Montgomery County GOP Candidates Host Old-Fashioned Picnic

Montgomery News

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor never has been shy about what he believes or afraid to tell anybody who will listen.

“The incompetent campaign run by the other side — it’s a mile wide and an inch deep,” said Castor Sunday afternoon at a good old-fashioned GOP political picnic — complete with hotdogs and balloons — at Mondauk Common park in Upper Dublin Township.

The “other side” vying for seats as Montgomery County commissioner includes Democrats State Rep. Josh Shapiro and Whitemarsh Supervisor Leslie Richards. The lone incumbent commissioner seeking re-election, Castor is at the top of the GOP ticket with Lower Merion Township Commissioner Jenny Brown in what has all the makings of the knock-down political donnybrook for control of Montgomery County that will be decided by voters on Nov. 8.

Castor and Brown, along with GOP candidates for state, county and local offices, rallied with about 75 friends and supporters to enjoy a day full of abundant sunshine and political stumping at the Upper Dublin park.

“I had no expectations getting into this race,” said Brown, a municipal business tax attorney who runs her own firm. “Bruce has been fabulous. We couldn’t agree more about what needs to be done in Montgomery County. It’s not so much about parties as it is ideas. The funny thing is they (Shapiro and Richards) are calling us extreme, but they’ve agreed with every substantive idea we have.”

Merry Woods, of Maple Glen, area leader of the Upper Dublin Republican Committee who also serves on the state committee, organized the event.

“We want an informed electorate, so we want voters to know all 22 (GOP) people on the ballot,” said Woods. “They get good government in return.”

Along with Castor and Brown, other candidates for county offices who were in attendance included: Stewart Greenleaf Jr., candidate for controller; Dr. Gordon Clement, candidate for coroner; William Donnelly, candidate for prothonotary; incumbent Nancy Becker, candidate for recorder of deeds; Eileen Whalon Behr, current Montgomery County sheriff seeking re-election to that post; and Chuck Wilson, candidate for treasurer.

Other Republicans in attendance included Vic Stabile of Carlisle, a candidate for state superior court; State Rep. Tom Murt, R-152nd; State Rep. Todd Stephens, R-151st; and all candidates for Upper Dublin offices, including Liz Ferry, Chet Derr, Howard Ford and Paul Brown for Upper Dublin commissioners’ seats and Steve Melick and Marsha Andrews for Upper Dublin school board. Also enjoying the festivities was Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert Kerns.

Despite Montgomery County’s Democrats holding about a 32,000 edge in registered voters over Republicans, Castor hasn’t made it a secret either that he’s trying to hitch the wagon of Shapiro and Richards to President Barack Obama, tapping into voter uneasiness at the president’s performance in his first term and the lack of significant improvement in the nation’s economy.

“He (Obama)is still playing to the far left and these guys in Montgomery County are still playing to the far left,” said Castor in remarks to the crowd that lasted about five minutes. “When we win on Nov. 8, we’re on our way to taking back the White House in 2012.”

Castor also appealed to Upper Dublin Township residents to be ambassadors for the county’s Republican ticket.

“A great challenge awaits us,” said Castor. “We are at a crossroads in Montgomery County. But we have the best possible candidates we can have.”

After Castor was done with his remarks, one resident raised his hand and asked, “How did you do that without a teleprompter?”

“Practice, practice, practice,” said Castor.

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