Northeast Times

In 5th district, Mike aims to topple Mike

Mike Tom­l­is­on Head­shot

Start­Frag­ment

Re­pub­lic­an Mike Tom­lin­son, who was un­op­posed in the 5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict primary, wel­comed more than 100 sup­port­ers to a rally last week at the Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter.

Tom­lin­son is chal­len­ging three-term Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mike Stack.

The May 1 event at­trac­ted a large crowd des­pite a Fly­ers play­off game go­ing on at the same time.

Among those in at­tend­ance were Kar­en Brown, last year’s GOP can­did­ate for may­or; cur­rent can­did­ates John Feather­man (1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict), Robert Mans­field (2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict) and Al Tauben­ber­ger (172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict); ward lead­ers Jim Louis (41st) and Tom Matkowski (65th); and Janet and Sur­an Seng, from Amer­ic­ans for Cam­bod­i­ans.

Tom­lin­son is run­ning a grass­roots cam­paign, to say the least.

The can­did­ate chose Kathy Lom­bardi as cam­paign man­ager be­cause she suc­cess­fully col­lec­ted nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions for him. He thanked 12-year-old Brandon Rig­gins and 10-year-old Ha­keem Rig­gins for knock­ing on doors as he col­lec­ted sig­na­tures and 7-year-old En­iyah Hobdy for design­ing homemade cam­paign signs.

Tom­lin­son, 55, who lives on the 4400 block of Oak­mont St., is mar­ried with four daugh­ters and three grand­chil­dren. He’s worked as a cer­ti­fied pub­lic ac­count­ant and teach­er. He is leg­ally blind, but func­tion­al.

Over the years, he has been act­ive in youth sports, serving as a coach, base­ball dir­ect­or for Holmes­burg Boys Club, board mem­ber of the North­east Pea­nut League and vice pres­id­ent of the Phil­adelphia Spir­it.

In ad­di­tion, he’s been a lect­or at St. Bern­ard Church and a vo­lun­teer for the Found­a­tion Fight­ing Blind­ness.

“I’m not a politi­cian. I don’t owe any­body any­thing,” he said.

Polit­ic­ally, he was a 65th Ward Demo­crat­ic com­mit­tee­man in the 1980s. He’s now a Re­pub­lic­an com­mit­tee­man in the same ward.

The Re­pub­lic­an de­scribed him­self as “pro-uni­on,” but ac­know­ledges that or­gan­ized labor will back Stack. He also had kind words for new City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on, a Demo­crat.

He did not have kind words for the past and present per­form­ances of city agen­cies such as the Phil­adelphia Hous­ing Au­thor­ity, the sher­iff’s of­fice and the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia.

“We’ve got scan­dals all over the place,” he said.

Tom­lin­son ad­mit­ted that Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans have told him, “You can­not beat Mike Stack.”

Still, he’s run­ning to im­prove the busi­ness cli­mate by, among oth­er things, passing tort re­form. He fa­vors a “losers pay” pro­vi­sion for frivol­ous law­suits. He cites law­suits as one reas­on that Naz­areth, Jeanes and Aria-Tor­res­dale hos­pit­als don’t have ma­ter­nity wards.

“Law­suits are way out of con­trol,” he said.

Tom­lin­son hopes to de­bate Stack.

••

Fresh­man Rep. Kev­in Boyle eas­ily de­feated Dan Collins in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict des­pite the fact that three of the sev­en ward lead­ers in the dis­trict sup­por­ted the chal­lenger.

John Sabat­ina (56th Ward), Pat Par­kin­son (57th) and Ber­nice Hill (63rd) all sided with Collins.

Boyle, who’ll face Re­pub­lic­an Al Tauben­ber­ger in the gen­er­al elec­tion, took al­most 66 per­cent of the vote.

The in­cum­bent piled up 74 per­cent of the votes in Hill’s 63rd Ward.

“I want to thank those 63rd Ward com­mit­tee people who strongly sup­por­ted me, des­pite the fact that I wasn’t sup­por­ted by their ward lead­er,” said Boyle, adding that the res­ults “speak volumes.”

Cam­paign fin­ance re­ports filed with the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of State in­dic­ated that Sabat­ina helped fund most of the Collins cam­paign.

“It’s a hu­mi­li­at­ing de­feat for John Sabat­ina. He hand-picked Danny Collins to run against Kev­in, and he fun­ded most of Collins’ cam­paign,” said Seth Ka­plan, Boyle’s chief of staff. “Sabat­ina tried to knock us off, and he failed miser­ably.”

••

Ed Neilson was sworn in Tues­day morn­ing to the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, com­plet­ing the term of former Rep. Denny O’Bri­en, now a city coun­cil­man.

Neilson, a Demo­crat, de­feated Re­pub­lic­an Dave Kralle, a former O’Bri­en aide, in an April 24 spe­cial elec­tion. He’ll rep­res­ent the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict through this year. He and Kralle will meet again in the Nov. 6 gen­er­al elec­tion, with the win­ner earn­ing a two-year term.

However, the Le­gis­lat­ive Re­ap­por­tion­ment Com­mis­sion plans to move the seat to York County, start­ing with the 2014 elec­tion.

The Pennsylvania Su­preme Court still has to ap­prove the maps, and Neilson hopes Demo­crats fight to save the seat now that the party has won it.

Six mem­bers took the oath of of­fice on Tues­day, all win­ning spe­cial elec­tions to re­place law­makers who resigned after win­ning oth­er of­fices in 2011.

The oth­er new mem­bers are Re­pub­lic­an Ry­an Mack­en­zie and Demo­crats Gary Wil­li­ams, Har­old James, Madeleine Dean and Mar­tin Schmotzer.

Re­pub­lic­ans hold a 110-91 ad­vant­age with two va­can­cies.

Re­pub­lic­an Curt Sch­roder, who wasn’t seek­ing re-elec­tion, resigned on Sunday to take a job in the health care field.

Demo­crat Bill DeWeese, a former House speak­er, resigned on April 24, just be­fore be­ing sen­tenced to two-and-a-half to five years in pris­on on a cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion. He is run­ning for re-elec­tion while he ap­peals. He is tent­at­ively sched­uled to re­port to pris­on on Monday. ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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