Exclusive: Dow Ford Eying Rematch With Holden
By Nicole Houck, Contributing Writer
It looks like Sheila Dow-Ford is ready to give Tim Holden another primary challenge from the left.
PoliticsPA caught up with Dow-Ford, a Harrisburg educator and community activist who challenged Holden in 2010, to talk about the chances of seeking a rematch.
“There’s always the possibility of taking another run. Why not?” she remarked. “I’m looking, and I’m watching. I’m not the only one. And there are other people who have an interest and the ability to run against him.”
“I ran a basically two month campaign, it was very short. I got about 35% of the vote and that was quick, really quick. That’s really good given the short time frame running against an incumbent. It shows you can run against him and gain traction, and I’ve done that already,” said Dow-Ford. “The fact is that if I was able to get that traction, I could have challenged. The numbers were very close here, and I did not get out there until very late. It is doable.”
PoliticsPA reported in March that the 17th district is likely to grow more Democratic during the redistricting process, possibly even gaining the blue stronghold of Scranton. That would make a primary challenge more of a threat to Holden, a blue dog.
In 2010, Holden was ranked as the 14th most conservative Democrat by the National Journal Annual Ratings, a reflection on a consistent trend in Holden’s career. He voted against the health care law, and has universally sided with his district’s agriculture community against some environmental regulations.
“What you always want is the best representation possible. My position is that Tim was not always responsive enough to all of his constituents, that’s my belief. He was not at all supportive of the President’s agenda. Tim has to become more responsive to the needs of the Democratic Party and the constituency that elects him,” said Dow-Ford.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.