PA Dems Might Pick Brennan's Ballot Replacement
State Democratic Party's executive board plans to meet to select a ballot replacement for embattled legislator, but it must get Commonwealth Court clearance first.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party executive board is planning to meet to pick a candidate to replace incumbent state Rep. Joseph Brennan on the General Election ballot, a party spokesman said Wednesday.
That is assuming that Commonwealth Court grants the party’s petition allowing a replacement on the ballot for the 133rd House District.
Facing criminal charges and a continuing struggle with alcohol addiction, Brennan announced Wednesday that he would not continue with his re-election campaign. He said he intends to remain in office until his term expires on Nov. 30.
In the meantime, he has filed a petition with Commonwealth Court asking that his name be removed from the ballot, according to Mark Nicastre, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Democrats.
The party has filed its own petition seeking the court’s permission to pick a replacement, Nicastre said. The Department of State deadline to remove a candidate’s name from the ballot passed more than a week ago.
“While we are waiting for the court to act, we are proceeding with the substitution process,” Nicastre wrote in an email. “Pursuant to our bylaws, [we] are scheduling a State Party executive board vote on potential replacement candidates.”
The Republican nominee, Catasauqua acupuncturist Dave Molony, held a news conference on Tuesday saying he does not believe that Brennan has the time to continue to represent his constituents. At the same time, he said he would not use the incumbent legislator’s troubles during the campaign.
Brennan was arrested a week ago for allegedly punching and choking his wife and driving drunk. It is the second time in a little more than a year that the three-term legislator from Fountain Hill had been arrested on suspicion of DUI.
“I support Joe in his action to remove his name from the ballot,” said Northampton County Democratic Chairman Walt Garvin. “I wish Joe the best.
“I am awaiting word on the court approving his intention and seeking a replacement candidate. I am working with the PA Democratic Party on that.”
The 133rd state House district includes nearly half of the city of Bethlehem, Fountain Hill, Catasauqua, Coplay, Hanover Township in Lehigh County and parts of Allentown and Salisbury and Whitehall townships.