With a special election to fill the vacancy left by Josh Shapiro fewer than 50 days away, Abington commissioner Madeleine Dean is ramping up her efforts to secure a seat as the representative for the 153rd Legislative District.
At a crowded fundraiser at LeBus Restaurant in Manayunk, many notable Democrats — including former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell — voiced their support for Dean's campaign and urged voters to play an active role in the special election to be held on April 24.
"We don't have a primary fight on the presidential level and the Republicans do," said Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee. "We have to be very aware of the fact that the Republicans may have a significant turnout, but they can't beat us if we vote. It's that simple."
Dean, who went to law school at Widener University and currently works as an assistant professor at La Salle University, began her political career while in college, serving as a committeewoman and volunteer coordinator for then-State Representative Joe Hoeffel.
Now, aiming to replace Shapiro, Dean said she intends to focus on what she calls the "four E’s," which consist of education, the economy, the environment and ethics.
"I know that education is the key to our economic future, yet I see the current administration is crippling our public school system at every level," Dean said. "Our children are being shortchanged."
Dean also wants to focus on legislation that will benefit small business owners; she added that her experience with her husband's small business has given her a first-hand look at exactly what is needed.
On the environment, Dean points to Pennsylvania's wealth of natural resources, but cautions that management of those resources is critical.
"This state is blessed with many natural resources, and we will be judged by how we manage them," Dean said. "The environment is a legacy for future generations."
Having already earned the endorsements of the Abington Rockledge Democratic Committee and the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, Dean also has the support of the very man she is looking to replace.
"She understands what it's all about to be a state representative," said Josh Shapiro "I couldn't be more proud to back her."
The special election to fill the unoccupied seat in the 153rd Legislative District will be held on April 24, and Dean will be opposed by Republican Nick Mattiacci, who was recently endorsed by the Montgomery County Republican Committee.