Delco GOP Trying to Reinvent Itself

An excellent article in the Philly Inquirer about the generational shift that’s happening within the GOP of my home county. I think this is a good thing.

Reilly, a partner at the Swartz Campbell law firm, wants to reach younger voters through Facebook and Twitter and tap new sources of funding, not just the typical mix of party activists, county employees and companies with government contracts. The party raised $215,000 at its first fundraiser this year, up from the usual $90,000 haul, Reilly said.

He’s formed a technology committee to modernize the GOP Web site and attract voters between 18 and 35 years old. The party is using radio and TV ads and online videos, things once unheard of in county-level elections.

Reilly, who entered politics by working on his father’s campaign for district attorney in 1983, also is trying to clean up the party’s image. The word “machine” makes him cringe. The McClure days are ancient history, he says.

“I see the people who put in the work and are active in their communities,” Reilly said of party volunteers and the more than 800 committee members, the “front-line soldiers” who work the neighborhoods year-round.

“Machines don’t have hearts,” he said. “Our organization does.”

Philadelphia is home to Democratic machine politics. Delaware County was home to Republican machine politics. When I left Delaware County a decade ago, in the town I lived in, the Communist Party at the height of the Soviet Union didn’t enjoy the same monopoly on voter loyalty the GOP did. In a decade that’s changed, and the GOP has not been doing well among younger voters in the suburbs. This is a trend across the country too. I’m glad to see the GOP in Delaware County taking younger voters seriously, and exploiting new media. I wish the Bucks County GOP would get on board with this.

One thought on “Delco GOP Trying to Reinvent Itself”

  1. Scary to me. I live in Delco almost my entire life. And I never heard any of this! Of course nothing in the local Delco paper, and I would never spend money on the Inquirer.

    But, as someone who send in my money every year, they were hunting for me. I did 9 years of campaigns and volunteer work, saw many things, heard more. I send my money directly now!

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