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Montco Republicans Hoping for ‘Red Tsunami’

Some enthusiastic Republican candidates running for state representative and senator came to a get-out-the-vote gathering in Blue Bell on Saturday hosted by Congressional candidate Christian Nascimento.

Nascimento said he had talked so much he was getting laryngitis but added, “I’m losing my voice because I’m trying to give you yours back.”

“For too long, we’ve dealt with a Washington, D.C. that is pushing regulation, taxes, overreach on each and every one of us throughout the United States of America. I think this is the year, this is not just a red wave that’s coming. This is a red tsunami.

Jessie Bradica and Rep. Tracy Pennycuick

“And that is because people are sick and tired of having the far-left government reach into every crevice of their lives,” he said. “When I go out and knock on doors, when I speak to people, I ask one question, ‘Are you better off today, when you were two years ago?’ Are your streets safer? Are groceries more affordable? Is gas more expensive?”

Nascimento is challenging U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery/Berks).

“Volunteers are the key to this race,” said Rep. Tracy Pennycuick, who is running for the state Senate seat that is being vacated by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Bucks/Berks/Montgomery), with his endorsement.  “You’re awesome. You’re why we’re going to win.”

His opponent is Jill Dennin, a former Boyertown Area School Board member.

“It’s about the grassroots and knocking on those 40,000 doors, meeting voters and getting a lot of blowback about why you’re a Republican and don’t want abortion and going against all the negatives…But at the end of the day, we are on the right side of his fight,” said Pennycuick. “And I know I’m on the right side because now I have a group, Democrats for Tracy. They said to me, ‘Your opponent is bat**** crazy.’ Excuse my French. And they cannot vote for her and they’re in her party. And they’re worried that if she wins, the woman who has never had a full-time job—”

Someone called out, “Sounds like Fetterman.”

“That’s what we’re facing. These crappy candidates they’re putting up with these crazy social agendas that don’t work for 99 percent of our population,” said Pennyvuick, a former Army helicopter pilot.  “If you want to be that transgender activist, that’s great. But don’t push it on my children.”

She urged people to get out to vote and bring their friends.

“And when we are veto-proof, let the games begin,” said Pennycuick.

Jessica Bradica, who is running for state representative in District 61, pointed to a Wall Street Journal article that said suburban women are turning toward Republicans. Bradica had previously run for the North Penn School Board to fight to keep schools open.

“District 61 is a seat we can flip,” said Bradica. “And we can try to have a veto-proof legislature…We have to make sure we protect our commonwealth from Josh Shapiro. He is not a moderate.”

Jennifer Sodha, who is running to represent the 53rd District, said she wants to “bring back the American spirit, where we work hard and play hard” rather than the lingering “fear and discord” from the pandemic. The Hatfield resident has knocked on 12,500 doors and “people have resonated with my platform: fiscally conservative, socially moderate.”

(From left) Rob Davies, Fran O’Donnell, Jennifer Sodha, Angelina Banks, Jessie Bradica, Christian Nascimento, Rep. Tracy Pennycuick, Beth Ann Mazza, and Art Bustard.

Rob Davies, who is running for state Senate in District 12, said, “Our current state Sen. Maria Collett (D-Bucks/Montgomery), is a radical progressive who really doesn’t represent the district. And she doesn’t really care about what parents think about what’s going on in the schools. She called it ‘horse****’” in the Huffington Post.

“I’m running because our economy is a mess and we have a wave of crime running through Montgomery County that doesn’t get the kind of coverage it deserves,” said Davies. “Last night in my neighborhood someone had a pumpkin thrown through their window. There were two cars stolen from my neighborhood. The gas station down the road from me was the victim of an armed robbery.”

“The number one issue is definitely the economy,” he said.  “The cost of groceries about doubled in the last few years. It’s ridiculous…There is a red wave building. You can feel it when you know on the doors.”

Fran O’Donnell, a real estate agent with a small business background, was a write-in in the primary for state representative in the 148th in Whitemarsh, Narberth, and West Conshohocken. He learned that no one was on the ballot and he said, “Wait a minute. We’re not going to show up at the playground? I got 732 votes. I was only given four days.”

