As a resident of Willow Grove living in the 153rd legislative district, I thought it was important to attend the forum held by League of Women on April 10th featuring the two candidates vying for the vacant State Representative seat in the Special Election on April 24th. While I found the credential of both candidates impressive, I left believing Nicholas Mattiacci was the more qualified of the two.
Mattiacci struck me as very personable, someone whom people can relate to. Rather than rigidly adhering to obviously pre-scripted answers to the anticipated questions, I thought Mattiacci spoke from the heart. While her answers were insightful, Madeline Dean struck me as someone who was only capable of answering questions based on what she prepared, unwilling to stray away from her pre-determined “talking points.”
Aside from their mannerisms, I was surprised to learn Dean was recently elected to a Commissioner’s seat in Abington. The fact she’s running for a new position only months after being elected to a previous one, coupled with how she appeared unwilling to digress from her prepared statements, leads me to believe she’s more politically opportunistic than concerned with the issues of our district.
One of the most informative statements said all night was when Mattiacci mentioned how he’d be able to benefit our district because he’s a member of the same party as the Governor. Unfortunately we live in a bipartisan nation in which elected officials quibble over every issue, refusing to break stride and working with their opposing party. For better or worse, having a State Representative from the same party as Governor Corbett would behoove our district more so than the alternative.
On April 24th I hope the members of the 153rd district exercise their right to vote and cast their ballot for Nicholas Mattiacci. Madeline Dean personifies the career politician, while Mattiacci represents a fresh of breath. As a 1st-time candidate running for office and young father and husband, he can relate to the people of this district because he shares many of our same concerns, that of his growing family—not a growing political career.
Michael P. McIlmail
Willow Grove, PA