PA-7: Golderer Looks for His Opportunity

GoldererBill Golderer is running for Congress.

The pastor announced he was jumping into the race this week and yesterday I spoke to him about why he decided to take the plunge. In fact, the first question was literally why he wanted to run for Congress.

“A real aptitude and desire to be in service,” Golderer responded. “[To] use whatever leadership ability I might possess to improve other people’s lives. I feel like I’ve done a fair amount to make a difference and make people’s lives better.”

One of his principal worries is that voters are losing faith in the political system. “People are getting more and more cynical,” he observed.

Given he’s just days into the endeavor, this was a great chance to ask what’s it feels like to embark on an uncertain adventure.

“[It’s] very hard to put down things you have poured your heart and soul into” Golderer said of the local projects he has led and worked for. The most difficult aspect was convincing others that he could better aid the community through political service.

“There’s a lot of people I’ve yet to meet because I’m not a career politician,” he conceded. “This is a new arena for me and I’m trying to learn it as I go and be curious about it.”

The biggest burden, especially for first-time candidates, is the tremendous time and effort that must be spent to raise enough money to sustain a campaign. When asked about this, Golderer admitted it is not one of the easiest or most joyous parts of the job.

“It’s daunting and I think it’s one of things that makes people very cynical about our political process.”

Nonetheless he emphasized that “financial support follows vision”, asserting that fundraising was just an extension of the entire endeavor.

According to Jonathan Tamari of the Inquirer, the DCCC recruited Golderer to run in PA-7 despite the fact that two Democratic candidates have already declared. The pastor felt that they were looking for someone with a record of achievement outside the realm of politics.

“I’ve always been very passionate about our electoral process. I think that word traveled down I-95 to the DCCC.”

I asked him about being both a pastor and a Democrat during a period when the more religious members of society increasingly identify as Republicans. He pointed to former Congressman Bob Edgar, a minister who represented the 7th district from 1975 to 1987, as a role model. Like Rep. Edgar, he wants his actions to speak loudest.

“I have a desire to make a difference that happens to be motivated by my faith commitments.”

“What I’m interested in is the transformation of society,” he continued. “I’m interested in a more equitable and more just and more inclusive society. And I feel like more and more people are not just cynical about politics but about organized religions.”

Additionally, Golderer said that he is pro-choice and talked about advising people who were going through that decision. He also identified as a supporter of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary while also praising Bernie Sanders.

“I think Hillary will be the next great President, I really believe that,” he declared.

When asked what his main issues would be, Golderer identified increasing opportunity as the central goal of his campaign.

“Everything that I have worked on so far has to do with this idea of opportunity,” he answered while mentioning his two sons. “Do we believe that there will be opportunity for people that do not find themselves in the most fortunate circumstances?”

“The theme is opportunity,” he went on. “I want everyone’s child to have the opportunity to flourish and thrive. I feel like right now we’re teetering on the edge of people giving up on the idea that there will be opportunity for everyone.”

2014 nominee Mary Ellen Balchunis and 24 year-old wunderkind Lindy Li are also competing for the Democratic nomination. Incumbent GOP Congressman Pat Meehan is running for his fourth term. The 7th district includes most of Delaware County as well as parts of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lancaster Counties.

November 20th, 2015 | Posted in Congress, Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 14 Comments

14 thoughts on “PA-7: Golderer Looks for His Opportunity”

  1. Lorraine Stanish says:

    You are no Bob Edgar

  2. Bill Thomas says:

    “I’ve always been very passionate about our electoral process. I think that word traveled down I-95 to the DCCC.”
    This person only occasionally votes, in 2014 didn’t lift a finger, knock on a door, or write a check to Democrat Anne Crowley running in his precinct for pa 167th State Legislature or John Kane who ran for the Pa 26th stateSenate seat where he lives. Why doesn’t he run for the seat where he lives.
    Why not run against Mike Parrish in the 6th where he lives? You think maybe it because now State Party Chair Marcel Groen said not just no but Hell no, like sources say he did to Lindy Li.
    There is obviously something else driving this insanity. It seems that the DCCC among others have a total disregard for all the committees and people who work hard every year for the Democratic Party candidates.
    It is part of the Job of David Landau of Delaware County where 55% of the 7th is to stand up vocally and financially for his Candidate, Mary Ellen Balchunis, undoubtedly the most qualified Candidate.

  3. PA says:

    Balchunis raised $8k. Li raised more than $260k.

