Monday, August 29, 2005

Bye Jim

We'll sure miss you.

The Sixth Congressional District was carved with Gerlach, a former state senator, in mind. Its boundary lines, consequently, are as gerrymandered as a six-year-old's Etch-A-Sketch doodle. But that hasn't made things easy for him.


"I'm a lifelong Republican," says Mr. Ross, amid an art-deco interior where they hope to add a cafe. "But for the first time in my life, I can imagine voting Democrat." Mr. Deacon, too, has soured on Mr. Bush. Both cite frustration with the war in Iraq.

A similar refrain is heard just across the street, at Rusti's Beauty Supply. A bumper sticker on the window - "The Bush Promise: Survival of the Richest" - doesn't slow the flow of black women seeking hair-care products. Inside, owner Rusti Hoskins vents his views with more color than can be printed in a family newspaper. "I can't stand Bush," he says in gravelly tones. Once reliably Republican, Mr. Hoskins is now disgusted by the Iraq war.


"Voters here just aren't comfortable with the direction of the Republican Party," she says, citing its "reckless" record of fiscal management. Four young staffers are already hard at work for Ms. Murphy, a lawyer who, without much name recognition, lost to Gerlach by a mere 7,000 votes last year.

Murphy's campaign headquarters are in Narberth, one of the posh suburbs that stretch westward from Philadelphia along Pennsylvania's Main Line railroad. Route 30 is different in these leafy suburbs: A Maserati dealership and the manicured athletic fields of Villanova University make Coatesville seem a million miles away.

This area was once solidly Republican, but has been trending Democratic. Voters here are more politically oriented, but they're less willing to go on the record. In this Google age, many worry that colleagues will learn their partisan leanings.

Murphy came within spitting distance in '04. '06 should be a win. And, she's the first of the '06 Eschaton approved candidates.