Pennsylvania: Brady’s Primary Foe Withdraws From Race

Posted February 15, 2008 at 6:45pm

Rep. Robert Brady (D) will not face a primary challenge this cycle from physician Keith Leaphart (D), who withdrew from the race just before last week’s filing deadline.

“Being he is a newly married man, with a new infant baby, it all came at him and was more than he anticipated,” Leaphart aide Tracy Hardy told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Leaphart reportedly had the backing of two of the largest and most generous political donors in the region, though the Federal Election Commission’s online records did not show totals for his exploratory committee’s fundraising for the end of 2007.

Brady, the Philadelphia Democratic Party chairman who represents almost half of the city in Congress, ran for mayor last year in the midst of his fifth term. He ran unopposed for Congress in the 2006 primary and general elections, and he has won with at least 74 percent of the vote in prior contests.

10th District GOP Field Shrinks by 1 at Deadline

Small-business owner Paul Swiderski has withdrawn from the 10th district Republican primary, leaving the nominating fight a three-way race with two self-funding millionaires.

“I severely underestimated the amount of time necessary to run an effective campaign for U.S. Congress,” Swiderski told The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre. “My family and my clients must come first, and I just couldn’t devote the necessary time to the campaign.”

Swiderski was considered a long shot for the seat, and his withdrawal leaves businessmen Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser and optometrist Davis Haire in the race. Swiderski endorsed Hackett, who along with Meuser is one of the two frontrunners.

The winner will take on freshman Rep. Christopher Carney (D), who won the district from disgraced longtime Rep. Don Sherwood (R) in 2006. The northeast Pennsylvania district has traditionally been a GOP stronghold; however, Sherwood’s personal problems — specifically allegations that he assaulted his mistress — put the seat in Democratic hands for the first time in decades.
— Shira Toeplitz