Northeast Times

Republicans tap mayoral runner-up for Congress

Start­Frag­ment

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.”

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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.

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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

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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