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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 04, 2013

My NorCo Council Picks

In the Northampton County Council race, ten candidates are seeking five at-large seats. When that many candidates are running, there's a tendency to tie candidates to the political party they represent. Four years ago, Republicans were swept into office by anger over Obamacare. Now the pendulum has swung the other way, and people are angry over the federal government shutdown. Does this mean that Democrats will sweep? It's possible, but I hope the voters pick the person over the party.

Jerry Seyfried, Ron Heckman and Peg Ferraro will lead the pack. They have good name recognition and each is known to have dedicated years of service to the County. I am aware of the Express Times endorsements, but this is both an endorsement and a prediction. Not only do I consider this trio the top three candidates, but they will be the top three finishers.

The fourth person to win will be Deb Hunter. Four years ago, when she first ran for Council, she very nearly prevailed despite swimming against the national tide. She's become a better candidate with a deep commitment to human services. She also has a head on her shoulders, as people quickly learned during last week's debate.

Who will be fifth?

Before I give you my pick, let me tell you who I think will win. It's Hayden Phillips. He worked hard in the primary and general election and will get nothing but bullet votes from the tea party Republicans. I completely disagree with his views. He is an Agenda 21, gun-totin', privatization-lovin' candidate who will vote against every open space project. But he does a good job of hiding his extremism, and his name reminds people of Northampton County's Phillips Feed, even though there's no relation.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. With Phillips on Council, Lamont McClure will have to support John Callahan, something he currently has no intention of doing.  

Who would I like to see as the fifth candidate?

I believe Mat Benol, Glenn Geissinger and Seth Vaughn all are fairly equal. I will vote for Geissinger.

The knock on Mat, at least to some Dems, is that he was Chairman of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party. I got to know him then, and consider him one of the most reasonable people I have ever met..Despite his views, he is a consensus builder.

Glenn Geissinger impresses me every time I meet him. He knows the issues and takes the time to even come to budget hearings. What I did not know well, until the debate, was that his business experience is quite considerable and he may have in fact understated a lot of what he's done in that arena.

His son, Noah, cinched it for me.

Seth Vaughn has run before and come close. He has a great command of County issues, better than Benol or Geissinger. I intended to support him until I learned that he failed to attend any meetings of the LVPC after being appointed to that body. He should have resigned. I hate when people do not have enough respect for their offices to show up, whether it is Lamont McClure or Seth Vaughn.

Tom O'Donnell is unqualified. O'Donnell touts his financial acumen, and then can't file the appropriate expense report, and has yet to form a committee identified on his signs as the source of his funds.

Borso is a big disappointment. She repeatedly promised to fill out a candidate questionnaire, but broke her word to me. On Facebook, she begged people to send her money for her campaign, and then was dropping money for meals at the Blue, Prime and some New Hope restaurant. It seems that she was making daily trips to WaWa and Giant. She dropped $70 one night for an "after Council" meeting at The Blue. She even spent $230 on clothing. She has no original idea, and spent debate night looking at her talking points. She is a Lamont McClure puppet.


Anonymous said...

Some have speculated that the Express Times not endorsing Jerry Seyfried is due to Jerry's always bragging about his past without really addressing the future. He has a tendency to mouth the old James Bond song, "Nobody does it better", when talking about himself. Also as one of his old cabinet members said, jerry can be his own worst enemy.

However, I agree that regardless of the Express Times, Seyfried will win. He will probably be the trop vote getter.

I agree with your top Dem picks. They are far and away the best of the Dem's.

gruntled said...

Bernie, you're so wrong on a lot of things, but you got one thing right on this:
How can anyone meet Noah and not vote for Glenn?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Noah sold me.

Anonymous said...

