Lim­er­ick su­per­vi­sor to chal­lenge Quigley in GOP pri­mary

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - LOCAL - By EVAN BRANDT

LIM­ER­ICK — Be­fore for­mer state Rep. Tom Quigley can bat­tle in­cum­bent Demo­crat Mark Painter for the 146th House Dis­trict seat, he is go­ing to have to beat off a Repub­li­can pri­mary chal­lenge from Lim­er­ick Town­ship Su­per­vi­sor Thomas Neafcy Jr. Neafcy con­tacted The Mer­cury, a sis­ter pa­per of The Times Her­ald, Mon­day to an­nounce his can­di­dacy for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion in the 146th House Dist.

Neafcy, a 62-year-old Lin­field-Trappe Road res­i­dent, has spent 14 years on the Lim­er­ick Board of Su­per­vi­sors, al­though not all con­sec­u­tively.

Dur­ing his time on the Lim­er­ick board, prop­erty taxes have been kept low “and we’ve brought 500 jobs to Lim­er­ick Town­ship, which has helped to keep our prop­erty taxes in the bot­tom one-third of Mont­gomery County,” Neafcy said.

Neafcy said he was ap­proached by sev­eral peo­ple about run­ning for the state Leg­is­la­ture and his can­di­dacy has been well re­ceived by area Repub­li­can lead­ers in the dis­trict.

“We need a new di­rec­tion in Har­ris­burg, not peo­ple who are run­ning for their own per­sonal rea­sons. I don’t think serv­ing in Har­ris­burg should be a ca­reer,” said Neafcy, who works for a trans­porta­tion con­sult­ing com­pany.

“My op­po­nent hasn’t worked since he lost the elec­tion, he’s just try­ing to get back into of­fice,” Neafcy said of Quigley, who held the 146th Dist. seat from 2004 to 2012, when he lost to Painter. “I know what its like to have a fam­ily and to have to pay the bills.”

Say­ing he be­lieves in term lim­its, Neafcy said he would limit him­self to 10 years serv­ing as rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the 146th Dis­trict.

“I know the ef­fects of Har­ris­burg laws on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and lo­cal gov­ern­ment,” Neafcy said. “I will not vote for any un­funded man­dates.”

Neafcy also pledged to fo­cus on prop­erty tax re­form, adding “my op­po­nent talks about serv­ing on the Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Prop­erty Tax Re­form, but he was un­able to come up with an an­swer. The vot­ers have had enough of all the dou­ble-talk.”

“Prop­erty tax re­form helps ev­ery­one,” said Neafcy. “We’re crush­ing our se­nior cit­i­zens and we’ve got to stop.”

He could get it done, Neafcy said, be­cause “I’m not a guy who sticks his fin­ger in the air first to see which way the wind is blow­ing be­fore I vote on some­thing.”

Quigley, Neafcy charged, is seek­ing a re­turn to Har­ris­burg in part to ob­tain a state pen­sion, us­ing the charge to talk about his be­lief that “we’ve got to get pen­sion re­form done or its go­ing to break the bank.”

That should be­gin, Neafcy said, with state leg­is­la­tors chang­ing their pen­sions over from de­fined­ben­e­fit ac­counts, as they are now, “to 401(k)-type plans where you get out of it what you put into it.”

Con­tacted for com­ment, Quigley noted that he is al­ready vested in the pen­sion sys­tem, and was af­ter five years in the House, so his de­sire to get elected has noth­ing to do with that.

“It’s re­ally a moot point,” he said of Neafcy’s pen­sion charge.

Quigley also re­sponded that if Neafcy in­tends to term-limit him­self to 10 years in the leg­is­la­ture, that would be enough for Neafcy him­self to col­lect a state pen­sion.

“So I’m not sure why it’s an is­sue for me, but not for him,” said Quigley.

A long­time pro­po­nent for elim­i­nat­ing school prop­erty taxes, Quigley said his work on the Se­lect Com­mit­tee for Prop­erty Tax Re­form did have re­sults.

“Prop­erty tax is one of this is­sues we have to keep chip­ping away at,” he said.

His com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tions “kept the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing in Har­ris­burg” and was cru­cial to the for­ma­tion of Se­nate Bill 76 “which now has 26 co-spon­sors, enough to get it to the floor for a vote,” Quigley said.

As for work, Quigley said he did seek em­ploy­ment in two places, but when asked “If I was done with the po­lit­i­cal thing, I had to an­swer no. So in this tight job mar­ket, why would some­one hire me when they know in a few months I’m go­ing to be on the cam­paign trail?”

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