In an April 6 email to Haverford Township Committee, the majority of the Haverford Dems’ leadership made these arguments for structuring the convention to make an endorsement and against an “open primary”:
- “While we have many great candidates for Congress this year, the reality is ONLY ONE person can be our party’s nominee in a fall. Control of the Congress may very well be at stake. As committee people, it’s our duty to help identify those who have the kind of broad support to win a general election. We can only do that by voting our preferences on April 8th.”
- “The reason we ask you to vote NO is simple: the purpose of this convention is to serve as a mini-Primary, with more than 800 Democratic committee people from 49 municipalities as the only eligible voters. Allowing nominations and voting to occur will highlight the strong candidates (whether they were recommended or not) and show us where support lies.”
In addition, opponents of an Open Primary argued that without a strong Delco Dems’ endorsement of one candidate, Delco Dem votes will be so fractured in the primary that the PA-5 candidate from Philadelphia County, Rich Lazer, will enjoy the advantage of consolidated votes.
In an April 7 article in the Delco Times, PA-5 candidate Larry Arata voiced the arguments for an open primary:
- “There are 14 talented candidates representing every part and every facet of the county and the Democratic voters should pick a candidate on May 15. That is what primaries are for.”
- “It is more fair to each and every candidate and the voters that the Democratic Committee not play favorites until the people’s voices are heard on primary day . . .The people are tired of back room deals, special interest endorsements and elections bought and paid for. The Democratic voters in Delaware County are smart, engaged and completely capable of choosing the best candidate in the primary.”
In addition, opponents of an endorsement agreed with Arata that “It will ... be better for the party if our party leadership chooses to encourage us to continue to connect with voters and generate positive energy throughout the district” . . . . “Conversely, the party leadership telling 12 candidates that their campaigns are not legitimate, not blessed by the party, will only create a negative reaction in the electorate from which it will be difficult to recover."