Democratic candidates in 164th District to participate in forum

The three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the 164th Legislative District have agreed to participate in a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.

The forum, held May 15, will feature incumbent state Rep. Margo Davidson, of Upper Darby, and her two primary challengers — Billy Smith, an attorney from Lansdowne, and Dafan Zhang, an Ivy League graduate from East Lansdowne.

The candidates are vying for the opportunity to take on Saud Siddiqui in the general election. Siddiqui, the chief operating officer of the Upper Darby Caring Foundation, is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

However, the primary race could be a bigger factor than the general election due to the redrawn district’s heavy Democratic base. There are 25,043 registered Democrats compared to 7,515 registered Republicans.

Davidson is seeking her third term in Harrisburg, having become the first African-American, woman and Democrat to serve the 164th District. She won the party’s endorsement in February, though committee members nearly voted to hold an open primary.

Smith has launched a campaign targeting Davidson for her voting record on vouchers and women’s rights. He has produced a pair of mailers — evidence that he likely has raised a considerable amount of financial support (The first campaign finance reports are due next Friday). Davidson also has issued at least one mailer.

Zhang has focused his campaign on telling his American Dream story — he went from being homeless to obtaining a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is now completing a law degree. Zhang has not issued any mailers or announced any endorsements.

The forum will be held May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Millbourne Borough Hall. It is open to the public.

 

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