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.