PA-7 Race Off to Slow Start
The race for Congress in the 7th district should be one of the top in the state. Freshman Republican Pat Meehan must defend a record with no shortage of tough votes in a suburban Philadelphia seat in a presidential campaign year. But so far, things are off to a slow start.
The Democratic candidate, attorney George Badey, is still assembling a campaign.
“Earlier this week we filed well over 3,000 signatures from all five counties in the district,” he told PoliticsPA on Valentine’s Day. “We plan on making a formal announcement within the next couple of weeks. At that time, the clear differences between Pat Meehan and I will be very apparent.”
He has yet to be an announcement about the official kickoff. Meanwhile, Meehan turned in 4,750 petition signatures.
Compare that to the efforts of Kathy Boockvar, who is challenging Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) in the neighboring 8th congressional district. She has a campaign staff, a website, she’s pulled in big endorsements, and sends out press releases.
Badey is partner at Badey, Sloan & DiGenova in Philadelphia with a concentration in personal injury litigation. He is currently the chairman of the Radnor Township Democratic Party and also serves as the Chairman of the Board of SaveTheMummers.com Fund.
“We have a terrific candidate in George, and the citizens of the 7th district will be impressed with his knowledge of the issues,” said David Landau, chairman of the Delaware County Democratic Party.
He says that the GOP-drawn map of the 7th district – which cut out strong Democratic areas like Swathmore and Nether Providence – won’t kill his party’s chances.
“Of the new district composition, 52 percent went to the polls for Obama in 2008,” Landau said. “Less democrats does not mean a poor performance. It will be a close election.”
“Meehan is out of step with the district. He tried to portray himself as a moderate. This district is a moderate place being liberal on social policies and fiscally conservative. Meehan is with the Tea Party and has not made one moderate vote on labor or the environment.”
The Meehan campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But as they say, money talks. Meehan has $970,000 on hand, while Badey is just getting started.
Andrew Blum was a campaign staffer to Bryan Lentz, Meehan’s 2010 opponent. He founded the group Accountability PA and even cut a television spot about Medicare as an effort to dog Meehan and keep his favorables down. He says he isn’t impressed with Democrats’ progress so far.
“I have really heard very little,” about the race, Blum said. “We’ll see after the primary if he has a chance, but there won’t be much to talk about if Meehan continues his frenetic fundraising pace. He’s outraised all other house freshmen in PAC money and shows no signs of slowing down.”
“Badey needs infrastructure, or at least the appearance of infrastructure to fight back against the PAC money, but being without a website just a few months before the primary doesn’t bode well.”