PA-165: GOP Rep. Adolph Gets Wealthy New Opponent

Bill-AdolphRepublican Bill Adolph’s re-election may be a bit more difficult than he and his staff had anticipated.

Slated to run against Jeremy Fearn, a Democrat with little funding until a month ago, Adolph may have even had his sights set on becoming the next Speaker of the House.

Adolph handily defeated Fearn in 2012, 63.2% to 36.8% and has served since 1998.

Fearn withdrew from the race on July 29th, and Hadley filed nominating petitions with the state’s election bureau this past Monday.

Until 75 days before an election, state election law permits parties to present nomination paperwork for another candidate. Hadley’s paperwork was filed 77 days before the November 4th election.

The Delaware County Republican Party thinks the last minute candidate switch was deliberate and sneaky.

“This was a backroom deal struck by Democrat party leaders looking to reward a major donor. The fact that they waited until hours before the deadline to file the paperwork indicates they were trying to do this in secret.  Many residents were unaware the Fearn had even withdrawn his name from the ballot –so there was no opportunity to for other potential Democrat candidates to throw their name in the ring for consideration,” stated Delaware County GOP Chairman Andy Reilly.

Hadley donated more than $150,000 to Democrats this year.

Between August 14 and 16, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party conducted phone surveys to search for Fearn’s replacement. Delaware County’s area code is 610, however the filed petitions display that people from both the 215 and 717 area codes were polled, according to Reilly.

Local voters may not have even known that Fearn withdrew from the race, due to the timing of his dropping out and Hadley’s subsequent filing of the petitions.

Delaware County is the 5th most populous PA county and three of its last four PA House Representatives have been Republican.

The GOP controls most offices in the county, however the area has become increasingly Democratic in recent years, as its communities border Philadelphia.

Rep. Adolph raised $463,492 during his 2012 campaign, and has raised a total of $1,934,238 since 1998. This money will surely help as Charles Hadley prepares to make a run for his seat this November.

Update: Barry Caro, Hadley’s campaign manager, contested the notion that his candidate is a hedge fund manager. He asserted that Hadley is a venture capitalist who works with small medical device companies. Caro also made clear that his candidate has the support of the local party and county chairs as well as Jeremy Fearn himself.

“We’re excited for the upcoming campaign,” Caro told PoliticsPA “because it provides a contrast between a leader of failed politics, the guy that actually wrote the Corbett budgets, and a local businessman who’s worked with small town entrepreneurs to create new technology that’s in place in pretty much every operating room across the U.S. today”

August 25th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “PA-165: GOP Rep. Adolph Gets Wealthy New Opponent”

  1. Melissa says:

    Fact check: Rep. Adolph has served Delco very well since 1989, not 1998 as the article misstates.

  2. Stosh says:

    Caro needs to get a lesson on PA politics and the overall political process. Not sure how the process works in NY where he came from, but here in PA the Governor submits a budget in February. His budget office writes it. The House and Senate then pass their own budgets, often plussing up areas for additional funding — like education, which the legisalture has increased over Corbett’s requested amounts time and time again. Or in the case of Rendell, eliminating proposals to increase sales taxes and other tax hikes. Is Caro saying Republicans during the Rendell years wrote Governor Rendell’s budgets? The bonehead needs a basic civics lesson.

  3. Isaac L. says:

    Kate – I think you may have made a somewhat significant error: the reason 717 and 215 (and probably 412, 570, etc.) numbers were polled is because they are required to poll the executive board of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.

    Mr. Reilly seems lost and confused – there’s no “Democrat party” in Delaware County of which I am aware. Perhaps he is thinking of the Democratic Party? Might be time to start ordering those Ginko biloba supplements – when one only has half a wit, one must do everything in one’s power to protect it.

  4. Kent says:

    It is about time Delco GOP took it on the chin. Make no mistake, the Delco machine tipped the balance for Corbett’s entry into state politics and is every bit as guilty as Montco’s Bob Asher and Buck’s Pat Poprick for the ruination of the state GOP on that score.

  5. Smarter than David Diano, at least says:

    David Diano, I don’t know if you were in Moscow getting your orders from the Kremlin at the time or what, but it was the Democrats on the board that changed the home rule charter. They thought they had the GOP right where they wanted them and were hoping to ice them out of the process all together. Like most ideas the Delco Dems have had over the last half century, it was a complete failure and ended up working against them. Just like this little switch-a-roo will too.

  6. Militant Moderate Republican says:

    Hadley is basically an unknown even in Radnor. He has not been active in local affairs. How can he say that he is concerned about education when he does not vote in School Board elections. My guess is that he has been promised something by Wolf. He will be disappointed to find that 165th is not for sale.

  7. ABCDEF says:

    What are you talking about people were “polled” in the 215 and 717 area codes for his replacement??? That was the state party getting the state party executive committee to approve the nomination that was sent to them by the Delco Dems. That process is REQUIRED–that is, that at least 26 of the 50 Executive Board members from all over the state approve the replacement. Get your facts straight.

  8. Delco Observer says:

    Is it just me, or does Delco GOP Chair Andy Reilly whine much more than his legendary predecessor, Tom Judge? In all my years observing Delco politics I never remember hearing, nor do I think there would be today, a situation in which Tom Judge would make such excuses…it is a race to the finish and seems the Dems and Chuck Hadley are in it to win it … buckle your chin strap Andy … gonna be a bumpy ride!

  9. John Timond says:

    Since the Democrats have a registration edge in Delaware County, isn’t there 100% minority representation?

  10. Radnor Voter says:

    Delco Dems are the biggest whiners and cheaters. They always complain about how it’s “unfair” there are no Dems on County Council but fail to realize the voters dont vote for their garbage candidates. Yes, Delco is becoming more blue due to locust liberals moving out of philly because Republican controlled Delco offers lower taxes, better schools and less crime. Their solution is to vote Dem and bring Philly to Delco…hence locust liberals.

  11. David Diano says:

    Out of 203 legislative districts, this is the 32nd most Republican by voter registration ratio.

    Andy Reilly sure seems broken up that other Democrats were unaware of the opening.

    However, he has never seemed concerned that the Delaware County Council has been 5 Republicans who vote nearly unanimously for the past 30 years, and how Republicans changed the charter so minority party representation was no longer guaranteed.

    Despite Democrats and Republican having nearly equal registration numbers, not a single Democrat sits on the council, while the 5 Republicans that do sit, vote in lockstep to represent their donors and special interests of the GOP.

    If Andy was truly concerned, he’d be pushing to restore minority party representation to the council for the 50% of the population without a voice.

  12. Ryan says:

    The under reported story of the year is how the state legislative Dem organs really don’t care for their county counterparts. This is another part of it.

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