Dean Seeks to Follow Shapiro's Footsteps

Newly-elected Abington commissioner Madeleine Dean to run for a seat in the 153rd Legislative District


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 .

Joe Koenig March 13, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Ms. Dean was just elected in Abington, if she wins this election, what does it say to those people who voted for her? What does it say about her, that she waited to see if Mr. Shapiro would win before looking to advance her political career? This is not a D or R issue, but a reflection on her (who I do not know). Do the voters in her district in Abington get to vote for a new Commissioner if she wins, or does the Board appoint someone to fill her seat (again I do not know)? If the Board appoints someone to fill her term, aren't those voters disenfranchised??
Tom Tyler March 13, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Why nothing in this article for shortchanging the constituents of her ward in Abington? You quote Josh Shapiro as saying, "She understands what it's all about to be a state representative." I'd rather she understood what being a township commissioner was all about: I suspect a mere 10 weeks in office is not quite enough. If you'd've asked those questions, Keith, then you'd have the real news story.
Keith Heffintrayer March 13, 2012 at 09:55 PM
@Tom Tyler The concept of Dean shortchanging her constituents is mere speculation at this point, as she has not been elected to the legislature and she still serves as an Abington commissioner. Thank you for your comments, and thank you for reading Patch!
Joe Koenig March 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM
@Keith: I think you missed Tom's and my point. By running she will be devoting alot of time toward her election. I assume she has a full time job as well and a family. By nature of her running she may not be able to devote appropriate time toward her current position. Besides this, I'm sure she is running to win, therefore it is only speculatiuon as to whether she will win, not speculation as to if she wins,then she has abandoned her current constiuents.
Marc Lombardi March 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I'm curious as to whether there would be a special election after the special election if Dean does win Shapiro's vacant seat. It's a shame that Abington residents may not have the chance to see how she would have done as a commissioner for the full term. I'm also rather surprised that someone with a bit more experience in an elected office wasn't the choice, but maybe that plays to the whole preference of outsiders as opposed to those who seem to be career politicians. It's certainly going to be an interesting April and beyond.
Keith Heffintrayer March 14, 2012 at 01:47 AM
@Joe I cannot speculate on how she will spend her time, either. Obviously--as you have pointed out--the campaign will draw from her otherwise available time, but to what extent she chooses to devote her time towards campaigning, as well as the effect campaigning will have on her ability to do her job is speculative. I'm not disagreeing with you, as both you, Tom and Marc raise valid concerns. On the other hand, it's my duty as a reporter to present the facts in a truthful and unbiased manner, and as of this posting, there is no truth to the claim that she's leaving her position as commissioner, nor is there any truth to the claim that her campaigning will inhibit her ability to perform her current duties. There may be a probability--or even a likelihood--of those statements proving true over the next 40 days, but since this is not an op-ed piece, I cannot make such a claim. Thanks again for reading Patch, and keep up the great commentary and discourse!
Joe Koenig March 14, 2012 at 01:58 AM
@Keith: I was not critical of your article. My comments were only diected at the situation Ms. Dean has placed herself in. You article was fine with me.
Keith Heffintrayer March 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM
@Joe. Understood. Thank you for the clarification.
Dale Wynn March 14, 2012 at 04:10 AM
For "THE ABINGTON PATCH" -- I am a resident of Ward 7 and a Proud Independent, and I am all in favor of having someone from Baederwood represent us in Harrisburg, and maybe try to clean up that place too. Before last year's campaign, I had only met Ms. Madeleine Dean in passing once or twice. But then I had the chance to speak with her when she knocked on my door. I was very impressed by her intelligence, her life experience, and her very genuine nature. She seems like a person who really cares about her fellow man (and woman). That's the kind of human being I want representing me, whether in the township building or in the State Legislature. That is the same thing that I first noticed about Mr. Josh Shapiro when he knocked on my door the very first time in 2004. He struck me as someone who cares about the lives of "real people", not just "political people", and that is exactly who he was as our State Representative. And I have that same impression of Ms. Madeleine Dean. -- D. Wynn, Jenkintown, Penn.
danny roturra March 14, 2012 at 04:43 AM
