It’s getting ugly in the race for the State Senate’s 26th district.
Last week, GOP nominee Tom McGarrigle released an ad focused on his efforts to save a refinery plant in 2012. The commercial featured Andrea Devenney who testified that her husband’s job was preserved through McGarrigle’s intervention.
According to John Kopp of the Delco Daily Times, though, the McGarrigle campaign is claiming that Devenney and her husband were intimidated by Paul Mullen, Business Manager of IBEW Local 654 at the direction of Democratic nominee (and Plumbers Union Local 690 Business Manager) John Kane.
“I know this is John Kane’s first campaign, but this kind of behavior is unacceptable and I will not stand by it and allow it to happen,” McGarrigle said on Monday. “Retaliation and intimidation may be the way that business is done in Philadelphia, but it is not how things work for the rest of the world.
“The facts are as follows: Andrea Devenney made an ad for the McGarrigle campaign,” McGarrigle spokeswoman Virginia Davis asserted in a statement on Tuesday. “John Kane admitted in (Tuesday’s) article he made a call during which her political involvement was mentioned in passing. A call was then made to her husband.”
“She texted McGarrigle campaign staff the following: ‘So John Kain(sp?) called paul mullin flipping out over the commercial. Steve is in serious trouble and his job may be on the line. I’m in a horrible spot….how long will that commercial run?’”
Steve Devenney denied that he had been harassed in any way, however, in a letter to the Delco Daily Times.
“I am not now, nor was I ever afraid or in jeopardy of losing my job as an electrician,” Devenney wrote. “My union hall has always been good to both my family and myself. I, at no point have felt (or currently feel) intimidated by Paul Mullen or any other member of the hall because of my wife’s political views.”
“I am free to support whom I choose as is she. The allegations made by Tom McGarrigle and his team are false,” he declared.
Mullen also denied the accusations, saying he called Devenney to secure him work. The Kane campaign said that the candidate and Mullen spoke and that Kane brought up the ad in passing but that there was no effort to stifle Andrea Devenney.
Kane’s campaign spokesman Aren Platt accused McGarrigle of making the whole incident up.
“His complete lack of integrity is exactly the type of politics that people are sick and tired of from career politicians like Tom McGarrigle,” Platt stated. “This is why John Kane is running, because it is time that our political leaders started standing up for the people they represent instead of only looking out for themselves and trying to tear everyone else down around them.”
“If her husband now says he was never intimidated then we are pleased,” Davis concluded. People will draw their own conclusions.”
Kane and McGarrigle are competing for the open seat currently represented by retiring State Sen. Ted Erickson.