  4. Carol Catanese says:

    So, the DCCC selects this guy, over someone as accomplished, intelligent and able to raise funds as Mary Ellen Balchunus? She did an incredible job in her first run in this criminally gerrymandered district (2014). Is it that they (DCCC) are afraid they won’t be able to control her? The same way they (DCCC) is treating Joe Sestak…candidates who will truly represent the people who elect them.
    But the DCCC does it’s job, and does it terribly! They will not see any of my donation money. I will go direct to the candidates – Mary Ellen Balchunus for the PA 7th Congressional and Joe Sestak for US Senate!

  5. PhillyPolitico says:

    It seems to me that Lindy Li has accomplished graduating from Princeton. What, other than that, has earned her the term “wunderkind”?

  6. David Diano says:

    JackWashington-

    My numbers are dead on, for the Active voter count, in the Oct 19th voter file.
    The proper percentages for the 7th are: D: 35.3% R: 51% and the rest independent.

    (The InActive flagged voters are on the to-be-purged list and don’t count. Of the 53K “inactive” voters only 41 of them voted in the last primary.)

    As for the Delco Dems, I’ve predicted for a few years that winning countywide would not be possible before 2017 (after huge 2016 dem registration). In 2013, the dems has one countywide judge candidate get within 5K votes (with the others losing by 10K to 12K). The Delco Dems have an 1,800 voter registration deficit compared to the Reps. By, 2017, they will have about an 8K advantage, and could win with a candidate as good as the candidate that came within 5K in 2013.

    Also, in 2017, we have a chance to replace the current Delco Dem chairman with better leadership.

    As for Golderer, his lack of voting is unusual for a candidate.

  7. JackWashington says:

    David, some of what you say in correct, the Delco GOP will pull out all the stops to get Meehan reelected.

    From what I’ve heard, Golderer was raised and spent most his life in the 7th. His house was also part of the 7th until it was cut out in the recent redistricting – the Seventh is the fourth most gerrymandered in the Country.

    I don’t know if your registration numbers are correct. The split is 51.8 R – 48.2 D. As the Seventh is currently drawn, Obama won it in 08′, Casey in 12′ and Wolf in 14′. So yeah, a Dem can win it in the right circumstance.

    Since you know a lot about the Delco Dems Commish race, I bet you also know that they shot themselves in the foot so much this cycle that they had not chance to win, but again, 3 statewide Dems carried the County.

    Golderer has a strong professional track record, dynamic speaking ability, substantial accomplishments that Dems care about, and he has the profile to raise the money necessary to challenge a Republican in a year that Dems will come out to vote to keep the White House and shape the future of this country for the better.

    Something like that.

  8. Frank says:

    We can thank Bob Brady for the gerrymandered 7th

  9. David Diano says:

    JackWashington-

    How does a guy who barely votes, and is from Chester and the 6th district become “only Democrat since Lentz to have a chance at winning the 7th.”?

    The district has been gerrymandered so Republican that even the “Mighty Joe Sestak” could not retake it with a $3 million effort.

    214K Reps
    148K Dems (diff 66K)
    57K Independent/Other

    In Delco a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court Dems barely won countywide, while the countywide candidates lost by about 10,000 voters.

    The Delco GOP (which controls thousands of county employees to use for election day activities) will pull out all the stops for their stooge Meehan.

  10. JackWashington says:

    It’s about time someone who’s accomplished something run for Congress. Meehan hasn’t been challenged since he got swept in with the Tea Party movement. Bill has a record of transforming people’s lives and building organizations that add to our society. He’s the only Democrat since Lentz to have a chance at winning the 7th.

  11. Loves Mary Ellen says:

    Just like rev Jim Bakker. Praise the lord and pass the collection plate!! yeah he will really struggle with fundraising” It’s not really the easiest or most joyous parts of the job” Just like he struggles with it every Sunday. “Please give til it hurts—it’s all for the poor. Oh what a humble humble servant. He’s a preacher —he’s all cashed up. Mary Ellen will crush him

  12. David Diano says:

    “I’ve always been very passionate about our electoral process. I think that word traveled down I-95 to the DCCC.”

    Umm… Bullsh*t. Golderer is a very infrequent voter.

  13. Wyatt says:

    Yet again, Nick Field asks idiot questions that tell you nothing. Hey Golderer, what do you think about the Syrian refugees?

  14. MarvinTheMartian says:

    Running for Congress because the system is broken. Boy, that’s original. I wish I had thought of that!

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