KING OF PRUSSIA — Montgomery County entered a new era Tuesday as Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards overcame Republicans Jenny Brown and Bruce Castor to give Democrats their first-ever majority on the Board of Commissioners.
“Leslie and I are extremely grateful for the support of Montgomery County,” said Shapiro during his remarks. “We know we have a lot of work to do and we’re going to do it in a bipartisan manner.”
The State Rep. thanked the people of Montgomery County for voting he and Whitemarsh Township Supervisor Richards into office. Shapiro is looking forward to “getting down to it and doing it in a bipartisan and constructive manner.”
“It’s just such a wonderful night. It’s a game changer in Montgomery County. It just really changes the whole concept of politics in Montgomery County. Had we lost it would have set us back ten years and now that we’ve won I believe it pushes us ahead ten years,” said Frank Custer, spokesman for the Shapiro-Richards campaign and a longtime ally of incumbent Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel.
Over the past few days, statewide Democrats zeroed in on the Montco race – a prime pickup opportunity in a suburban Philadelphia county that has been trending blue for the past decade.
The Democrats’ campaign had prided itself on an expansive field program, which overcame a last-minute GOP ad-blitz and delivered the vote Tuesday. When all the reports have been filed, the campaign will likely have cost both sides a total of over $3 million.
As approximately 200 Democrats celebrated with Shapiro and Richards at the Dolce Hotel in King of Prussia, about 200 Brown and Castor supporters gathered at Gaya Restaurant in Blue Bell anxiously awaiting the results. Many had been out all day campaigning, knocking on doors and making last minute phone calls to solicit support.
At 11 o’clock, Castor and Brown formally conceded.
“It is too soon for us to tell you the complete results of this evening. The races are tight and the results are coming in slowly, but it is evident to us who have been through this process before that it is not going to be our night, at least at the top of the ticket,” said Castor, who appears likely to take the third spot and serve as minority Commissioner.
Castor cited their Democratic opponents’ registration advantage and “overwhelming financial advantage that they began the race with” as too much for he and his Republican running mate to overcome.
When asked if she had any regrets along the campaign trail Brown said, “I don’t feel like there was something we didn’t do.”
“It’s unfortunate that tonight won’t be a complete Republican victory. I’m disappointed. I think that we ran a great race and everybody who worked so hard on this really did an amazing job. But it is what it is. The voters vote,” said Brown.
When asked if the negative ads her opponents aired labeling her as ‘Tea Party Jenny’ contributed to her defeat, Brown said:
“I think that it’s a shame that people sort of got off of substance and on to name-calling but who knows?”
Brown, whose term as Lower Merion Township Commissioner ends this year, did not say whether she intends to run again.
“I’m just worried about getting some sleep tonight,” said Brown.
The Castor-Brown team announced late last night that they will be analyzing the results of the race closely tonight and they will have more information to release tomorrow.
Results for several county row offices remain outstanding.
Tea Partiers … wake up. That sound you’ve been missing is the big-money (is there any other kind?) Republicans, Wall Streeters and Koch Brothers front groups laughing at you for being such suckers. Keep on defending the tax breaks the millionaires get. Dopes.
This was a long time coming. MontCo has been trending Dem for a while now.
Of course the Tea-Baggers don’t believe in elections and acknowledging that the victors in a decisive election represent the will of the people. The Tea-Baggers are synonymous with ignorance and stupidity, so no one should expect any rational analysis from them, or be concerned with their ill-formed opinions.
As for Castor… is he going to spend another 4 years whining, crying, bitching and moaning?
Josh and Leslie worked a lot harder and their efforts paid off. Castor and Brown didn’t work as hard, and they lost.
Forget it Tea Bag party – you brag brag brag about your so-called strength – so why is it name-calling when that label is merely attached to your name?? Typical bullies – name-call name-call, but when somebody dares to return fire you scream unfair. The voters are sick of it – and it showed. Congratulations to Shapiro and Richards!
I enjoin with those who are betting Shapiro and Richards will last one term and then enjoin with the likes of Jim Matthews and Joe Hoeffel.
Anyone familiar with Shapiro realizes this man is not a public servant; rather, he is a career politician beholden to special interests. His harsh and negative comments re Tea Party members will come back to haunt him. Whether he likes it or not a portion of his salary is paid by many Tea Party members and therefore both Richards and he are beholden to them.
What a tragic night for Montgomery County. We can only go down hill further than where we are now. Oh by the way I am a Tea Party Member. Don’t look for support from me or my family.
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