upon reading the article and the various comments i cannot help but think...since when do qualifications and/or experience enter into the matrix of the democratic party? look no further than the white house............
Marc Lombardi March 14, 2012 at 01:35 PM
@danny roturra Are you going to ask to see Dean's birth certificate next? Give me a break. Obama was an Illinois State Senator from 1997 to 2004 and a U.S. Senator from 2005-2008. Maybe he should have had a lucrative career as a Hollywood actor first like Ronald Reagan -- would that have satisfied the die-hard GOPers? Mitt Romney, the current frontrunner has spent 4 years as a Governor of one of the smallest states in the country and since his failed 2008 Presidential run has done nothing but continue to campaign for president in 2012. By that token, Romney has even less experience than Obama did, but you don't hear anyone screaming about that from the rooftops. You know why? Because complaining about Obama's lack of experience is a bogus complaint and if people took the time to look into the facts rather than spout off with extreme conservative GOP talking points they'd realize how baseless their claims really are.
danny roturra March 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM
marc reminded me of something i forgot...democrats do need, however, a plethora of limited people blindly following their delusions. thanks marc
Marc Lombardi March 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Danny: I think it's patently clear to anyone reading the article and the comments which of us is blindly following delusions and which of us is stating the facts. I can't wait to see this epidemic of sore loser-ship from the GOP side continue in November when Obama wins a second term. I wonder what the extreme conservatives will blame it on then...
Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. March 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Marc, please don't start with the blame-game, for BHO appears to have written-the-book [Bush, SCOTUS, Congress, Greece, Iran...].
Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. March 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I believe the D-party would appoint a replacement were she to be elected, to serve-out the entire term...although I sincerely doubt Peacock would be selected to do so.
Matthew Levitt March 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
As a resident of Ward 7, I feel that we were sold a bill of goods. When she came knocking on my door, she promised to follow in Ernie Peacock's steps by serving the residents of Ward 7 and keeping us informed of what was going on through on-going communication. Instead, the only communication that we have received so far was a request for money for her State Rep campaign. She had to have know Josp Shapiro's position would be open when she ran for commissioner. She just took it as a stepping stone to further her own ambitions. How sad for ward 7 since if she becomes state rep, the republican majority on the Abington Township commissioners board, will appoint a republican. Hopefully, it will be someone doing it for the right reasons. April 18th may be the first time that I don't vote
Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. March 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I publicly complained that Peacock had a donation-button on his website, to which the Township website hyperlinked; he had also conveyed this request via a mailer, about a year ago, if memory serves. I also wrote on an earlier page that it would be difficult to believe that MD hadn't anticipated the potential vacancy of JS's seat; what she didn't anticipate was that she would be chosen [after having been endorsed by Congresswoman Schwartz] over 3 competitors, I'm told]. Election Day is 4/24/2012.
Dottie Morse March 22, 2012 at 09:04 PM
As a resident of Ward 7 it suggests to me that Ms. Dean lacks the commitment that she campaigned on during the last election, and will readily move on if the opportunity arises, leaving her constituents without a dedicated representative on the Board of Commissioners. She has suggested that should she win her election in April, she might possibly be able to balance and serve both positions competently. That idea would be an injustice to Ward 7 residents. Ward 7 faces many serious and complicated issues, and needs and deserves a commissioner who will devote their undivided attention to resolving these issues. We don't want a commissioner who is preoccupied with campaigning for another office, just months after the voters elected her to represent Ward 7. Regardless of party affiliation, many residents have expressed concern regarding Ms. Dean's decision to run for a higher office. So, Ms Dean needs to decide which position she can best serve, and dedicate her time and energy to that decision. Dottie Morse
Kinekia Mosley March 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM
It seems our reps want to move up the ladder without filling the job they were elected to do. I for one will not vote for her.... Is it just me or are the democratic party starting a new tread ... Get elected... Don't do anything... Move on to new campaign.


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