CLIFTON HEIGHTS — John Kane, Democratic candidate for the 26th Senatorial District seat being vacated by Republican Ted Erickson, opened his campaign headquarters Saturday at the corner of Oak and Baltimore avenues.
Surrounded by an estimated 50 supporters, Kane thanked everyone in attendance and pledged to improve the district that includes parts of Delaware and Chester counties.
“We need a change in Harrisburg and we need it now,” Kane said. “Our leadership has failed us and need someone that will create jobs, allow hard working men and women to earn a decent wage and properly fund our education system. That someone is me.”
His Republican opponent in the race is Delaware County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle.
Kane, of Ridley Township, is a business manager of Plumbers Local 690, vice president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, on the SEPTA board and member of the executive boards of the Philadelphia Trades Council and the Maritime Port Council of Philadelphia.
He is a lifelong resident of Delaware County. He grew up in Havertown and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School in 1978. He is married and has four children.
A master plumber since 1990, Kane entered the trade as an apprentice in 1979 following in his grandfather’s footsteps and moved up through the ranks.
“Since I announced my candidacy in August 2013, I have been going door to door campaigning,” Kane said. “I grew up in a middle-class family and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara in 1978. Before that I always knew what I wanted to do, be a plumber, and I was accepted into the plumber’s union. Now I’m running the largest plumber’s local in the state and fifth largest in the country.”
Kane talked about his abuse of alcohol and drugs in his youth and said he had his last drink in 1983 at the age of 22.
“I always wanted to give back and got involved in baseball and boxing,” Kane said.
Active in the community, Kane has served as a baseball coach and is involved in his church, Notre Dame de Lourdes.
“I was taught when you make a decision, you have to stand behind it,” Kane said. “What does a leader do? A leader leads. I know what it’s like to give someone a job. I take apprentices into plumbing. We create these jobs and give the kids a skill. I will work hard for everybody in this room I will work for everyone, Democrats and Republicans. In our industry, we have a leak and I want to go to Harrisburg to fix the leak.”
Kane plans on pursuing revenue from taxing Marcellus Shale drillers and possibly Internet gambling to be earmarked for education. He is against privatizing the state-run liquor stores.
Ken Russo, 48, unemployed and attending computer school, came to the event to meet the candidate.
“I’ve lived in Delco most of my life and I’d like to see some changes,” Russo said. “I’d like to see something better. I’m unemployed now, but I had a job at Macy’s for two years and only earned $7.25 an hour until September when I was fired for calling in sick. I have friends that are plumbers and they try to help me out, but some of them are out of work, too. It’s a sad state of affairs. Our country helps people in other countries, but there is no help for us. I’m looking for work and I’m scared right now. I came here today to learn something about the candidate.”
In addition opening the campaign headquarters Kane showcased his website www.VoteKane.com.