Pennsylvania: Police Official Has Gone AWOL on House Race

Posted December 3, 2007 at 6:32pm

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood (R) announced at the end of November that he was no longer interested in running for the 7th district seat, according to local news reports. His announcement once again leaves Republicans searching for a candidate to run against freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D) in the district comprising suburbs west of Philadelphia.

Sestak defeated longtime Rep. Curt Weldon (R) 56 percent to 44 percent in 2006. The district voted for Democratic presidential nominees in both 2004 and 2000, but Weldon’s long hold on the seat gives Republicans hope they could take it back with the right candidate next year.

Yet Republican recruitment for the seat has come up short. And Chitwood’s announcement that he would not run leaves them searching for a candidate.

One Republican insider said Radnor Trust Company President and CEO James Didio has expressed interest in running for the seat, though Didio would not confirm his interest.

Didio’s access to wealthy donors would be a plus for the cash-strapped National Republican Congressional Committee, which has less than one-tenth the amount of cash on hand as its Democratic counterpart.

— Shira Toeplitz