Northeast Times

It's a rematch, minus one, for freshman Kevin Boyle

Start­Frag­ment

The Demo­crat­ic ward lead­ers are di­vided in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

John Sabat­ina (56th), Pat Par­kin­son (57th) and Ber­nice Hill (63rd) want to fire in­cum­bent Rep. Kev­in Boyle and re­place him with Dan Collins.

Boyle claims the sup­port of Bob Del­lavella (55th), Mike Stack (58th), Lorri Bed­narek (64th) and Mike McAleer (66-B).

The in­cum­bent is seek­ing his second term.

In 2010, he de­feated Collins and Tim Kear­ney in the primary, then went on to beat 32-year Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Perzel in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Perzel was fa­cing cor­rup­tion charges at the time.

Even that year, Boyle did not have close ties to all of the ward lead­ers.

Still, Boyle pre­dicts he’ll win by a “very healthy ma­jor­ity.” He’ll have at least six mail­ings and thinks he’ll be­ne­fit from great­er name re­cog­ni­tion.

“I’m run­ning on my re­cord of the last fif­teen months,” he said.

Collins and his cam­paign team are more seasoned than in 2010 and feel bet­ter about be­ing part of a two-man race.

“I’ve been work­ing real hard the last three months and am get­ting great sup­port in the com­munity,” he said.

The re­match al­most nev­er happened.

When the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion passed pre­lim­in­ary and fi­nal maps in late 2011, Collins’ di­vi­sion in the 64th Ward in May­fair was not part of the 172nd.

On Jan. 25, the Pennsylvania Su­preme Court threw out the fi­nal map on con­sti­tu­tion­al grounds, and Collins entered the race.

The com­mis­sion passed a new plan last week.

If Collins wins the primary and goes on to cap­ture the gen­er­al elec­tion — Al Tauben­ber­ger is the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate — he’d have to move to run for an­oth­er term in the 172nd. The 64th Ward, 8th Di­vi­sion, will now be part of the 177th dis­trict, rep­res­en­ted by Re­pub­lic­an John Taylor.

In 2010 and again this year, Collins sur­vived chal­lenges to his nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions by a Boyle sup­port­er, Terry Devlin.

Collins blames Boyle for dis­en­fran­chising May­fair, which will be split in­to two dis­tricts, as Boyle’s dis­trict ex­tends in­to Mont­gomery County.

Boyle, who is mar­ried and lives in Fox Chase, said it was Taylor who drew his dis­trict by tak­ing much of the 55th and 64th wards in May­fair. He also noted that Collins lives in the same di­vi­sion where his dis­trict of­fice is loc­ated, and that he was hop­ing to be able to keep the of­fice with­in the dis­trict bound­ar­ies.

“Mr. Collins clearly does not un­der­stand the pro­cess,” Boyle said.

Be­sides gain­ing the back­ing of three ward lead­ers, Collins has been en­dorsed by Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5, Dis­trict Coun­cil 21, Team­sters 830, the Com­mu­nic­a­tions Work­ers of Amer­ica, the Gas Work­ers and the In­ter­na­tion­al Long­shore­men’s As­so­ci­ation.

Boyle has the back­ing of the AFL-CIO, Dis­trict Coun­cil 33, Dis­trict Coun­cil 47, the Phil­adelphia Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers, In­ter­na­tion­al Broth­er­hood of Elec­tric­al Work­ers Loc­al 98, Sprink­ler Fit­ters 692, Plumb­ers 690, Steam Fit­ters 420, Brick­lay­ers 1, Boil­er­makers 13, Roof­ers 30, Op­er­at­ing En­gin­eers 542, Iron­work­ers 401, El­ev­at­or Con­struct­ors 5 and Sheet Met­al Work­ers 19.

The in­cum­bent will have cam­paign work­ers in di­vi­sions in wards back­ing Collins.

“We’ll have Boyle people at every poll,” he said.

Boyle lists as his ac­com­plish­ments fight­ing to keep a meth­adone clin­ic out of May­fair, hold­ing a hear­ing about neg­li­gent prop­erty own­ers, lob­by­ing the city to start a blight court and work­ing to pre­serve the Devon Theat­er and May­fair Com­munity Cen­ter.

“I have a proven re­cord of ser­vice in fif­teen months. I hit the ground run­ning,” he said.

Collins faults Boyle in two areas. The chal­lenger be­lieves his op­pon­ent is tak­ing too much cred­it for op­pos­ing the meth­adone clin­ic.

“The neigh­bor­hood fought the meth­adone clin­ic,” said Collins, adding that the clin­ic’s pro­posed loc­a­tion will no longer be in the 172nd after re­ap­por­tion­ment.

Collins also be­lieves Boyle is ad­dress­ing mat­ters bet­ter left to City Coun­cil, per­haps to mask a thin le­gis­lat­ive re­cord.

Boyle said the meth­adone clin­ic would need state ap­prov­al and that he plans to call for a statewide re­gistry of neg­li­gent prop­erty own­ers.

“I don’t think he un­der­stands the role of state rep­res­ent­at­ive in North­east Phil­adelphia,” Boyle said of Collins.

Boyle plans to con­tin­ue weigh­ing in on city is­sues, if he be­lieves he can make a dif­fer­ence.

“I’m un­apo­lo­get­ic about that,” he said.

Collins, who is mar­ried with two young daugh­ters, is an eighth-grade math and so­cial stud­ies teach­er at Ben­jamin Frank­lin Ele­ment­ary School in Lawndale. He has coached CYO bas­ket­ball at St. Mat­thew for 17 years and is a mem­ber of the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation and May­fair Town Watch.

On Sat­urday, Collins scored a bit of a coup when he was chosen to throw out the first pitch at open­ing day for the Holy Ter­rors Youth Or­gan­iz­a­tion, which con­sists of 700 boys and girls on 50 teams. He later took part in a few neigh­bor­hood cleanups.

If elec­ted, Collins will pro­mote com­munity-ori­ented poli­cing. He’s a fan of the state “Po­lice on Patrol” pro­gram. He’d like to see grant money tar­geted for Phil­adelphia to handle is­sues ran­ging from il­leg­al guns to tire-slash­ing, with a por­tion dir­ec­ted to loc­al Town Watch groups.

Collins fa­vors ad­di­tion­al fund­ing for edu­ca­tion so schools can have small class sizes, an ap­pro­pri­ate num­ber of teach­ers, a nurse and school po­lice pres­ence, if ne­ces­sary. Some schools need per­son­nel that can handle lan­guage is­sues with young people new to the United States, he said.

There are some good charter schools, Collins said, but he wants the oth­ers to be held to the same stand­ards.

One way to fund those pub­lic safety and edu­ca­tion ini­ti­at­ives, ac­cord­ing to Collins, is to ear­mark tax rev­en­ue from Mar­cel­lus Shale drilling.

On the cam­paign trail, Collins has wooed com­mit­tee people and tar­geted likely Demo­crat­ic primary voters at their doors.

“I’ve been in every di­vi­sion,” he said.

Collins be­lieves his mes­sage is res­on­at­ing with voters.

“They real­ize I’m the bet­ter choice to re­turn pride and sta­bil­ity to their neigh­bor­hoods,” he said. ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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