McKeown Beats Back Democrat Morein in Ward 7, But Otherwise in Cheltenham, Election Night Belongs to Democrats
McKeown won with 772 votes to Morein’s 715 votes. While Morein took two of the three precincts, 7-2 (Berachah Church) and 7-3 (Cheltenham Elementary), she couldn’t compensate for McKeown’s domination of his home precinct, 7-1 (Rowland Library), which he took by 165 votes.
It was a tense campaign, which included squabbling about misrepresentations on campaign literature throughout election day. Democrats were optimistic that after Josh Kershenbaum lost to McKeown four years ago by some 165 votes, that this year, with a greater registration disparity in favor of the Democrats, combined with hard work, Morein could get over the top. It was not to be.
Both candidates had the enthusiastic support of their families. McKeown, with the help of his wife, Nancy, and their four boys and two girls, scoured the ward covering the polls and looking for votes. Morein had her husband, Jon, in her corner along with their two sons.
When the final numbers were reported, McKeown was delighted, but perhaps more relieved than anything else. For at least another few moments, Charlie had that familiar smile working. “It’s a great night!” he said. Cheltenham’s newest five-term commissioner, and a Republican at that, dodged another bullet.
In other commissioner races, in Ward Three, Democrat Harvey Portner easily captured a seventh straight term, vanquishing his Republican opponent, Melanie Vallerio, by 58 percent. In Ward Five, newcomer Democrat Dan Norris beat Republican first-timer Mark Sirinides overwhelmingly by 66 percent. In Ward One, Republican Drew Sharkey ran unopposed.
School board races were won by Democrats across the board by wide margins of more than 2.5:1. Democratic victors were, in order of their vote totals: Julie Haywood of Wyncote; Mary Russell of Cheltenham; Jim Butt of Cheltenham; Paula Barvin of Elkins Park; and Napleon Nelson of Wyncote. All vote counts are subject to an official count starting on Friday at the Montgomery County Election Board. Republican candidates were: Jim Custer; Myron Goldman; Rebecca Hollinger Johnson; and Loren Vallerio.