If something bad happens in your corner of Allegheny County, Pa., life-long county resident Fawn Walker-Montgomery is taking it personally.
“If someone is murdered, the people, or we are in the news for negativity, it is the heart,” Walker-Montgomery, a city Council member in McKeesport breaks me, to the Southeast of Pittsburgh, told Fox News.
Such a heartbreaking day, she wrote in an E-Mail came in August, when Marc Gergely – the Democrat who represented the area in the state house of representatives since 2003, was convicted on corruption charges via binding to a gambling ring. Gergely the sentencing is scheduled for Monday.
Prosecutors said Gergely was a key figure in an illegal video gambling, had installed more than 300 machines in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and other businesses in the area.
“It was really a sad day for the residents of the 35th District,” Walker-Montgomery wrote, referring to the state law the area includes McKeesport, and at least a portion of the nine other municipalities.
“Intercepted conversations with the head of the gambling ring, he was heard,” I just want to take care of you.’ In the meantime, the district has to continue to suffer the crime, and blight, and the low level of economic development.
Then-Pennsylvania state REP. Marc Gergely in the year 2015.
“The people need something, this loyalty, this seems to extend only to the good old boys club”.
It is this kind of loyalty for the member groups of the Walker-Montgomery, a Republican, lost to Gergely at the elections in November 2016, although he has already been accused – said that she intends to work if she wins the Jan. 23 special election to fill the space, Gergely was forced to leave, Nov. 6.
In order to win that seat, Walker-Montgomery, 37, the wife of a US army veteran and mother of a teenage daughter, defeat Austin Davis, Vice-President of the county Democratic Committee and assistant to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“Seat at the table”
But Walker-Montgomery said it is up to the challenge. After all, you may be interested in the policy since your days at McKeesport High School.
“I was the student who was involved with the recommendation of policy and program changes, as well as to the rights of students,” she said. “While some of my classmates were good at sports and academics, I saw that my mouth – for the defense-that was my gift and that was how God use me.”
During their time at school, Walker-well maintained Montgomery high grades, wrote for the school newspaper and participated in organizations such as ” mothers Against drunk driving, according to her campaign website. Later, she earned a degree in political science at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black University in North Carolina and worked as an Intern on Capitol Hill.
“Even as a teenager, I recognized that the key way is to change the System, in order to have a seat at the table,” she said.
This desire for a seat at the table, ultimately, they led to a Republican, she said, because, although the local Democrats seem to have a black woman – part of the Democratic party, the traditional demographic base — mainly interested in are only in your voice, not the solution of problems.
“I’m tired of watching my neighborhood fall on the track,” she said. “Soon I began to realize that this was done under local Democratic leadership. Also, I saw that the local party approve of, minorities, or women, in spite of how loyal the African-American community, especially black women, to vote for you.”
The feeling of being ignored and rejected by the Democrats, they pay more attention to the Republican side.
“In my experience, if you practiced diversity of thought in the local [Democratic] party, then the target was on your back. Therefore, I began to work across party lines as a city councillor and developed sustainable relationships.
“I was given the opportunity to seat at the table, the treasures of the Republican party here in my country, and I appreciate your support.”
Career the legal profession
More precisely, Walker-Montgomery seat has seats at several tables in the McKeesport area.
In addition to the service to the Council of the city, you shall Take the chair of the McKeesport Business district authority; co-founder measures, Mon valley, an anti-violence group that works with the police and the local youth; worked on several anti-drug efforts in the community; served on the city’s recreation and library boards; and contributed to University of Pittsburgh business training courses to McKeesport, according to its website.
“It means a lot, I am able to open doors that said,” you.
“Second, you must be a first,” she added, noting that their previous test was run for the 35th district house seat, the first candidate, a black candidate from the Mon Valley.
Always the opportunity to open the doors and defying labels, stereotypes and expectations is a part of the attractiveness of the policy for the Walker-Montgomery said she. A black Republican woman – and among traditional Republican positions on issues such as abortion and the Second Amendment rights — offers a lot of these possibilities.
“As a black person in America, the me, special challenges,” she said. “However, my experience with the local policy, the challenges that have taken place, with me as a female and practice of diversity of thought.
“Compared to the status quo-what I’ve done through my political career — the insulation can, etc. To me, this election is about the party or the race, but a matter of principle. Also, who has the proven success in favour of the balance sheet and the courage to think independently of the political rulers.”
A Walker-Montgomery greatest fears, she said, is that local power brokers will find a way to ensure, Gergely receives a light sentence for his crimes.
“Unfortunately, I still think he would simply because of the political rulers in this country,” she said. “This will only lend to the low optimism of the inhabitants and status-quo-politics, business-as-usual.”
But Gergely win ‘ s seat in the Jan. 23 special election would be an important step in the direction of the end of business as usual,” she said.
“The hardworking people of the Mon Valley deserve a representative of the state, which is beyond any doubt,” she said. “You deserve a state representative, spend fight every day to our community to raise to a better place to live, work, and family – to enrich, instead of a candidate that has spent his career fighting the power of the party bosses.
“If we added one more to continue with the status quo”, that “nothing will change. That is why we [need to] elect a state representative who always do the right thing for the right reasons, and never cower to political pressure.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.