Mary Jo Daley, formerly a Narberth council member for 20 years, will be the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's 148th district, according to a release from the 148th District Screening Committee.
"After a lot of soul-searching and talking with my husband and family, it just seemed like I should take a shot at putting my name in the mix," Daley told Patch Friday afternoon.
The committee, composed of Greg Holt, David Nasatir, Marjorie Berlinghof, Joe Foster, Penny Gerber, Sibby Phiambolis and Mark Taylor, has met several times to find a replacement for current Rep. Mike Gerber, who announced last month that he would not be seeking reelection. Gerber instead announced that he would enter the private workforce as vice president of public affairs for Philadelphia-based investment firm Franklin Square Capital Partners.
Daley said she, like most people, hadn't expected Gerber's seat to become open. She had been active in exploring election opportunities in Harrisburg for women in general, but she felt compelled to enter this race herself.
With her public service background and professional work in handling finances, Daley said, "all this stuff seemed to go together to make this (campaign) very attractive."
Daley chose not to run in 2011 for a sixth four-year term on Narberth council, but she said that did not reflect any lack of enthusiasm for public service.
"I loved every moment of serving on borough council. It was always just kind of a labor of love," Daley said. "I got out of it because you start to see things repeat, topics that come before the council. I really felt like there were a lot of Democrats in town, people who were clearly interested in running, and it seemed like a good time for me to step down. Even when I left, I was kind of keeping my ears open."
According to political website PoliticsPA.org, the committee had narrowed their search to Bob Hart, Whitemarsh Supervisor; Brian Gordon, Lower Merion Commissioner; Paul McConnell, Conshohocken Council president; Bob Wegbreit, Narberth councilman, and Daley in recent weeks.
"The Screening Committee was very impressed by the depth and quality of all the candidates, which made the decision extremely difficult," committee co-chairs Holt and Nasatir wrote in the the release.
However, it appears Daley's experience and fundraising capabilities ultimately won her the selection, sources told PoliticsPa.
Now that Daley has been selected, the nomination must be approved by the Montgomery County Executive Committee and then the State Party's Executive Committee. Both approvals appear to be a formality at this point.
Daley said she spoke with Gerber when she was considering entering the race, "just to get some advice." He told her then he would stay neutral, given that there would be several candidates, but he encouraged her to pursue the seat if she was interested, Daley said.
They have communicated via text since Daley's effective nomination, she said.