Beth Ann Bitner Mazza is running for her friends, family, and community to represent the 150th district of Collegeville, Lower and Upper Providence, Skippack, and part of West Norriton.

“This is my home. My family and my friends live here,” said Mazza, a small business owner. She worked in emergency services for Montgomery County for 20 years as an EMS and decided to run because the policies of the Wolf administration have negatively impacted “all parts” of her life.

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Dean and Nascimento Square Off in Televised Debate

The candidates for Pennsylvania’s Fourth Congressional District used their debate on WFMZ Channel 69 to remind voters it is possible to practice partisan politics and remain civil.

Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D) and her Republican challenger Christian Nascimento debated issues ranging from the economy to energy to rising crime.

Moderator Jim Vaughn said a recent New York Times poll found 64 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Nascimento agreed that the country is going in the wrong direction.

“I think that Washington’s instinctive response to spend more and tax more is part of what’s exacerbating the inflation that we see,” said Nascimento. “I think we can fix that.”

Vaughn said, “In poll after poll the one issue voters are concerned about is the economy,” and asked Dean (D-Montgomery/Berks) about her vote for President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Christian Nascimento and Rep. Madeleine Dean debate.

Dean said, “Inflation is real. We are struggling with it here in America.” But she said it was a worldwide problem. Congress has acted to help, she said. In the Trump administration, the government sent money to people during the COVID pandemic and in the Biden administration, it passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

“This is putting real dollars in people’s pockets,” said Dean. “I was very proud to vote for the inflation Reduction Act and these other bills…I’m really proud of a piece of the Inflation Reduction Act that reduces prescription drug prices for seniors. I’m really proud of the investment in our global climate crisis, the greatest investment of all time…the CHIPS Act that will bring manufacturing of semiconductors right back here.”

She blamed “multiple sources, including corporate greed, the supply chain problem, and a host of other things” for inflation.

Nascimento said, “I think it’s fundamental economics that if government spends more, inflation goes up. Prices get driven up. The inflation we’re facing now is a global issue. Part of it is being caused by supply chain hiccups we’re seeing across the planet and that has come from decisions we’re seeing in Washington and other governments to outsource our supply chain, mostly to China.”

“These prices aren’t sustainable,” Nascimento said. “Inflation is not sustainable for working families. What I would have rather seen done is more strategic efforts on these issues, which we could have addressed. But this massive spending, trillions of dollars of spending that passed in such a short amount of time, is absolutely going to create massive amounts of inflation. And part of the problem, infrastructure spending is going to be around for a long time.”

Dean said the Inflation Reduction Act does not just send dollars out but brings dollars in by allowing the federal government to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs for senior citizens and touted “an investment in IRS.” Constituents call her office every day with problems with the IRS that is underfunded, she said.

She also praised Biden’s release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve while Nascimento panned it.

He said, “I’m concerned about it. The timing’s concerning because it’s designed to help influence an election. But technically, I think the Strategic Reserve is there for strategic reasons and I think we could have gotten there differently in how we talk to fossil fuel companies and how we treated some of the energy providers.

“If we increase production domestically, not forever…that can give us a path to strategically convert our energy to cleaner fuels. What we’re doing now is we’re making fossil fuel companies, the oil companies feel like they’re being under attack. They’re stopping production, which is what you would do if you see a government that’s heading in another direction. And then that sends the president over to the Middle East to beg for oil. And I think that’s a problem for the United States.”

On crime, Nascimento said he had been a victim of an armed robbery and mentioned recent school shootings.

Christian Nascimento

“First of all, we have to prosecute criminals,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you have to throw the book at everybody who has a minor offense. What we see in Reading, what we see in Philadelphia, we’re not prosecuting criminals. I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police in Montgomery County. What police officers are telling me is they’re afraid to arrest people because they know they’ll be out on the street the next day.”

“We ought to be putting policies in place to help support police officers and hold criminals accountable,” he said. “The congresswoman mentioned the IRS. If we’re going to spend money on federal employees…rather than the IRS, we should spend money on police officers and on teachers that can lift the people of the 4th and whole country up.”

