A Springfield Township Republican reacts to the low voter turnout.
In the Local’s May 25 article, “Springfield Township primary offers quiet prelude to November,” we explored the low voter turnout in the May 16 primary election. The local Republican committee was not able to comment in time for publication. This week, the GOP candidate for Ward 3 Commissioner Bill Mahoney stepped in for township GOP chair James Dailey to answer a few questions.
Mahoney said the likely write-in Republican candidates for Wards 1 and 5 are Michael McCann (Ward 1) and Angelina Banks (Ward 5) and for the school district, Elena Habel, acknowledging that the names have not been publicly released yet. He did not know why McCann, Banks, or Habel chose the write-in route.
Mahoney attributes the very low Republican primary voter turnout to a general feeling among Republican voters in the township that they’re outnumbered.
“When I was getting signatures to run in the primary,” Mahoney said, “some people told me that I didn’t have a chance so why bother voting.”
Mahoney said he also thought there is a lack of understanding among all voters, including Republicans, about what the primary elections are for and how government works in general.
“Graduates from the Springfield Township High School don’t understand the three branches of government,” he said. “We need to teach civics again in school.”
Looking ahead to the November elections, Mahoney said one of the issues Republicans are concerned about is support for police. “We need to support our police now,” Mahoney said, “I don’t understand it. If one or two people have a problem with how the police work, just talk to them.” He said he would “be more concerned if the issue was of actual police misconduct with minorities.”
The other issue for the local Republican party is fiscal responsibility, especially concerning the federal lawsuit brought against the board by the Springfield Township Police Benevolent Association, which challenges the resolution prohibiting township employees from displaying the thin blue line flag on township property.
“The commissioners have already spent, maybe $25,000 on the lawsuit,” Mahoney said. “It’s a waste of money, ludicrous, and fiscally irresponsible.” Although he acknowledged that it was the Police Benevolent Association that brought the lawsuit against the Board of Commissioners, not the other way around, Mahoney said the commissioners could have avoided it.
As for general election issues in the school district, Mahoney said he thinks transgender concerns are an issue that is going to “blow up.”