Pennsylvania: Meuser Loans Campaign $250K for GOP Primary

Posted December 19, 2007 at 6:40pm

Businessman Dan Meuser (R) has loaned his campaign $250,000 and spent $224,500 so far in the race, according to the campaign’s financial report accidentally submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Dec. 10.

The early report, which the campaign says is incomplete, also showed that Meuser has received more than $273,200 in individual contributions and had $291,300 in cash on hand.

Meuser’s campaign submitted a letter to the the FEC two days later saying its report was “incomplete, has mistakes and missing information.” The campaign said the error occurred when campaign staffers tried to file a test report to the FEC test server.

Meuser is one of two businessmen willing to fund their own campaigns in the 10th district Republican primary; the winner will take on freshman Rep. Christopher Carney (D). Fellow businessman Chris Hackett (R), who owns a staffing company, has said he will fund his own bid as well.

Small business owner Paul Swiderski also recently announced he would run for the seat, joining conservative activist Don Ely in the race for the GOP nod.

The district traditionally votes Republican, but Carney took the seat in 2006 after a scandal embroiled then-incumbent Rep. Don Sherwood (R), who was accused of attempting to choke his mistress. Although Carney won the seat with 53 percent of the vote, the district previously had elected Republican Congressmen since the 1960s.

— Shira Toeplitz

Back to Drawing Board for Democrats in the 6th

Philadelphia Magazine Editor Larry Platt has decided not to challenge Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), leaving Democrats once again searching for a candidate.

In an entry on his magazine’s blog last week, Platt announced that he would not run.

“After being a prospective candidate for two days at the Pennsylvania Society last weekend, I was so sick of my own voice, so tired of hearing me talk about me, that I realize this life change wasn’t for me,” Platt told the blog.

By the numbers alone, the district is a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) carried the district in the 2004 White House election, and Gerlach defeated attorney Lois Murphy (D) by only 2 points in 2004 and 2006.

“We’re confident that we’ll have a strong candidate to challenge Gerlach in 2008,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Carrie James said.

Yet Democrats have come up short in their quest to find a candidate to face Gerlach, a three-term incumbent, in the expensive Philadelphia media market. James declined to give any names of other possible candidates.

— S.T.