The Philadelphia 7th U.S. House District race between former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan and Brian Lentz is hotter than a South Philly street in the dog days of August. Republican Meehan leads in the 7th District by a short margin against liberal Democrat Brian Lentz.
It is customary for polls to narrow in the days leading up to an election. The October 5-10 Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows Meehan with a 33-to-28 percentage-point lead. That poll surveyed registered voters, and indicates a high rate of volatility in that approximately 34 percent of likely voters were “undecided.”
Lentz campaign workers put independent conservative Schneller on ballot
Questions regarding the possibly illegal election law maneuvers of one candidate were raised by Republican Meehan against opponent Lentz. Meehan’s camp charged that Lentz’ workers were responsible for getting a third-party independent conservative candidate on the ballot. Worse, Lentz has admitted his campaign workers had collected thousands of signatures in order to get Independent Conservative Jim Schneller on the ballot. If Schneller is allowed to remain on the ballot, he would likely drain voters from the Republican Meehan side. The election challenge will be decided in court.
Meehan is a U.S. attorney and Lentz comes from the Pennsylvania Assembly. The 7th District, which entails Southwestern Montgomery County, borders the state of Delaware, and occupies much of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County. The 7th District was thought to be a safe Republican district until Joe Sestak won it in the 2006 mid-terms. Now, there’s a good chance of the 7th District swinging back into Republican hands. That opportunity came as the result of Joe Sestak’s retiring from the House seat to run in the Democrat’s Senate primary against Arlen Specter.
Sestak’s historical rise
It is now clear that Obama administration had made overtures of support to Republican Arlen Specter if he’d change parties and support the White House in a variety of issues-Obamacare, cap and trade, financial regulation. A variety of news reports say that Bill Clinton was the fixer who tried to persuade Sestak to drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary in exchange for a top level job in the Obama administration. Sestak refused to drop out and won the race after Specter had raised questions about Sestak’s naval service.
Pennsylvania teamsters drop Brian Lentz
Meanwhile, Republican Meehan could gain from a recent development in which Lentz lost traditional union support. The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters, currently supporting Democrats like Sestak and Onorato, dropped its endorsement of Brian Lentz earlier in the month. The reasons are not entirely clear but is said to be the result of a bill sponsored by Lentz in the Pennsylvania Assembly. The bill was aimed at preventing the corrupt union practice of re-classifying construction workers in order to avoid paying taxes. Apparently, that’s not a desirable reform in Pennsylvania, at least where the Pennsylvania Teamsters are concerned. The Pennsylvania Teamster’s website carries a photo of Lentz with a “Cancelled” note emblazoned across the portrait.