Dean zeroed in on illegal guns.

“Frustrating to me, I’ve cared about the issue of gun violence my entire adult life,” she said, citing a recent shooting in Pottstown that killed two teenagers. “We have a problem with too many illegal guns. We have a problem of children carrying and using illegal guns. Sure, we have to prosecute. But we actually, as legislators, have an obligation to come to the table around gun violence.”

“When we passed universal background checks we couldn’t get support from the other side of the aisle…They constantly say crime is a big problem, but why don’t they come to the table and legislate around guns and illegal guns?” she asked. “So guess what we did? For the first time in 30 years, we Democrats and only a handful of Republicans passed the Safer Communities Act.”

That law outlaws straw purchases and bump stocks, she said. It adds $250 million for community intervention.

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DelVal Pols Debate Impact of Latest Inflation Hike

When news broke that the Consumer Price Index hit a higher than expected year-over-year 8.3 percent rate, the stock market tanked. That was not good news for an incumbent president and his party just weeks before the midterm election.

Even worse, the cost of groceries “rose 13.5 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The indexes for shelter, medical care, household furnishings and operations, new vehicles, motor vehicle insurance, and education were among those that increased over the month.”

President Joe Biden amplified the Democrats’ angst by hosting a White House Rose Garden celebration of the $739 billion so-called Inflation Reduction Act the same day the report hit. The celebration featured claims of fiscal success and a song by 1970s singer James Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Penn Wharton Budget Model found the legislation’s impact on inflation would be “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

So, how are Delaware Valley elected officials and their midterm opponents reacting to the latest inflation news?

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) noted the Biden administration’s positive talk about inflation being under control missed the mark.

“The ‘consensus’ was wrong. Today’s inflation report shows what American families knew to be true: prices are still rising,” Toomey tweeted. “Americans are paying significantly more for essentials than they were one year ago: 13.5 percent more for groceries, 6.2 percent more in rent, 23.8 percent more for energy.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz said, “Pennsylvanians are getting slammed by higher and higher prices everywhere they turn as the inflation rate continues to tick up. There will be no relief in sight as long as we continue electing tax and spend Democrats like Joe Biden and John Fetterman. My opponent, John Fetterman, would only make this worse by funding radical ideas like the Green New Deal while raising taxes on the middle class.”

Fetterman did not respond to a request for comment about the new inflation report.

His fellow Democrat, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), attended the White House legislative victory party, tweeting from the scene: “The #InflationReductionAct is a major victory for America’s families and for our planet–advancing the people’s interest over the special interest. Great to mark its historic passage at the White House with my friend @RepDean!”

Scanlon’s GOP opponent David Galluch did not see it that way.

“I grew up with a single mom who sacrificed to make ends meet. The current leadership in D.C. is refusing to provide real solutions at the expense of families like the one I grew up in,” Galluch said.

“While working families continue to be squeezed by inflation, President Biden and Congresswoman Scanlon take a victory lap for passing the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ a bill that did not lower inflation or provide ‘immediate relief,'” he added.

Another DelVal Democrat facing a GOP challenger in Congress, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, has publicly complained about the Biden administration’s poor handling of inflation. She responded to the bad news by taking to Facebook and reminding voters she has her own plan.

“A little while back, I asked Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, to join me for a telephone town hall to talk about the root causes of inflation and what we can expect in the coming months,” Houlahan wrote. “We discussed the global shockwave of the pandemic and its lasting impact on our global supply chains. As one of the few members in Congress with a background in supply chain management, I used that experience to create my Inflation Action Plan.”

Guy Ciarrocchi, the former CEO of the Chester County Chamber who is challenging Houlahan, was unimpressed. “Inflation is the number one issue to everyone. Well, it’s the number one issue to every not named Biden or Houlahan.

“Biden and Houlahan created this mess with wasteful spending and forcing us to import energy from our enemies.  I campaign every day to offer hope, to change this—and will work even harder in Congress to use common sense to fix their mess that is crushing our family budgets.”

