Head of Philadelphia’s Republican Party Michael Meehan announced he will step down from his position as chairman of the Philadelphia Grand Opportunity Party, effective Tuesday.
The announcement comes less than a week after the Philadelphia GOP lost one of two seats on the city council dedicated to the minority party. Once Meehan’s resignation takes effect, his position will be temporarily assumed by Vice Chair Chris Vogler, Billy Penn reported.
Meehan told Billy Penn that 2019 was a "preposterous" election cycle. This year, progressive Working Families Party member, Kendra Brooks, unseated Republican City Councilman Al Taubenberger from an at-large seat held by the party for decades.
Philadelphia Mayor and Democratic incumbent Jim Kenney won re-election last week, defeating Republican Billy Ciancaglini in a landslide. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ciancaglini took less than 20% of the vote against Kenney, and Democratic voters in Philadelphia outnumbered their Republican counterparts 7-1.
Meehan has held the position of GOP chairman for about two and a half years before which he served as the general counsel to the Republican City Committee, the Inquirer reported. He is the third generation of his family to serve as the leader of Philadelphia’s Republican Party.
“It is time for a fresh start for the Philly GOP,” Meehan told the Inquirer. “It is my hope that new leadership will help our party present the bold ideas to the ever more radical direction of both the national Democratic party and the city’s new progressive movement.”
GOP leaders are already searching for a new chairman. Current frontrunners include Martina White, a Pennsylvania state representative, and Joe McColgan, who ran for the position in 2017 but dropped out to support Meehan’s campaign.