With the Montgomery County Republican ticket standing behind them, Jenny Brown and Bruce L. Castor Jr. held their first press conference, which aimed to solidify their stance and unify the party for the upcoming 2011 election in November.
Standing inside the Swede Street entrance of the , Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Kerns began the press conference with a brief statement, introducing Brown and Castor and setting a tone for what seems likely to be a highly contested race against the of Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards.
"We have two candidates as commissioners who I believe are the epitome of what is good about Montgomery County," said Kerns. "We are ready to go. We are united, and we're ready to fight."
Next to the podium was Lower Merion Township Commissioner Jenny Brown, who made a concise speech about the county's financial status and the need to reduce spending.
"The county cannot afford to continue to spend and borrow in the way that it has," said Brown. "Our county cannot afford four more years of what our opponents have to offer. Their records are clear, and what they have to offer is not sustainable."
After a round of applause, current Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. took to the podium, speaking about the mistakes that had been made over the past four years, which he attributed to the Democrats.
He stated that Montgomery County has spent $20 million more than it had taken in for each of the past four years.
"Understand that the county has been in existence since 1784, and somehow, in just a few years, we've managed to set a record for our county's debt," said Castor.
Castor then shifted his focus to what he viewed as instability and poor candidate selections by Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chairman Marcel Groen, who "hand-picked" Joe Hoeffel for county commissioner, only to later withdraw his support and refer to Hoeffel as a "child."
"I don't think it is reasonable for the voters of this county to believe that the Democrats have gotten any smarter in the last four years when it comes to picking candidates and policies," said Castor, who also touched on the recent controversy surrounding the potential use of the recently decommissioned .
"He (Hoeffel) thinks that, despite the fact that the governments of Hatboro, Horsham and Montgomery Township unanimously agreed that they don't want an airport in the Willow Grove Naval Air strip, by golly, Commissioner Hoeffel wants that," said Castor.
Regarding Josh Shapiro, Castor referred to him as "a protege of Commissioner Hoeffel," adding that Shapiro was also "hand-picked" by Groen.
The press conference wrapped up as Castor delivered a confident final message.
"This team behind me is going to be the team that restored fiscal sanity to Montgomery County," said Castor. "We don't expect people to vote for us because we're Republicans; we expect people to vote for us because economic sanity needs to return to the county, and we're the ones to do it."
When asked what his thoughts were on the statements made by Shapiro and Richards regarding their claims of support from Republican voters, Castor quickly dismissed the claims, citing prior experience.
"It's just campaign rhetoric," said Castor. "The same claims were made four years ago, and the election turned out exactly the opposite of what they were claiming. That'll be the same thing again."
Neither the Shapiro-Richards campaign nor Shapiro's office in Abington returned calls seeking comment.