Plenty of political flavor at Republican clambake

Re­pub­lic­an city coun­cil can­did­ate Dav­id Oh (left) chats with state rep­res­ent­at­ive Danny O’Bri­an at the Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee an­nu­al clam­bake at Cannstat­ter’s, sunday, Septem­ber 10, 2011, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry might be lead­ing the na­tion­al polls for the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion, but former Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney ap­pears to have pretty good sup­port in Phil­adelphia.

The North­east Times sponsored a straw poll at Sunday’s an­nu­al Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee clam­bake at Cannstat­ter’s, and Rom­ney de­feated Perry and nine oth­ers.

In all, 92 people voted. Rom­ney topped the field with 29 votes, fol­lowed by Perry (17), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (eight), former House Speak­er Newt Gin­grich (sev­en) and Min­nesota Rep. Michele Bach­mann (six). Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick San­tor­um and former Utah Gov. Jon Hunts­man re­ceived five votes apiece, with busi­ness­man and polit­ic­al com­ment­at­or Her­man Cain get­ting four votes. Michigan Rep. Thad­deus Mc­Cot­ter and former Govs. Gary John­son of New Mex­ico and Buddy Roe­mer of Louisi­ana each picked up one vote.

Eight people voted for oth­ers. Among the write-ins were two for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pal­in and one for Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Chris Wogan.

Wogan, a Bustleton res­id­ent, served 21 years as a state rep­res­ent­at­ive be­fore be­ing elec­ted a judge in 2001. He will seek re­ten­tion to an­oth­er 10-year term on Nov. 8.

• • •

The clam­bake was ori­gin­ally sched­uled for Aug. 27, but heavy rains post­poned it.

An Elvis Pres­ley trib­ute artist and Ferko String Band en­ter­tained the GOP faith­ful on Sunday.

Vito Canuso, the party chair­man, wel­comed the gen­er­al elec­tion can­did­ates on stage to be in­tro­duced.

Among those in at­tend­ance were may­or­al can­did­ate Kar­en Brown, re­gister of wills chal­lenger Linda Bate­man and all five Coun­cil at-large hope­fuls: Dav­id Oh, Den­nis O’Bri­en, Joe Mc­Col­gan, Al Tauben­ber­ger and Mi­chael Un­ter­mey­er.

City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.) was on hand, along with elec­tions Com­mis­sion­er Joe Duda and Al Schmidt, who is run­ning for com­mis­sion­er.

Statewide ju­di­cial can­did­ates Vic Sta­bile (Su­per­i­or Court) and Anne Covey (Com­mon­wealth Court) made the trip to Phil­adelphia. Loc­ally, the Com­mon Pleas Court con­tenders were Anne Mar­ie Coyle, Ken Pow­ell, Jim Di­Ver­gil­is, Ted Vi­gil­ante and An­gelo Fogli­etta.

Coyle earli­er de­clined the party’s sug­ges­tion that she run for may­or. If she loses her bid for judge, she might be right back on the bal­lot for state rep­res­ent­at­ive. O’Bri­en is favored to win an at-large seat and would give up his 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict seat, set­ting up a spe­cial elec­tion next spring.

One oth­er pos­sible con­tender for O’Bri­en’s seat was present. That would be Shawn Dillon, Demo­crat­ic lead­er of Ward 66-A.

• • •

Brown, the may­or­al can­did­ate, told the crowd in her re­marks that May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter is re­fus­ing to re­lease his cam­paign polling be­cause it shows her tak­ing 43 per­cent of the vote. Canuso, the party chair­man, has been im­pressed with her cam­paign.

“She has taken this city by storm,” he said. “I think she will sur­prise a lot of the polit­ic­al pun­dits come Novem­ber.”

• • •

It’s not too early to talk about the 2012 cam­paign.

Perry County at­tor­ney Marc Scaringi, a former aide to San­tor­um, greeted voters at the clam­bake. He wants to chal­lenge Demo­crat­ic U.S. Sen. Bob Ca­sey next year. His plat­form in­cludes term lim­its and a bal­anced budget amend­ment to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion.

Oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans eye­ing a run in­clude re­tired U.S. Army Col. John Ver­non, of Tioga County; Tom Smith, a former coal com­pany own­er and Tea Party lead­er from Arm­strong County; former state Rep. Sam Rohr­er; dec­or­ated Vi­et­nam War vet­er­an Dav­id Chris­ti­an, an ex­ec­ut­ive at a Holmes­burg man­u­fac­turer that serves the De­part­ment of De­fense and the com­mer­cial in­dustry; Mal­vern busi­ness­man Steve Welch; and Lack­awanna County Tea Party lead­er Laur­een Cum­mings.

• • •

The GOP Riders, a Re­pub­lic­an mo­tor­cycle club, is look­ing for new mem­bers.

The group goes on me­mori­al rides and at­tends bike ral­lies and char­it­able events. It is open to re­gistered Re­pub­lic­ans who have a love of coun­try and rid­ing mo­tor­cycles.

For more in­form­a­tion, go to www.go­ ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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