Northeast Times

Lone local state House battle features Tomlinson vs. Driscoll

In oth­er polit­ic­al news: Dee Ad­cock, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, and his wife, Sandy, stand out­side the Know­lton Man­sion in Fox Chase dur­ing a fun­draiser held last week. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

In the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, the North­east is di­vided in­to nine dis­tricts.

In­cred­ibly, only one of those dis­tricts has a con­tested race in Novem­ber.

In the 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, it’ll be Re­pub­lic­an Mike Tom­lin­son against Demo­crat Mike Driscoll. Demo­crat­ic Rep. Mike McGee­han is not seek­ing an­oth­er term.

Driscoll is a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ad­min­is­trat­or for the Phil­adelphia Fed­er­al Cred­it Uni­on. He served as deputy sec­ret­ary for the state De­part­ment of Gen­er­al Ser­vices un­der Gov. Bob Ca­sey.

The two can­did­ates have a re­spect for each oth­er, hav­ing shared a stage at a re­cent East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing.

Driscoll’s top is­sues in­clude jobs, not­ing the po­ten­tial of City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on’s Man­u­fac­tur­ing Task Force; more fund­ing for edu­ca­tion, es­pe­cially in the early grades; pub­lic safety, par­tic­u­larly the fight against drugs; and strength­en­ing the Pennsylvania Lot­tery to keep pro­ceeds go­ing to seni­or cit­izens.

Driscoll wor­ries that too many smart, hard-work­ing young people can­not af­ford a col­lege edu­ca­tion.

“That’s troub­ling,” he said.

Driscoll is a board mem­ber of the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion, and he be­lieves the parks and trails be­ing cre­ated are the first steps to­ward a trans­form­a­tion of the area.

“All of a sud­den, it changes neigh­bor­hoods,” he said.

Driscoll said he will work hard on the cam­paign trail un­til the polls close on Nov. 4.

“I’m go­ing to run up un­til 8 o’clock,” he said.

Tom­lin­son, a former CPA and high school teach­er, ran for the state Sen­ate in 2012. He’s long coached youth sports and is act­ive with the Ta­cony/Holmes­burg Town Watch, Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation and Friends of Holmes­burg Lib­rary.

Tom­lin­son would ab­ol­ish the School Re­form Com­mis­sion and re­place it with a board that in­cludes par­ents, teach­ers and cor­por­ate cit­izens. He backs oth­er edu­ca­tion re­forms.

“I sup­port vouch­ers. I sup­port charter schools,” he said.

The Re­pub­lic­an fa­vors tort re­form to curb frivol­ous law­suits. As a way to save money, he wants to cut the num­ber of state sen­at­ors from 50 to 38 and rep­res­ent­at­ives from 203 to 150. He’d also elim­in­ate tax­pay­er-fun­ded mail­ings from law­makers.

“That would be one hel­luva start,” he said.

As for meth­adone clin­ics, he main­tains they are not ef­fect­ive. He thinks ad­dicts would be bet­ter served in drug treat­ment fa­cil­it­ies. He also wor­ries about an in­crease in crime at the two clin­ics poised to open in Holmes­burg.

“I’m ex­tremely against the meth­adone clin­ics,” he said.

The 173rd dis­trict has a lot more Demo­crats, but Tom­lin­son be­lieves a lot of them are in­de­pend­ent minded or even Re­pub­lic­an lean­ing, such as po­lice of­ficers and fire­fight­ers who re­gister as Demo­crats to vote in primar­ies.

Tom­lin­son has knocked on about 8,000 doors since mid-May, and the House Re­pub­lic­an Cam­paign Com­mit­tee fol­lows up by mail­ing post­cards.

“It’s go­ing good,” he said. “People like when you come to their door. I be­lieve if I talk to a per­son, I’ll get their vote.” 

••

At present, Re­pub­lic­ans hold 13 of the 18 seats al­lot­ted to Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives.

“Come Nov. 4, 14 are go­ing to be rep­res­en­ted by Re­pub­lic­ans,” pre­dicted Lt. Gov. Jim Caw­ley.

Caw­ley ap­peared last week at Know­lton Man­sion in Fox Chase at a fun­draiser for busi­ness­man Dee Ad­cock, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict. Ad­cock faces Demo­crat Brendan Boyle, a state rep­res­ent­at­ive.

Caw­ley de­scribed Ad­cock as the em­bod­i­ment of the Amer­ic­an dream, cit­ing his fam­ily, suc­cess­ful busi­ness and char­it­able giv­ing. He also noted that Ad­cock is a former base­ball and fast-pitch soft­ball play­er.

“Dee Ad­cock is gonna hit it out of the park on Nov. 4,” he said.

Among those at the fun­draiser were state Rep. John Taylor; former con­gress­man Jon Fox; and Joe Rooney, the GOP’s can­did­ate in 2012 in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict. The Great­er Kens­ing­ton String Band provided en­ter­tain­ment.

Sandy Ad­cock, the can­did­ate’s wife, de­scribed him as a man whose char­it­able en­deavors have helped the home­less, youths and the USO.

If elec­ted, Ad­cock will donate his salary to char­it­ies in the North­east and Mont­gomery County.

Ad­cock blas­ted Pres­id­ent Barack Obama for for­eign policy blun­ders, in­ac­tion on il­leg­al im­mig­ra­tion and the scan­dals at the IRS and De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs. He faul­ted the pres­id­ent for the near-doub­ling of the fed­er­al debt since tak­ing of­fice.

Ad­cock is pro-life, sup­ports term lim­its and backs con­struc­tion of the Key­stone XL Pipeline to cre­ate jobs. He is in fa­vor of school vouch­ers and ex­pan­sion of charter schools.

In 2010, Ad­cock took 44 per­cent of the vote against Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who did not run for re-elec­tion this year to make an un­suc­cess­ful bid for gov­ernor. He thinks he’ll do bet­ter this time be­cause it’s an open seat and he has bet­ter name iden­ti­fic­a­tion.

However, it’s a new dis­trict, with a stronger Demo­crat­ic tilt. And 2014 will prob­ably not be as strong a year for Re­pub­lic­ans as 2010, when the GOP shel­lacked Demo­crats across the coun­try. Ad­cock ac­know­ledges he has an “up­hill battle,” but re­mains con­fid­ent be­cause he said he has a win­ning mes­sage.

“I hon­estly be­lieve we can win this thing,” he said.

••

At the Ad­cock fun­draiser, Caw­ley also ad­dressed the cam­paign for gov­ernor. Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Tom Corbett is in an up­hill battle against Demo­crat Tom Wolf, a wealthy York County busi­ness­man.

Caw­ley cited Corbett’s elim­in­a­tion of a $4.2 bil­lion de­fi­cit and an un­em­ploy­ment rate that’s dropped from 8.2 per­cent to 5.6 per­cent since the gov­ernor took of­fice. More than 180,000 private sec­tor jobs have been cre­ated in that time. Caw­ley said Wolf is not the right man for the job.

“If you like what you see out of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, you’re gonna love Tom Wolf,” he said. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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