Houlahan posted this message on Facebook: “Yesterday’s inflation report is a reminder that inflation doesn’t go away overnight, and it also confirms what we have been feeling at home—price relief is not where it needs to be, and that’s making things harder for Pennsylvanians.

The report showed that even though gas and energy prices continue to come down, those cost savings were offset by other sectors including medical care.

Christian Nascimento, the Republican running against Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) said, “If we needed any reminding about the challenges our economy is facing, August’s 8.3 percent CPI increase has confirmed one thing: the Democrats’ policies are not working.

“Whether it is increased taxes, increased spending, increased hiring at the IRS, or the redistribution of student debt, Joe Biden’s policies are harming the economy, and Madeleine Dean and congressional Democrats that vote 100 percent of the time with the president are enabling this damage,” Nascimento said.

A frequent criticism of the inflation legislation is that it is actually a green energy and health care spending plan, not a strategy to cool an overheated economy. Dean appeared to confirm that view.

“Grateful to be with my brother and my son as we celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act at the White House,” she posed on Facebook. “This legislation will make our largest-ever investment in climate action; lower prescription costs, including capping Medicare insulin at $35; ensure the biggest corporations pay their fair share; and reduce our nation’s deficit.

“For our families. For our planet. For our future.”

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Will Concerns About Biden’s Age Cost DelVal Dems in November?

Polls show Americans of both parties are concerned about President Joe Biden’s ability, at age 79, to handle the responsibilities of the presidency. But will those concerns translate into less support for Democratic candidates in the Delaware Valley this November?

Concerns among voters about the president’s age and health are not new. In a national POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last November, when Biden’s approval ratings were higher than they are now, only 40 percent of voters believed he was in good health, with 46 percent calling him “mentally unfit.”

“President Biden is not awake currently; that’s obvious to anyone with eyes,” said Albert Eisenberg, principal at the political strategy firm BlueStateRed. “And when I talk to Democrats, they say, ‘This guy’s not the guy.’ Obviously, Republicans and independents think that.”

Republicans will likely use that attack against Democrats is make sure voters believe the issue isn’t just Biden and his age and deficits, but rather to paint the whole Democratic party as being responsible for the situation.

“You see swing district and swing-state Democrats outperforming Biden,” Eisenberg said about the current political landscape. “(Biden’s) going to bring these candidates down, but Republicans need to close that gap.”

Jeff Jubelirer, vice president at Bellevue Communications, says he believes those who have doubts about the president’s condition likely already disapprove of the president, meaning they are already motivated to vote for Republicans.

However, Jubelirer added that anything can make a difference in tight races.

“If it’s going to be a 1 to 2 percent race… this issue could be a 1 percent difference,” he said.

In the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race, Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz is projecting the question of the ability to govern onto his opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. It comes in the wake of a stroke that felled Fetterman and has kept him off the campaign trail since just before the May 17 primary.

During a recent DVJournal podcast, National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said questions about Fetterman’s health are fair game. “I think voters have a right to know if you’re healthy or not. When people run, they should be very clear about [their] health.”

Oz is running a “basement Fetterman” campaign on social media, questioning if Fetterman has the stamina needed to represent Pennsylvania. Eisenberg said the strategy is a strong one.

“That is a really effective way to connect him to Biden,” he said. “Just putting their face next to Biden isn’t going to work.” By also creating questions about Fetterman’s ability to govern, Oz is making the strategy stronger than just questioning Biden, who, of course, isn’t his opponent.

“I think the strategy is, ‘Will he be there for you, Pennsylvania if he’s not well?’” Jubelirer said. But he added it’s important for Republican candidates to be cautious. “You don’t want to pile on his well-being.”

Eisenberg agreed. He said Oz and other Republicans can’t be perceived as “ganging up” on things Biden and other Democratic candidates cannot control.

At the same time, the silence from Delaware Valley Democrats in defending Biden and his capabilities is hard to miss. DVJournal reached out to the region’s entire Democratic congressional delegation asking if his recent COVID-19 diagnosis created any concerns about his ability to govern. All declined to respond.

