The field of candidates for the 15th District congressional seat held by Charlie Dent, a republican, will grow again at the end of the week. Already, John Callahan appears to be the Democratic choice to unseat Dent, or, if recent polls are correct, the latest sacrifice to a Dent political machine that has crafted an unbeatable coalition in the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Jake Towne has gone from curiosity to a real candidate as he nears double digits in the polls at a time when the campaign is not yet in gear. Towne is running as an independent.
Now, Dent has opposition from the right wing of his party, more correctly, I believe, the fiscal right wing.
On Saturday, February 6th from noon to 3:00 p.m., Mathew Benol will kick off his campaign at the Moose Lodge #45, 3320 Fox Hill Rd Easton, PA. Mathew Benol will formally announce his candidacy as a challenger to incumbent U.S. Representative Charlie Dent in the Republican Primary in the 15th Congressional District of PA. He is a member and former assistant organizer of the Original 9-12 / Tea Party Group of the Lehigh Valley.
Mat Benol resides in Palmer Township with his wife, Jamie and 2 children; Trinity and Gabriella. He is employed as a production Manager for a packaging company in New Jersey.
According to his press release “Mat is running as a Republican, but understands the issues facing America are due to failures in both the Democrat and Republican establishments. Neither political party seems to be truly interested in protecting America’s greatest asset, its citizens.”
His release also says “Mat considers himself a Constitutionalist and believes our Federal Government has forsaken the limited Powers granted to it by the United States Constitution. If elected, Mat “will fight for government accountability and real transparency, fiscal restraint, reducing debt, term limits” and pledges to maintain a focus on the issues, not partisan politics. Mat Benol, decided to run because the congressional race in the 15th district “looked like another poor choice between a Tax and Spend Big Government Democrat and a Borrow and Spend Big Government Republican.””
This being America, everyone has a right to run. This being the Republican Party, we will tend to beat one another up. One hopes that whatever the outcome of the primary (and Dent has to be an overwhelming favorite) that Benol supporters will fall in line behind their nominee.
Although it is easy to relate to the beliefs of both Benol and Towne, there are two key things for voters to remember.
1) Neither candidate, realistically, is likely to win the general election in this moderate district with a heavy union background and Democratic registration advantage. If either hurts Dent in the election, a Callahan victory would be likely. That is one more vote for Obamalosi.
2) The campaigns remind you of a dog chasing a car. What do they do when they catch it? What does one 9/12 congressman or 10 do? They can’t form a majority caucus. They are unlikely to impact the balance of power—the D’s will lose seats but not THAT many. A 9/12 candidate who is elected will have to align with one of the major caucuses.
In both the case of Benol and Towne, I think this will be more of an issue campaign than a chance to win and there is nothing wrong with that---as long as it doesn’t lead to a Democratic victory.