarrigle, 48, of Springfield, were the voters' choice for County Council.

"The voters did their homework and came out and voted for candidates with better qualifications and experience," said Fizzano Cannon.

The Republican council candidates were leading by about a 3-to-2 ratio with more than three-quarters of the returns counted.

With three of the five seats open on the council, an unpopular GOP president, and declining Republican Party registration, this year appeared to be the best chance the Democrats had in a number of years to capture a seat.

It did not turn out as they hoped. They tried to put a good face on the loss.

"I think we showed them Democratic Party has a county wide presence," said David Landau, 54, of Wallingford, who conceded victory to the Republicans. His party running mates were Ann O'Keefe, 47, of Haverford, and John Innelli, 52, of Rose Valley.

A Democrat has not had a seat on the council since 1980, when a home-rule charter eliminated guaranteed minority-party representation.

What it came down to was voter turnout.

"The turnouts weren't there. Nobody voted," said Landau.

As of Oct. 16, the Republicans accounted for 53 percent of the registered voters in the county, down from 78 percent in 1970, a reflection of demographic trends running against the GOP in all the suburban counties.

Throughout the evening, the county struggled to deliver election results quickly on the county's Web site, a problem officials attributed to a "programing issue."

Democrat Frank Daly, 58, of Media, who was running for the Court of Common Pleas, came to the county office building where workers and media were anxiously waiting to ask about results.

"Well, is zero still winning?" Daly joked when he saw a row of zeros where results should have been.

Daly and Michael Farrell, 41, of Springfield, were both hoping to make history as the first Democrat to be elected as Court of Common Pleas judge. Neither won.

Republican judicial candidates Mary Alice Brennan, 49, of Drexel Hill, and Greg Mallon, 59, of Secane, took the two seats for Court of Common Pleas judge.

While many voters are unaware the position even exists, the council controls a more than $300 million budget and 3,200 employees who run the courts and a variety of social-service agencies.

GOP incumbent District Attorney G. Michael Green ran unopposed for a second term.


Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149 or mschaefer@phillynews.com.

 

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