Joe Rooney is certainly getting mileage out of that chicken suit.
In an effort to demonstrate his belief that congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, the Democratic incumbent for Pennsylvania's 13th district, is unwilling to debate him, Republican challenger Joe Rooney has been appearing with a super-sized chicken as of late.
The most recent sighting was outside of the Great American Pub in Conshohocken Wednesday night, while supporters of Rep. Schwartz gathered inside for a fundraising meet-and-greet. It was Schwartz's second visit to the borough in a week, after Conshohocken was added to the 13th in the latest redistricting.
While the meet-and-greet was closed to the press, Neil Deegan, Schwartz's political director, told Patch over the phone that Schwartz was happy to be working with new constituents.
"Tonight was an opportunity for congresswoman Schwartz to come talk with her supporters," Deegan said. "She is very pleased that Conshohocken is now going to be in the 13th district and she looks forward to representing its residents."
Schwartz and Rooney never crossed paths Wednesday night, as his supporters outside said he left for a civic meeting in northeast Philadelphia before the congresswoman arrived. However, Chelsea Allen, a campaign worker who donned the chicken suit, explained the angle.
"We're basically out here because Allyson Schwartz refuses to debate Joe Rooney, and so we want to kind of demonstrate that to the world," Allen said.
Brian Bigelow, a Rooney supporter who was holding a campaign sign next to the chicken, said he agreed with that sentiment.
"She's been in office eight years and never once had a town hall or debate of any kind," Bigelow said. "That's what pulled me off my couch to come here tonight."
When asked about Rooney's request for a debate, Deegan pointed to the candidates' recent public forum appearance in Gwynedd.
"Joe and Congresswoman Schwartz [participated in] a public forum a week and a half ago, and will be holding others in the coming weeks," Deegan said.
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