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Lansdale Nomination Petitions Paint Picture of Primary

While still unofficial, nomination petitions for Lansdale Borough Council show a battle for five open seats. The mayor and tax collector positions will be decided in November.

Nomination petitions submitted to Montgomery County Voter Services on Tuesday, while still unofficial, paint a Primary that could change the face of Lansdale Borough Council.

One change is already evident—Council President Matt West is not running for re-election.

West said there are three reasons why he is not seeking re-election—and their ages are eight, five and two-and-a-half.

"It is time for me to step away for a bit and make up for some of the time I lost with my family over the past four years," West said. "This borough is on the cusp of an amazing transformation and I look forward to watching the next group of council members working together to achieve greatness."

West said one of his goals throughout the past four years has been to increase the interest of local government.

"I truly believe that through the diversity of ideas will come progress, and I am encouraged to see so many candidates interested in serving their community," he said. "I am proud to be president of a council that has made logical reasoning and professionalism the center piece of the management of our fine borough. After a great deal of consideration, I made the decision to not seek re-election."

There are four incumbents up for re-election: Democrat and Vice President Mary Fuller, and Republicans Dan Dunigan, Mike Sobel and Jason Van Dame. Van Dame is filling out the remainder of former Councilman Paul Clemente.

The Friends of Lansdale PAC are not supporting Fuller for re-election.

The Lansdale Republican Club are not supporting Dunigan and Sobel for re-election.

Mayor Andy Szekely will be challenged in November by Democrat and Lansdale Business Association President Doug DiPasquale.

Incumbent Democrat tax collector Jim Hanratty will be challenged in November by Republican Christine Calhoun.

Two seats are up for grabs in Ward One.

One seat is up for grabs in Ward Two.

Two seats are up for grabs in Ward Three.

Incumbent Jason Van Dame is running on the Independent ticket. According to Montgomery County Voter Services, an individual may decide to run as an independent, bypassing the Primary Election and competing directly in November for the office he or she is seeking. A candidate may not run as an independent if they are a registered member of a political party. 

Van Dame's nomination petition is due to the county by August 1.

What follows is the list of nominees by ward, on file at Montgomery County Voter Services:

Ward 1 (Two open seats)

Mary Fuller (D) [Incumbent]

Jason Van Dame (I) [Incumbent]

Michele Coyle (R)

Jean Fritz (R) 

Joseph A. Wolf (D)

Jeff Howard (D) [Endorsed by Friends of Lansdale]

Ward 2 (One open seat)

Kathleen Becker (D) [Endorsed by Friends of Lansdale]

Thomas Work (R) 

Michael Sobel (R) [Incumbent]

Ward 3 (Two open seats)

Peter Schmitt (R)

Walter Brown (R)

Leon Angelichio (D) [Endorsed by Friends of Lansdale]

Liz Troy (D) [Endorsed by Friends of Lansdale]

Robert Willi (D) 

Richard Strahm (D)

Dan Dunigan (R) [Incumbent]


Fuller will be challenged in the Primary by Democrats Joseph Wolf and Jeff Howard. Democratic candidates garnering the two highest votes will move on to the General Election.

Sobel will be challenged by Republican Thomas Work in the Primary. The candidate with the highest vote will move on to face Becker in the General Election.

Dunigan will face Republicans Schmitt and Brown in the Primary. Of the four Democrats in Ward Three, the two with the highest number of votes will move on to the General Election.

Regardless of political party in November, candidates with the two highest votes in Ward One and Ward Three will win the seats. The candidate with the highest amount of votes in Ward Two in November will win the open seat.

Denton Burnell March 14, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Thanks for this Tony. One point -- with all due respect to the "Friends of Lansdale" -- they are a private PAC -- not an official Party organization. No one should be confused that this is a Party-related "endorsement" (even though the chair of the Democratic Party has already gone on record as supporting them). That process, if it happens, will occur at some point in the near future, and is done via a vote of all elected committee people.
Robert Willi March 14, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Thanks for clearing that up Denton. It is important that Democrats know they have a choice this May. Either keep Lansdale moving forward or resort back to pay to play politics in which the Friends of Lansdale offer.
Bob March 15, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Maybe this Council could be a little more Generous to outgoing Borough Managers!! Hell its just money!!

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