Friday, January 28, 2011

Some ugly politics in Chester

Politics has always been a contact sport, especially here in Delaware County.


Nowhere is that more evident than in some of the rough-and-tumble tussles in the city of Chester.


It is a city that has long been dominated by the Republican Party. In fact, many city and Chester Upland School District workers owe their jobs to their party affiliation.


But it’s pretty clear that city residents don’t always vote their registration.


That’s why state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland has turned back one Republican challenger after another to keep his 159th District seat.


That’s why the city was stunned last year when two Democrats, Portia West and John Linder, won seats on city council.


But what’s happening these days in the city politics is just plain wrong.


Marrea Walker-Smith is a Republican, but she apparently has stepped on some GOP toes. Now she’s feeling some heat, not necessarily from Democrats, but from some of her own.


Walker-Smith, who recently stepped down from her position as head of the city Republican Party, voted against a GOP nomination to the Chester Water Authority Board.


That apparently did not sit too well. Her own nomination to the board was shot down shortly thereafter.


No biggie. Those kind of hissing matches happen all the time in politics.


What happened next does not. And should not.


Walker-Smith apparently received a threatening letter this week. It comes just a week after city council passed a resolution banning politicking on the city’s time after some city workers said they had received anonymous, harassing phone calls after attending a Democratic meeting.


“I love Chester,” Walker-Smith told our John Kopp in an interview. You can read the entire report here.


She has now indicated she will not seek re-election when her term expires.


That’s too bad. Chester could use a lot more like her.


And a lot less of the ugly style of politics on display in recent weeks.

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