SANATOGA PA – In a quietly spoken but nonetheless upbeat address Thursday night (May 21, 2009), during the Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township Commissioners meeting, board member Stephen Klotz proceeded to practice what he preached.
“When I’ve coached (sports) teams, I’ve always taught my kids that you distinguish youself both in winning and losing,” Klotz explained to a small audience in the municipal building. With that preamble, he publicly congratulated Edward Kropp Sr., his victorious opponent during this week’s Pennsylvania primary election for judge in Montgomery County’s Magisterial District 38-1-12, “as the best man for the job” and “a great guy for the position.”
Klotz’s loss in the magisterial race, he acknowledged, means he cannot return to the Board of Commissioners in 2010; his term ends this year. “But I’m going to continue to work in and for this community,” he promised. “I’m not going away.”
Klotz, a home improvement contractor, finished second Tuesday (May 19, 2009) in a three-way race with Kropp, a Pottstown police detective, and G. Michael Shirey, a Collegeville police officer. All hoped to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Judge John Durkin, whose district court, located at 2093 E. High St., serves Lower Pottsgrove and part of Pottstown.
All three were cross-filed on both Republican and Democrat ballots, and Kropp won both by a significant margin. His dual-ticket win virtually assures him of success in the upcoming November election.
It also focuses a more intense spotlight on the Board of Commissioners’ contests to succeed Klotz and fellow member Anthony Doyle, who declined to run for re-election. Three candidates – Republicans Michael McGroarty and James Kaiser, and Democrat James Prendergast – will compete this fall for their two seats.
The district judge race itself was hard-fought. Kropp, Klotz and Shirey all received wide-spread promotional help from supporters who blanketed local roadsides with their favorites’ temporary signs. Kropp and Klotz personally knocked on doors in several neighborhoods to introduce themselves to voters. Klotz also relied on a half-dozen mailings.
With the campaign behind him, despite its outcome, Klotz entered the commissioners’ meeting smiling, greeted visitors, and announced he “felt pretty good.” Later, he noted, running against Kropp, “my neighbor, and someone I consider a friend,” was difficult. “The best guy won, though,” Klotz said, and he pledged to help Kropp “keep kids on the right path.”
And on what had once been a multi-page website promoting his candidacy of recent months, the departing commissioner offered a single, simple message: “Steve Klotz wants to thank everyone for their support throughout the campaign.”
Related (to the 2009 Pennsylvania primary elections):
- McGroarty Led Commissioner Candidates
- Landes Led In School Board Votes
- Kropp Appears To Be Next Local Judge
- Tuesday’s Voter Turnout: Light