McNeill accepts nomination for 133rd
Jeanne McNeill, with an overwhelming endorsement by the Lehigh County Democratic Executive Committee and the state’s Democratic leadership, accepted the party’s nomination to fill the 133rd Legislative District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which has been vacant since the Sept. 8 death of her husband, Daniel McNeill.
The 133rd District includes portions of Hanover (Lehigh County), Whitehall and Salisbury townships and Bethlehem (Lehigh County) and Catasauqua, Coplay and Fountain Hill boroughs.
The Republican Party is expected this week to announce its candidate for the office in the special election.
At an emotional announcement Oct. 4 at Westgate Mall, Bethlehem, the Hokendauqua resident said she is proud to take the mantle from her late husband and seek the office in the special election Dec. 5.
On hand for McNeill’s candidacy announcement was a large crowd of supporters, including family and friends, and also a number of Democratic elected officials, such as Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners President Phillips Armstrong, former Coplay mayor and a candidate in 2018 for Congress William Leiner Jr., Chairman of Lehigh County Democratic Party Walter Felton, Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller, several Coplay elected officials and others.
In having McNeill as the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party in the special election, Donchez said it is a “great day.” Others present echoed Donchez’s remarks and commented that McNeill, who like her husband championed the causes of the families he represented, will do the 133rd District proud.
McNeill said there were times her husband would say that if he died while in office, she should run for his seat in the district. The topic was discussed about a week before his death. McNeill stated her late husband said he was serious about the work they embarked on and that it should continue.
“I knew in my heart I had to continue. We’re the same heart and mind. We walked side by side, hip on hip in everything we’ve done,” she said.
McNeill said she will continue to hold town hall meetings for the public on the opioid epidemic and bring awareness of its devastating consequences. McNeill also pledged to continue tax reform efforts.
A skills trainer with Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, McNeill said she wants to advance special education programs to help children with disabilities.
“They need all the help we can give them,” McNeill said of the parents and children with which she works.
“In the midst of our grief, we must look to the future,” McNeill said.