Monday, August 29, 2011

Jenny Brown's Electoral History

Yesterday I posted rough notes from an interview Jenny Brown, one of the Republican candidates for Montgomery County Commissioner, did with the Kitchen Table Patriots, a regional tea party group. In that interview she mentioned that she had been elected to the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners with support from Democratic voters as well as Republican voters. That was intriguing so I went back and looked at a history of Lower Merion Township Ward 2, and the election results. Links are to the actual election results, which in 2005 are pdfs that run 300 or so pages, and more workable files in 2009.

When Brown first ran in 2005 it was an open election. For the previous 15 years Ward 2 had been represented by Republican Ken Davis, who did not run in 2005 (see his Wikipedia entry for a detailed biography).

It is true that the Lower Merion Township Ward 2 Democrats did not run a candidate in 2005 or in 2009. Looking at the list of committeepeople for that Ward at present the Democrats do not have a committeeperson for all areas of the Ward so it is possible that the party does not have a strong presence there, though I have no personal knowledge of the matter and that is pure conjecture.

In the 2005 primary, on the Republican side Brown was voted the party’s candidate with 317 votes (see p. 20 of the election results). She received 31 votes to be the Democratic candidate (p. 57 of the election results). There were no other candidates on the ballot and I think it is possible that she was a write-in on the Democratic side but I’m definitely not certain of this.

In the 2005 general election she received 685 votes. There were no other names on the ballot and there were no write-in votes (p. 13 of the election results).

In the 2009 primary election, listed as a Democrat, Brown received 134 votes, and there were 19 write-in votes (presumably for other people, though I am not positive of this). As a Republican she received all 320 of the votes cast.

In the 2009 general election she received 1032 votes, and there were 3 write-in votes.

Someone very kindly looked up the current voter registration numbers for me. At present in Ward 2 of Lower Merion Township Montgomery County there are 1,590 Democrats, 1,324 Republicans, 393 Independents, and 18 Other.

While Jenny Brown may be a lovely person she hasn’t had any real electoral experience. She stepped into the shoes of a strong Republican predecessor and has never had an opponent on the ballot. The hotly contested county race is an entirely different level of play. It will be interesting to see how the fall campaign goes.

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