PA-165: GOP Rep. Adolph Gets Wealthy New Opponent
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 Many residents were unaware the Fearn had even withdrawn his name from the ballot –so there was no opportunity to for other potential Democrat candidates to throw their name in the ring for consideration,” stated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”