Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Polls Open in Less than 48 Hours, Final Push is on for Kampf and Buckwalter

The Sunday edition of the Daily Local is leading with a candidate overview of the PA State House 157 race for the Republican nomination between Ken Buckwalter and Warren Kampf. Although for the most part, Dan Kristie’s article does not provide new ideology distinctions between the two candidates, we do read that both candidates support charter school and gun rights.

Kristie’s article primarily focuses on an Kampf’s campaign mailers against Buckwalter and Buckwalter’s responses, we do see a small difference when it comes to same-sex marriage. Although both candidates are on record not supporting same-sex couple to marry, Buckwalter does support limited civil unions between same-sex couples, while Kamps said is would reserve comment until presented with a specific civil union proposal.

Polls open in less than 48 hours, the 11th hour push is on for the candidates. The following article provides a good summary of the candidates . . . if you are still on the fence, it may provide you with some needed information.

Buckwalter, Kampf face off in 157th

By DAN KRISTIE, Staff Writer

Kendrick Buckwalter, a small-business owner and Phoenixville borough councilman, and Warren Kampf, an attorney and Tredyffrin supervisor, are vying for the Republican nomination to run against incumbent Democratic state Rep. Paul Drucker in the 157th District.

The Chester County Republican Committee has recommended both Republicans, as neither was able to get enough votes at this year’s GOP nominating convention to secure the party’s endorsement. Drucker, of Tredyffrin, an attorney and former Tredyffrin supervisor, is running opposed in the Democratic primary. He was first elected in 2008, and this November’s election will prove whether a Democrat can maintain power in the traditionally Republican 157th District. Buckwalter and Kampf have focused their campaigns on electability and past behavior. They have not sought to draw sharp ideological distinctions.

Buckwalter, who owns a framing shop in Malvern, said he is popular with Phoenixville’s Democratic voters. As evidence, he points to the fact that even though Phoenixville has a high concentration of Democratic voters, he has held onto his council seat since 2002.

Local political observers speculate that Phoenixville Democrats helped put Drucker in office — Drucker beat Republican Guy Ciarrocchi by just 2 percent in 2008. Longtime Republican 157th District state Rep. Carole Rubley retired in 2008, making the seat competitive for the first time in recent memory.

Kampf, however, enjoys a geographic advantage that could propel him to victory in the primary. He is from Tredyffrin, the largest township in the 157th District and the place where most of the district’s Republican voters live.

Tredyffrin’s Republican committeepeople tend to favor candidates from their own township. Earlier this year, they endorsed Kampf, and their endorsement could prompt the township’s Republican voters to favor him on primary day. Buckwalter, however, has the endorsement of Rubley, who is well-liked by both the district’s Republicans and Democrats. But it is uncertain how much her endorsement will sway the vote.

Kampf has aggressively campaigned against Buckwalter, criticizing him for, among other things, proposing a tax on alcoholic beverages and suing his own borough council.Buckwalter suggested in 2008 that Phoenixville look into assessing a tax on all alcoholic beverages the borough’s liquor licensees serve. The revenues, Buckwalter said, could be used to support continued revitalization of the borough’s downtown. But Kampf said Buckwalter’s drink tax proposal indicates he is not fully committed to lowering taxes and helping small businesses. Kampf also criticized Buckwalter for filing a lawsuit against Phoenixville’s borough council. Council voted in 2006 to immediately eliminate the stipends council members receive.

But Buckwalter opposed the measure on the grounds that the Pennsylvania constitution prohibits legislators from changing the salary they receive for the term during which they are currently serving. This provision, Buckwalter argued, prohibits legislators from raising and lowering their own pay. Buckwalter took the suit all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Supreme Court voted 7-0 in Buckwalter’s favor.

Kampf said that Buckwalter’s lawsuit unnecessarily cost Phoenixville taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. “While he was technically correct, there may have been a way for him to make his point,” Kampf said. Buckwalter said it was council that cost Phoenixville taxpayers that money. “I was not the one who cost those taxpayer dollars,” Buckwalter said. “It was the borough council members who chose to defend their position, which was found by Supreme Court to be the wrong position.”

During an interview about issues that face the state, Buckwalter put emphasis on turning to the Pennsylvania constitution for answers. Kampf’s answers centered around the theme of upholding and better enforcing laws that are already on the books. Both Buckwalter and Kampf said they support reducing the state tax burden on businesses and corporations. And both said they support gun rights. Both candidates also said they support charter schools. Kampf said that he supports school vouchers in districts that have sub-par schools, but Buckwalter said he would need to further study vouchers before deciding where he stands.

Both candidates said that they do not support allowing same-sex couples to marry. Buckwalter said that he supports limited civil unions between same-sex couples, while Kampf said he is cautious about allowing civil unions. He said he would reserve comment until a specific civil union proposal came before him.

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  1. Brave of Warren to take such a definitive position on civil unions. This guy’s so cautious it’s a miracle he ever gets out of bed in the morning. He’s so indecisive that he’s been banned from Baskin-Robbins.

