Daniel McNeill is on November ballot
Daniel McNeill, former Whitehall Township executive with a strong union background, wasted no time getting his campaign for state representative for the 133rd District started. The state Democratic Committee on Monday tapped the 65-year-old Hokendauqua resident as the party's candidate.
"This isn't an 'I, I, I' position," McNeill said in his remarks to committee members. "This is a 'we' position and I believe we have to approach this as a team."
Lehigh County Democratic Chairman Rick Daugherty said the party will soundly back McNeill in his campaign, a seat held by a Democrat for decades.
The action by the state committee follows a recommendation from party committee members of the 133rd District who on Sunday gave McNeill 15 votes, the highest of the eight persons seeking the vacancy.
McNeill fills the void on November's Democratic ballot resulting when embattled state Rep. Joseph Brennan withdrew his candidacy following his arrest Aug. 15 on drunken driving and simple assault charges.
Brennan announced last Wednesday he would not seek re-election following a news conference held in Catasauqua last Tuesday by Republican candidate David Molony.
McNeill will now face Molony for 133rd district legislative seat.
For decades the district, which includes Coplay, Catasauqua, sections of Whitehall Township and wards in south Bethlehem, east Allentown and Fountain Hill, has been represented by residents of Bethlehem and Fountain Hill. That will change after the fall election whether McNeill or Molony wins.
During Sunday's vote by the local committee members, McNeill received 15 of the possible 40 votes. Fountain Hill Mayor Jose Rosado came in second with 11 ballots.
Each of the eight candidates had a person nominate him or her and a second vote was then given by another person, after which each aspiring candidate at the Fullerton Fire Hall gave a three minute address.
Daugherty said McNeill had strong support from party committee members from Whitehall on Sunday and is well known in the district.
Other local aspirants seeking to secure the committee's favor for the recommendation that went to the state Democratic committee were Catasauqua Councilwoman Jessica Kroope and Coplay Councilman William Leiner Jr., a former Lehigh County commissioner and borough mayor, Bethlehem residents Anthony Rybak, George H. Yasso, Ray Lynn and Patricia Smith-Mendsen.
McNeill commented Sunday that the district should be served by a person who can get the job done for the district constituents in Harrisburg.
Employed with Lehigh County's Health Services, McNeill served as Lehigh County manager of regional partnerships, as Whitehall commissioner for two terms and as appointed Whitehall Township executive. He was also employed with the state's Department of Weights and Measures.
Affiliated with Ironworkers Local 36 for 38 years, McNeill was the union's business agent and secretary for seven years, vice president of Lehigh Valley Building Trades for seven years and was responsible for seeking employment for 150 workers.
Married for 27 years to Jeanne McNeill, the couple has two daughters, ages 19 and 25.