In a new CNN poll, 75 percent of Democrats said they wanted someone other than Biden to be their party’s nominee in 2024. The numbers were similar in a recent NYTimes/Siena College poll. Asked why they wanted their party to make a change, about one-third of Democrats cited Biden’s age and mental acuity. It has been a repeated topic of news coverage from liberal news outlets like the Times and CNN, and many Democrats have publicly acknowledged their concerns about Biden’s age.

Meanwhile, a group of 54 House Republicans, led by former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), sent a letter to the White House calling on Biden to take a cognitive abilities test.

The White House dismissed the letter as a stunt.

While the president’s age and sometimes embarrassing gaffes aren’t good for Democrats, Jubelirer said voters’ decisions would most likely come down to one simple sentiment.

“Most voters are like, ‘I’m pissed off. Who’s in charge?’” he said. “You’re going to get blamed.

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GOP PA-04 Candidate Nascimento Takes Questions at Town Hall

About 30 people came to Blue Bell Tuesday for a town hall held by Republican congressional candidate Christian Nascimento.

Nascimento, 48, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), discussed help for American businesses and keeping the country safe.

“Small businesses are the life blood of the American economy,” he said. Supply chain issues are plaguing businesses, including Open Tier Systems, an IT service company that hosted the town hall.  That issue, coupled with inflation and the losses from COVID-19 shutdowns, has hit the U.S. economy hard.

“That’s the story I hear time and time again, whether it’s someone that works for a big national company or the barber shop down the street. Things have gotten more expensive.”

“There’s a common denominator to all of this, and it’s the failed policies of this administration and this Congress,” said Nascimento.  “The president has to be honest. This is not Vladimir Putin’s price hike. You can’t blame all of this on a mad dictator…And the Congress blindly goes along with (Biden). The representative that we currently have in this seat (Dean) votes with the president 100 percent of the time. So she owns this.”

“I believe we can develop a pro-growth agenda and a pro-growth economy,” said Nascimento.

“A lot of it is making sure the American people, whether they’re born in Norristown or Narberth, have a good job, and can build a good life.”

He called for reducing the regulatory burden on all businesses, particularly small businesses and for an increase in the R&D (research and development) tax credits.

“Just think of our government focused on things we need to solve for and that didn’t cede AI (artificial intelligence) to China and other folks who are our adversaries,” he said. Nascimento also called for increased oil production in the U.S. to ease “the pain at the pump,” while investing in renewables.

Instead of using our natural resources Biden canceled the Keystone pipeline and is begging for oil in the Middle East, putting America at the “economic moral and national security mercy of our adversaries.”

Nascimento is a Montgomery County native and first-generation American.  After a career with Comcast, the father of four is running for office to serve the country and “give back,” he told Delaware Valley Journal.

“I’m going to be an independent voice for the people of the 4th (District),” he said. “I am going to go toe-to-toe with Democrats and I’m going to buck Republicans sometimes. I’m going to vote for what I believe is right.”

Whitpain resident Brian McCarthy, who owns Open Tier, asked Nascimento about the cyber security problems the country faces.  Nascimento said the country needs to invest in our digital infrastructure.

“We are woefully unprepared for this digital economy,” he said.  Mentioning the nuclear power plant in Limerick, he said anything connected to the internet could be hacked. “Power plants, business, homes, they’re all at risk,” he said. “The amount of harm those cyberattacks can do is breathtaking.”

“There has to be a response,” he said. “You cannot allow foreign actors to hack into government, to hack into individuals living in this country and allow them to get away with it. Right now, Putin, Xi, none of those folks expect there is going to be any repercussions. Because President Biden has shown time and time again they’re right.”

America also needs to compete with China’s “Belt and Road” policy. This country needs to bring back manufacturing so “we are not dependent on the Chinese” for essential products.

“Peace through strength is the only way to deal with China,” said Nascimento.

Local resident Scott Miller asked, “After Friday (Supreme Court decision on Roe) the whole point of the Democratic initiative is going to be a wild-eyed attack on everything, because of federalism, sending things back to the states to be determined, to be debated and voted on…How do you intend to deal with a wild-eyed onslaught?”