  2. Just to start — politics is broken. Why ever would either man comment on same sex marriage? That wil be decided by the courts in the same way that interracial marriage was in places that didn’t understand that either —
    Buckwalter supports “limited” civil unions – Kampf would need to see the proposal. Well folks — Pennsylvania licenses marriage. What tests would you like put in place to license two adults who want to make a commitment to each other under the law — who aren’t wealthy enough to hire lawyers to draft documents?
    WHAT is a “limited” civil union?
    No legislator in this area would ever have the nerve to support same-sex marriage — but for some reason reporters don’t ask WHY….would Mr. Buckwalter or Mr. Kampf feel their marriage was challenged because someone else of the same gender chose to make a similar life commitment?

    Mr. Kampf understands Pay to Play — he raised money from the same businesses that donated to his fire fund solicitation — in some cases companies that have business pending with the township. Mr. Buckwalter sued his borough on principle — and won. Bottom line for me is which one of these two men is more likely to work and play well with others? I like Mr. Buckwalter’s blog and his willingness to respond to comments on this blog and elsewhere. I detest the wall Mr. Kampf has built to insulate him from the little people (with Mr. Lamina standing guard). Mr. Buckwalter is a small businessman who is ready to move into government in a larger scale. Mr. Kampf is a father of young children who is already a partner in a law firm — so I cannot imagine the 157 is anything but his first step. He MUST want to be a federal judge or a congressman/senator/governor to be vying for this seat. So — maybe all the Tredyffrin republicans are supporting Mr. kampf because they think he’ll take them with him when he runs for the next big office….

    Ambivalence. Who cares about me? Who cares about politics? Who will raise the level of debate and work to protect what I have? Who understands politics enough to go into those back rooms and make deals?

    Vote friends. If you are a republican, you’ve got this to consider. If you are a Democrat, you actually have a similar decision: Specter or Sestak. Specter clearly is tied into the system and can make deals….Sestak has some ideas and principles…but may not really have a clue. How did we get here?

    1. If you’re one of those Democrats whose minds are not made up about tomorrow’s senatorial election, please know that Congressman Joe Sestak DOES have a clue. (See last comment.) With a long career in the Navy, serving as a battleship commander and advisor to President Clinton, Joe brought decades of experience to his 7th District seat. And it is not an exaggeration to say that Joe Sestak is one of the hardest working Congressmen in recent memory. Serving his constituents has remained his highest priority. He is committed to strengthening our economy, healthcare, education, environment and national security.

      And isn’t it time for change? Arlen may know the lay of the land in Washington but he’s carrying a lot of baggage. And at 80, having survived three life-threatening illnesses, Arlen may believe he’ll live forever, but the voters are far more realistic……

      VOTE for the next generation. VOTE JOE tomorrow.

      1. Sestak is an enigma. His military background doesn’t square with some of what he was saying during the beginning of the Iraq and Afgan wars. Agree or disagree about those, I was uncomfortable with him in a political role. Fortunately, I won’t have to vote for either tomorrow but hope the man less likely to beat Toomey emerges. We shall see

    2. so it seems you have “hit” on criticisms of both candidates, more so Mr. kampf.
      I like your analysis of the civil union issue.

  3. Well said — I love when someone actually speaks up for someone and not against the opponent. PA will be better “served” (i.e. more federal pork) with Specter, and he will be owed many favors, but Democrats really have a choice to make — and Sestak seems to be pretty determined to fight his party statewide and nationally..validating his VOTE. You owe the candidates at least that.

  4. Agree with him or not, Sestak has shown himself to be a man of character and principle. Specter, a political chameleon of the worst kind. This primary will reveal much about Pensylvania’s Democrats.

  5. mike,
    I have no problem with sestak from a character perspective. I just don’t get him. he is a good man for sure.

  6. Note: Sestak may be a good man (fore sure? Based on what?) , but he is a bit of a carpetbagger –high school was the last time he lived in Delaware County before running against Weldon…who he beat after a statistical dead heat was dramatically altered at the 11th hour when Weldon and his daughter were accused by the FBI and raided — and never charged. … He has the highest staff turnover in the Congress…claims to sleep only 2-3 hours a night. He was demoted from his highest military command due to morale issues. I think he has used his daughter’s illness as political capital…how much time do you think he has spent at home since she’s 7….and he works 18 hour days plus according to his own website.
    So — whatever you think of Specter, don’t ignore Sestak’s shortcomings. Who can Toomey run the most successfully against?

  7. I know Sestak has some issues. And for me it is his positions on issues that fly directly in the face of his military career. Both Sestak and Specter are non starters. Yet Sestak has alot of followers… Figures.

    Think the state is ready, finally for Toomey. Democrats have worn out their welcome, and the credit card

  8. The Navy couldn’t wait to get rid of Sestak. There’s a reason for that. None of his co-workers could stand him, and none of his subbordinates could stand to work for him. They were all glad to be rid of him. Unfortunately, now he is our burden to suffer.

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