Hatboro, PA-Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, and Ed Wolff, deputy chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, joined Jeff Albert today in a press conference at the Montgomery County courthouse to present data showing that Democrats have a potent opportunity in 2006 to win Pennsylvania's 12th State Senate district.
"In 15 of the 17 municipalities in the 12th district, Democrats have achieved net gains in registration over the Republican party," Groen said. "This year we not only have strong State Representative races, but we also have premiere top of the ticket candidates. Albert is well suited by his qualifications, background and support to win this race."
The district has dramatically changed from "red" to "blue" over the past ten years. Since 1995 there has been a steady increase in democratic registration and performance within the bounds of the 12th state senate district, and Democratic candidates are doing increasingly better in mid-ticket races, the most significant measure of improvement. The GOP's share of registered voters in this district's present boundaries has dropped from 64% to 51% in the last ten years, reducing the GOP registration edge by about 50%.
When Greenleaf first took office in 1979, the 17 municipalities that now make up the 12th state senate district area were overwhelmingly Republican. In fact, in the 1980s the area became even more "red," and that trend didn't stop until 1996. By that time, the district's voters on the average gave GOP candidates a landslide edge, averaging 58% to 42%. Long-term incumbents, like Sen. Greenleaf, already in his 17th year in the State Senate, expected to do even better in that timeframe because this political environment made it more difficult to challenge a GOP incumbent.
However, today's environment has shifted. Democratic leadership in Harrisburg is also excited about the race due to the Democratic performance and Albert's strong qualifications for the position.
"Andy Dinniman's victory in a special State Senate election in nearby Chester County earlier this year clearly demonstrated that the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania has been consistently trending toward Democrat candidates and proposals in recent years. The Senate Democratic Caucus will actively and fully support Jeff Albert's candidacy," Mellow concluded.