Realistic top picks would be Peg Ferraro, Seth Vaughn, and Hayden Phillips on the Republican ticket. The reasons are simple: Peg is a no brainer, literally but she'll get the incumbent vote, Set Vaughn because he has not onlh proven he knows the issues better than the rest, he can speak about them with clear understanding of yhe future (often better than Ferraro), and Hayden Phillips because he also put in a lot of face time with the voters. Signs don't win campaigns, speaking face to face wins campaigns. This is where Geissinger fell short: he has spent a fortune on his campaign but only put in a fourth the work. Another reason I don,'t trust Geissinger is that his platform for running is that hes "not a politician" but at the debates startex every response first by bashing the democratic candidates and the democratic party ideals....which is a politician. And Matt Benol is just not political material. He is another NCGOP Mary Barket pet project. As far as Dems Deb Hunter is a shoe-in. She knows the issues, can argue them without batting an eye and although tough she seems like she genuinely cares. Borso is just a bleeding heart. She would do great as a girl scout troop leader but not the county. ODonnell....self explanatory. Seyfried doesn't care if he wins either way..he loves himself no matter what. Plus he's already lost his seat once. That would be like Ron Angle asking the voters to give him another chance...not happening. Heckman seems alright but again...trusting candidates with these long political backgrounds is hard for the public in the general state of the country. The more experience means deeper ccconnections which means deeper pockets.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is all fine, but you did not pick the top 5. i say it will be Seyfried, Heckman, Ferraro, Hunter and Phillips.

Anonymous said...

I will make this short.
A dem. not Hunter or Geissinger

Bernie you've been wrong before.

She may know issues but she is hard to take. Way to pushy.
And she thinks the constitution is a living document. That's enough for me. Guess she thinks she is smart enough to rewrite it. Wow.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:41, seeing as neither Heckman or Seyfried really tapped those "deep" pocket's you mention, your point I lost. You want to see deep pock, lets check out Ferraro.

Ferraro is more concerned with cocktail parties than county matters. Heckman and Seyfried actually work very hard on county issues. Experience is needed to blunt the Callahan bullshit train that is coming to town.

The teabagger revolution has left a bad taste in sane folks mouths. Your 2009 people were terrible and ineffective on council. they were deer in the headlights without a clue. Repeat that experience, no thanks! No miracle finish here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:17 even with your 2 picks Peg is the only other one who has served. All the others will be learning on the nob. Common sense and a no wasting money attitude is what we will get with the R's. And Callahan is experienced enough to play the game he wants to play. There is such a thing as knowing the system too well. The past members had a job to do. They did what they could and the fought the fight. They satisfied their voters. Everyone of them.you keep going with the liberals and see where that gets you. Bet you only approve on liars when they are on your team.

Anonymous said...

As Executive, Seyfried never raised taxes.

As a county councilman, Heckman never voted for a tax increase.

Ms. Ferraro has voted for tax increases (plural). She is also forgetful. She claimed the Gracedale windows were never fixed until she and Stoffa did it. Wrong. Her guy Bill Brackbill "fixed" them in 1995. Problem was he used the cheapest non-union out of town labor he could get, and they leaked within two years.

So basically your "liberal democrat" argument is bullshit!

Heckman, Seyfried and Hunter will win and then maybe two teabaggers. We will see

Anonymous said...

Ferraro will win, even though she is a weak public official. She has accomplished nothing except showing up at groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings.

As a retired teacher, her name gets her elected. Certainly not any accomplishments except voting for more and more spending.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Ferraro, Phillips ,Benol and Seyfried ,Geissinger Odonnell out Heckman a stray My prediction. Mr Phillips I personally wish you the best,as you will help hold integrity to this new council.

Matt M. said...

Um , 11:34, the Constitution (of the US and Commonwealth) IS a living document, interpreted by the courts daily and amended by those the people have chosen. The COUNTY operates on HOME RULE CHARTER. Different beast entirely.

Benol and Gessinger have done their best to attend the Citizen's Academy, something that Hunter (and I believe someone else) had attended last year. I've gotten to speak extensively with both during the course of this great program.

Anonymous said...


The 2009 republican picks were hand selected by the NCGOP but won due to the political climate at that time. I agree with you that they weren't good picks which is another reason people should look at the backgrounds if all the candidates. Glenn Geissinger comes out of nowhere and is getting funding for tv commercials radio spots and robocalls with matt benol from charlie dent. If that doesn't reek of deep pockets I don't know what does! That's why I think seth and hayden are a good way to riund out council

Anonymous said...

Peter, really?? I think you are way off.

Anonymous said...

Peter your 6 pm post is unreadable and gibberish.

Lighthouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.