Mayoral and council races top New Hope slate
If lawn signs are an accurate indicator, interest is running high in New Hope Borough elections on Nov. 5, and the candidates have been canvassing the borough in recent weeks, seeking votes.
With two borough council seats coming open and two others being contested, both major political parties are running a full slate of candidates. The vacancies will be created by the retirement of Sharyn Keiser and Ed Duffy.
It is the race for mayor, however, that has drawn the most attention. In August, incumbent Laurence Keller, a Republican who supports marriage equality, declined a request to marry two men who had obtained a license from Montgomery County, citing legal concerns; the state is challenging the legality of those licenses. Keller's challenger, Donna Deely, a Democrat, initially said she would have performed the nuptials if she were mayor, but she later said she would abide by state law if elected.
h Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans among registered voters, Keller, an antiques dealer in the borough for 34 years, has won re-election three times since becoming mayor in 1998. He cites noise, speed enforcement and police presence as the three main issues on which he would focus.
Deely, a retired facilities manager for the Arlington, Va. Department of Human Services, American University and Columbia University, moved to New Hope two years ago. Deely said working with the police department, a monthly "Mayor's Message" and registering residents in the Bucks County Community Alert System would be her top three priorities.
Deely says she would bring fresh ideas and energy to the job. Keller says he knows how to handle the realities of being mayor.
For borough council, President Claire Shaw, a periodontist, is seeking re-election, as is fellow Republican Bill Scandone, a consultant and retiree from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Joining them on the ticket are newcomers John Hover and Clifford Montgomery.
Hover is a retired banker and former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, with ties to the borough Historical Society. Montgomery, an Army veteran, cites his 42-year global business career and was president of the Riverwoods Community Association.
The Democratic ticket comprises Connie Gering, Iain Haight-Ashton, Charles Huchet and Candace Souweine.
Gering, a property manager, spent 20 years as chief executive of a marketing company. She is president of the New Hope Chamber of Commerce and chair of the borough Revitalization Committee.
Haight-Ashton is a systems analyst for Bristol Myers Squibb, and he is a 14-year member of the borough's historical architectural review board and the historical society.
Huchet, a retired educator, has ties to the revitalization committee, historical society, Phillips Mill Community Association, Free Library of New Hope and Solebury and the Bucks County Playhouse. When a resident of Lambertville, N.J., he served on and chaired the planning board.
Souweine, a marketing research consultant, has worked for major corporations and has run her own business for 18 years.
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