Tomlinson looks to unseat Stack in the 5th district

Mike Tom­lin­son, Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate and life-long Phil­adelphi­an, hopes to topple long­time State Sen­at­or Mike Stack (R-5th dist.) in this Novem­ber's elec­tion.

If elec­ted State Sen­at­or for the 5th sen­at­ori­al dis­trict, Re­pub­lic­an Mike Tom­lin­son said he be­lieves he can make a dif­fer­ence.

How does he know? He said he sees, for one, that the dis­trict needs a lead­er that is very ac­cess­ible and present in the com­munity.

“I be­lieve the per­son who is run­ning this dis­trict has for­got­ten… [res­id­ents] need civic as­so­ci­ations that are more act­ive, town watches that are more act­ive—they need a lead­er who, when elec­ted, is will­ing to go down there.”

In Novem­ber, Tom­lin­son will be up against State Sen. Mike Slack (D-5th dist.) for the sen­at­ori­al seat.

He claimed that Sen. Stack doesn’t cur­rently have enough of a pres­ence, es­pe­cially in the south and south­east areas of the dis­trict like Kens­ing­ton and Brides­burg.

The 5th state sen­at­ori­al dis­trict stretches from Kens­ing­ton and Port Rich­mond, south of Castor Av­en­ue, north of Wood­haven Road, to Somer­ton and Park­wood and the Delaware River and areas west of Bustleton Av­en­ue.

To best serve these areas, Tom­lin­son said he he hopes to use a tac­tic­al ap­proach of tax cred­its, med­ic­al mal­prac­tice re­form and gov­ern­ment re­form to win the elec­tion.

He said he also hopes to make Phil­adelphia the “work­shop of the world” that it once was.

ldquo;I be­lieve man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs can re­turn, not only to the city, but to the state,” he said dur­ing an in­ter­view held Thursday, June 28.

A first time cam­paign­er, Tom­lin­son, a fath­er of four daugh­ters, said he hopes that his lack of pri­or ex­per­i­ence in a polit­ic­al of­fice could be seen as a pos­it­ive.

“I’m not a politi­cian,” he said. “But, what I see go­ing on in gov­ern­ment is that they aren’t do­ing any­thing but fight­ing…they aren’t do­ing any­thing for the people.”

Tom­lin­son, a May­fair nat­ive, spent years work­ing as a teach­er in the Phil­adelphia School Dis­trict, has served as a cer­ti­fied pub­lic ac­count­ant, and has 30 years ex­per­i­ence in ac­count­ing and fin­ance.

Re­gard­ing tort re­form, Tom­lin­son said that due in part to high med­ic­al mal­prac­tice costs, many emer­gency rooms throughout the city – like North­east­ern Hos­pit­al in Port Rich­mond – have closed their ma­ter­nity wards.

Tom­lin­son cites the cost of med­ic­al mal­prac­tice as the reas­on for such clos­ures. He said in the past, he was shocked to learn that many doc­tors, he said, need to earn over a mil­lion dol­lars in in­sur­ance to cov­er mal­prac­tice costs be­fore they can make a profit.

“A ma­ter­nity ward needs to cov­er one mil­lion dol­lars or more be­fore they make any money in the city of Phil­adelphia,” he said. “That’s just to cov­er the in­sur­ance.”

He’d like to see tort re­form in or­der to cut down on “frivol­ous law­suits,” which, he said, are “driv­ing up the cost” of med­ic­al care.

Yet Tom­lin­son de­scribed him­self as “a fisc­al con­ser­vat­ive and so­cial mod­er­ate,” mean­ing he didn’t al­ways agree with how elec­ted of­fi­cials spent money.

In fact, he said that, if elec­ted, he’d hope to bring a sense of com­prom­ise to state gov­ern­ment in Har­ris­burg. 

“We need to do more com­mon sense things,” he said, adding that money spent else­where could be dir­ec­ted to­ward the city’s schools. 

ldquo;Our edu­ca­tion sys­tem is in chaos…it’s like a cir­cus,” he said.

In or­der to bring busi­ness – and jobs – to the city and state, Tom­lin­son sug­ges­ted tax cred­its for lar­ger com­pan­ies in or­der to bring them back to the city.

“My first ini­ti­at­ive would be to en­sure val­id job growth and a pro-busi­ness en­vir­on­ment,” he said. “We did it with Com­cast and now we have Com­cast, and it now em­ploys thou­sands of people.”

Tom­lin­son re­it­er­ated the im­port­ance of his pres­ence in the com­munity.

He’d plan to cre­ate satel­lite of­fices all over the dis­trict and would make sure his of­fice works to sup­port the dis­trict.

Tom­lin­son said that he’d con­sider it a func­tion of his of­fice to sup­port com­munity groups, like town watches and civic as­so­ci­ations, and help them grow to strengthen neigh­bor­hoods.

“People want to be able to talk to you. They want you to be their neigh­bor. They want you there,” he said. “They want their State Sen­at­or to do more than just march through the neigh­bor­hood in the Me­mori­al Day parade.”

Star Staff Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be con­tac­ted at 215-354 3124 or hmit­

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