Montgomery Co. Commissioner's race heats up

October 28, 2011

"We've had too much bickering in our county government," says Democratic Candidate Josh Shapiro.

"The disastrous fiscal policy of the past four years must be stopped," says Republican Candidate Bruce Castor.

The battle over who will run Montgomery County is on. The Republican candidates include incumbent Commissioner Bruce Castor and Lower Merion Commissioner Jenny Brown, and the Democrats State Representative Josh Shapiro of Abington and Whitemarsh Supervisor Leslie Richards.

The four are vying for the 3 commissioner seats and whichever party gets both its candidates elected will run the government in the state's third largest county, and will control its 2,000 at will non-union and non-civil service jobs.

The Democrats are painting Brown as out of the political mainstream tea party sympathizer and Castor as involved in political infighting during his 2007 term as a commissioner.

"I think people who have been paying attention are just really frustrated with all of the fighting that's been going on and all the bickering," said Leslie Richards.

Castor wears the bickering charge as a kind of badge of honor, saying he was calling out his fellow commissioners who were recklessly spending after a controversial political deal was hatched with the Democrats.

"We got exactly 2007 democrat agenda, which is the same agenda that will be under Richards and Shapiro," says Castor.

That is the main theme of the Republicans attack, that Richards and Shapiro will not be fiscally prudent.

"The tax borrow and spend polices that they have implemented in their years in office, that tells us exactly what they will do when they come to Montgomery County," said Republican Candidate Jenny Brown.

With its comfortable suburbs, Montgomery County was once solidly Republican, but times have changed. Registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans. Some Democrats believe they could take control for the first time in more than a century.

"Absolutely I think we can feel history in the making here," said Richards.

For the record, the Republican team says they are not getting that sort of feeling.

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