Chance for change in Philly GOP in ’11

Reform was the most discussed topic amongst Republicans during yesterday’s primary, as young electioneers representing the traditionally-staid party at the polls were galvanized by the possibility of change.

“Republicans are leaning more moderate and looking at the Tea Party with more skepticism,” said 20-year-old Bob Landgraf, who volunteered at St. Hubert Catholic High in Tacony. “They’re realizing they have to change. They have to accommodate the public as a whole rather than cater to their little clan.”

The elections deepened the divide between City Committee-backed Republicans and newer “maverick” candidates who hope to transform what they see as the machine-politics nature of the GOP in Philadelphia.

“There’s no question there’s reform,” said Republican City Council At-Large candidate Steve Odabashian as he visited John H. Webster Middle School in Kensington. “For example, the city commissioner is not a big office, but the race is being watched closely to see how much power the reformers have. I am aligned with the reformers and if Al Schmidt wins, it’s a huge symbolic victory for us.”

“There’s definitely a wind of change about,” electioneer and conservative talk show host Aaron Proctor agreed. “Something is going to happen, if not this year, then in four years.”

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