Nascimento said he would stay calm.

“We’ve got to change the way we’ve been doing things in the last year and a half,” he said. “The damage that’s being done to the economy and by extension to American families and ultimately to the country is just unprecedented. You may call me naïve but I believe that people are looking for leadership. The screaming and wild-eyed, I think that will work against (Democrats). The country was built on federalism.”

Blue Bell resident Katie Wenger asked about Second Amendment rights and school safety.

Nascimento said Dr. Oz, who is running for the Senate, has a great line, which the Second Amendment is second because it protects the First Amendment.

“In my mind the constitution says you have the right to bear arms,” he said. “If you’re like me and you’re pro-life, it’s not just pro-birth. It’s making sure that a child has an opportunity to live a life and be safe.”

“I’m not in favor of red flag laws because I think it’s too dangerous for a person’s individual liberty and the constitution says you can’t have your liberty taken away by unreasonable search and seizure.

“The problem we have with guns is…is enforcing the laws we have,” Nascimento said.

“When someone commits a crime with a gun, you have to arrest that person, and after you arrest them you have to prosecute them. That seems pretty basic. But that’s not happening in Philadelphia and it’s not happening in a lot of places.”

A former Methacton School Board president, he said security doors and armed resource officers would help.

“The way you respect life is you help people that are struggling,” he said. “That young man in Uvalde had clearly been struggling for a long time and showed a lot of signs of it and the system failed him. The issue in Uvalde in particular was not a gun issue. It was a mental crisis issue.”

Nascimento believes education and jobs go a long way toward preventing crime.

“You don’t have rampant crime if you have prospects,” said Nascimento. “If you look at what’s happening just down the road in Philadelphia. There are really only three problems in Philadelphia: Kenney, Krasner and Outlaw.”

 

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Montco GOP Chair Liz Havey is Bullish About the November Election

It’s a good thing Montgomery County Republican Chairwoman Liz Preate Havey is not holding her breath.

It’s been months now since she filed a report with Montgomery County officials who promised to ask District Attorney Kevin Steele to investigate a video of a Democratic committeewoman in Upper Dublin putting some 30 ballots into a drop box for the November 2021 election.

The Delaware Valley Journal also asked the DA’s spokeswoman about the investigation but received no reply.

In an interview for the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, Havey said it’s important for the public to have faith that their votes will be counted. But with the drop box system, “there are so few security measures in place right now, that getting rid of the one or two ones that we have makes the election less secure and makes people believe that there’s an opportunity for fraud and that fraud has occurred. And what we’re trying to do is not disenfranchise voters. We’re trying to get people to vote.”

Meanwhile in Delaware County,  District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer recently announced he closed an investigation into the November 2020 election after finding no fraud.

While Republicans have not embraced mail-in ballots in the recent past, Havey plans a big push for the fall election, and she said both GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial nominee state Sen. Doug Mastriano are on board.

Havey comes from a political family. Her father, Ernie Preate was a Pennsylvania attorney general. In addition to being the Montco GOP chair and secretary for the state GOP, Havey also practices law and is the first woman to chair the august 122-year-old Pennsylvania Society. She is also on the board of the National Constitution Center.

As for the congressional race, she called Christian Nascimento “a wonderful candidate.” Nascimento is running against incumbent Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

Nascimento “is the first person in his family to go to college,” she said. His parents emigrated from Italy. He became an executive with Comcast and his wife is raising four children.

“He spent his whole life in Montgomery County,” said Havey. “So he’s very much committed to this district and knows this district really well.”

And Nascimento is talking about kitchen table issues like inflation while Dean is “hating Donald Trump and really not about fixing the problems that we see our voters are suffering from in this district.”

Havey is optimistic that the Republican candidates will win this fall because of President Joe Biden’s unpopularity, polling at 33 percent.

“I think people will vote their pocketbook,” said Havey. “There’s a lot of energy upset and anger against the Democrats in general and, according to polls, independents are dramatically breaking for Republicans two and three to one at this point.”