Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Quick Look at State Rep Mary Jo Daley

People had mentioned Mary Jo Daley to me when she stepped in to run for the state house after Mike Gerber decided not to run again in the 148th district.  Daley won the seat.  Her state house site ( has a biography and other basic information, as does her campaign site,   MainLineMediaNews had a nice feature on Daley in 2009 in their "Volunteer of the Week" column, by Joel Fram (11/23/2009).

Recently I had the opportunity to hear Daley speak and she completely blew my socks off.  She is very impressive, but low key, knowledgeable, realistic, straightforward.  She has a clear and authoritative speaking voice and a commanding presence.  I hope we see a lot more of her in the future.

PCN included Daley in their "Freshman Focus" feature.  Newly elected state senators and representatives were briefly interviewed.  I listened to the interview with Daley and took notes on it.  This not intended to be a formal transcript and apologize in advance for any errors or misconceptions.  Interested parties are encouraged to listen for themselves.  Remember this interview was done after the election but before she was sworn in.

Notes from PCN:

Q:  Why did you run?
I got into the race very late because my state representative withdrew late in July so I had a very shorty period of time to make that decision.  But when I weighed my credentials for running for office and thought about how few women there were in office I decided I had to stop complaining and do something.

Q:  What is the biggest problem in your district:

A:  I’m not prepared to answer that.  I represent a wonderful district in Montgomery County.  We have terrific schools, great environment, access to public transit, close to Philadelphia, focused on the positive when out campaigning.  I’m sure now I’ll focus on entire district.

Q:  What committees do you want to be on?

Would love to be on transportation committee but that is probably a reach as many people want it.  I’m also looking at state govt, local govt, human services.  You can tell I’m still looking at the committees to see where I can use my background and knowledge.

Q:  Issues?

In my campaign I talked a lot about women’s issues, all across the state board, education, environment, all affect women.  Being one of the few women in office I have to look at that, but things like education affect everyone.

Q:  Surprises in job?

Not actually sworn in yet.  The 3 days I’ve been here for orientation have been overwhelming in some regard.  The capitol is the most beautiful building, people so helpful, a positive experience.  Looking forward to being sworn in.

Q:  Hobbies?

I work a lot but other than that I like to knit, read, and garden.  I don’t get much time to do those things, except reading.  I like to travel.  I have a brother who lives in France and it is great to go visit him as a family trip.

Q:  What is your favorite book?

Good question.  There’s a book that I loved called Kristin Lavransdatter.  I’ve read it twice; it’s very thick.  It’s fiction; the story of a woman.  Very good.

Q:  Family reaction to election?

They’re great.  My husband was very excited about me running.  I have a daughter and two stepchildren.  One of my brothers went door to door for me.  Both of my parents have passed way.  People tell me they would be so proud as they both had an interest in politics.  

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