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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rob Hopkins Challenges 9 LC State Dem Committee Hopefuls

Pennylvania' Democratic State Committee includes seven seats from Lehigh County. This year, there are an unusually large number of candidates. Seventeen people have filed nomination petitions, including Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski.

Some people believe Pawlowski is already too powerful and partisan. I've previously questioned whether his election would violate Allentown's Home Rule Charter.

Interestingly, many of those running have been encouraged to do so by Walter Felton. Remember him? He just lost a close race for District Judge in Allentown, and is himself a candidate. Is Walter trying to become a state-wide political force?

But there's a problem. A lot of these nomination petitions have glaring problems, like Republican signatures or the same person signing every name. They've bothered Rob Hopkins enough to challenge nine of these petitions on his own.

Is Rob doing Pawlowski's bidding? Since he managed Hizzoner's campaign four years ago, that would be my first guess. But Rob would like to get out of politics for awhile. A member of the state committee himself, he's stepping down, and had no involvement in Pawlowski's most recent race. In a conversation with me a few months ago, he told me he'd like to be another Steve Shaack, an erstwhile political consultant who gave it all up for the glamorous world of ... abstracting titles.

So why'd he do it? Maybe because the petitions are just that bad. He was bothered enough to dig into his own pocket to pay the necessary challenge fees. Nobody funded him. He'll have to pay to have these served, too. These bills alone will cost him over $1,000.

Acting pro se, he'll be spending a lot of time in court the next few days. The petitions he has challenged are those filed by Shelly Lee, Mariah Simpson, Joseph E. McAndrew, Fulton T. Thornton, Veronica Clemons, Carlos Salas, Cecilia Gerlach, Nancy I. Rodriguez, and Barbara L. Redmond.

Some of these challenged candidates have already played the race card. But Hopkins is an active part of the Pa. Diversity Network.

Maybe he's just a guy who likes to see things done the right way.

Update: LVPoliblog has an interesting post about Lehigh County Dems. It's a blue county, but they continue to get clobbered in the 'burbs.


Donald said...

I have known Rob since he was a kid and I would lean to the side that his motives are pure on this one. He has always a good government kind of Democrat and I suspect he is just doing what is right.
I served on State Committee in the 90's and I wonder why anyone would want to serve, unless the Friday night parties have gotten better.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Did Sam Bennett play the race card?

Anonymous said...

Or maybe Rob is just doing the bidding of the Pa Democratic organization. State Dems would be threatened by a local guy building a power base by filling seven seats with his own people. They'd never let that happen. No problem passing $1,000 under the table to stop it. Small potatoes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was critical of Rob's robo call against Lou Hershman. I long questioned his Palwowski support. But I have always found him to be an honorable man, a person who questions himself. He would never accept money passed to him under the table.

Anonymous said...

who is trying to build a local power base? Felton? The guy was a disaster as a candidate for local office, showed his lcak of thought when he applied for county commission and clearly did a poor job in planning for people to run for state committee.

If the state committee leaders really wanted Felton to go away, they would let him try to launch his poorly hatched plans and watch him go down in flames.

In politics, you get three chances to get yourself elected or put into power before you just become laughable. Walt has gone down twice. If he has grand aspirations, he better use his last life wisely.

Bernie O'Hare said...

On the other hand, Walt is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet, came up hard and has lots of friends in the inner city.

I'd really like to see Walt succeed in politics bc he speaks for people who may not otherwise be heard.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Anybody that has met or knows Felton feels the same..I'd wish him well for any office he seeks.

Chris Casey said...

Walter Felton is a victim of having the best intentions but not being wholly capable of executing them. I think he will learn from this and come back stronger.

Anonymous said...

Walt absolutely brings a lot to the table. He is a guy you want in your corner for so many reasons. His perspective is critically valuable. He needs help and needs to learn who to ask for help. If he doesn't, he is going to keep coming up short. He also needs to talk to the people he backed and get them off the race card. That won't help him on the credibility front.

Anonymous said...

if you are not competent enough to get your nominating petitions signed properly . . . it is doubtful you are competent enough to serve.

Anonymous said...

i have always liked Rob Hopkins DESPITE his being a "good government" type.

Anonymous said...

I personaly think that it is time for changes. This county is not ready for it. I suggest put on your pants on really tight, becuase this will not stop us from coming back it doesn't matter what ingnorant people think or say.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I hope you do come back. Keep on fighting for what you believe in.