Candidates in the 2012 elections began circulating nominating petitions on Tuesday, and John McCann is emerging as the Republican challenger to state Rep. Mike McGeehan (D-173rd dist.).
McCann is a Holmesburg native and East Torresdale resident making his first run for office. He attended St. Dominic Elementary School and Father Judge High School (class of 1996), and played basketball at Princeton University, where he earned a history degree.
A graduate of Temple University School of Law, he has been a teacher for 11 years. He is an eighth-grade civics teacher at John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton.
McCann, who is married with a 2-year-old son Quentin, plans to concentrate on neighborhood issues.
“I’m going to have bold ideas to improve Northeast Philadelphia and make it a comfortable place to raise a family,” he said last week during a fund-raiser to support St. Hubert High School. “That will be my main issue and focus.”
Meanwhile, Joe Rooney is campaigning to be the Republican candidate in the 13th Congressional District.
Rooney, ignoring Montgomery County party leaders, started campaigning before the boundaries were changed in redistricting, arguing that a candidate would have to start early to topple well-funded Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz.
Philadelphia GOP leaders seem to favor Rooney, who attended last Friday’s St. Hubert fund-raiser at SmokeEaters Pub.
Rooney, a married father of five, is an Abington native and Bishop McDevitt High School graduate. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1980 to 2003, including 10 years active duty. He retired from the Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.
Since 1990, he has been a pilot for Delta Airlines, flying out of New York. He likes to sail and is an all-around outdoorsman.
Rooney raised his family in Maryland. He knocked on 5,000 doors in 1998 in an unsuccessful run for a seat in the House of Delegates.
Today, he lives in the same house in which he was raised. He plans to run a grassroots campaign.
“My goal is to meet a thousand people a day,” he said.
On the issues, Rooney is pro-life and will focus on jobs, the economy, national defense and energy resources.
In 2010, Schwartz defeated Republican Dee Adcock with 56 percent of the vote.
Rooney expects Schwartz to rely on her campaign war chest to reach voters, and he is especially eager to meet people who are new to the 13th via redistricting.
“They’ve never pulled a lever for her,” he said.
In the, “Politics make strange bedfellows” category, Republicans have unanimously endorsed John Featherman in the 1st Congressional District.
Democratic Rep. Bob Brady faces a primary challenge from former Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore.
The district includes portions of Delaware County, along with South Philadelphia, Port Richmond, Bridesburg, Frankford, Oxford Circle, Castor Gardens, Wissinoming, Tacony, Holmesburg, East Torresdale and West Mayfair.
Featherman, a Realtor, made an early entry into the 2011 mayoral race. Republican City Committee boss Mike Meehan was desperate to find a candidate to prevent Featherman from becoming the party’s standard bearer.
In the end, he recruited a South Philadelphia Democratic committeewoman named Karen Brown, who edged Featherman in the primary by just 57 votes.
All along, Featherman has been close to the reform wing of the party. His congressional endorsement could signal the beginning of a truce between the two warring factions. ••EndFragment