Pennsylvania Senate / Pennsylvania House
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Lauren Lareau, Pennsylvania State House District 142
Lauren Lareau’s family is from Pennsylvania; she was born in Johnstown, the grandchild of a Philadelphia police officer who raised his family in East Falls. When it came time to raise her own family, she moved to Langhorne in 2011 to make a life for herself, and her son, Lucas.
Education is her life's passion. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education with a Master's Degree in Human Development, ahead of schedule and with honors. In addition to full-time substitute teaching, she operates a tutoring business to help high school students prepare for success in college and beyond.
Her commitment to education is the major reason why she’s running for State Representative. She’s also committed to making sure that public schools are as safe as possible. She supports common sense gun safety laws and will work for strict enforcement of background check laws.
As a small business owner, Lauren knows how important small businesses are to the local economy. She will work tirelessly to ensure that starting and owning a business is about the work put in with customers, not navigating the municipal bureaucracy.
Byron Timmins, Pennsylvania State House District 46
Byron Timmins has a distinguished career in leadership, business management, and community activism.
Byron is running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 46th District to restore our once vibrant middle class, increase educational and career opportunities, and protect working families. Byron grew up outside of Columbus, where he learned the value of hard work and integrity from his attorney father and school nurse mother.
Determined to make a difference in the lives of others, Byron worked his way through Miami University (Ohio) and, upon graduation, was recruited into the buying program of Kaufmann’s Department Stores. When Kaufmann’s parent company decided to close their buying office in Pittsburgh and 1,200 people lost their jobs, Byron was one of them. He’ll fight tirelessly to preserve our existing jobs, while attracting investment for burgeoning industries.
On a personal level, Byron is a devoted husband and father who loves his community. He lives in Cecil Township with his wife, Astrid, and their son, Dane. He has served as a volunteer with the Canon-McMillan Parent Council, where he has worked to improve educational opportunities for students, and prior to that, he volunteered with the Muse Elementary Parent Faculty Association. He coaches Dek Hockey, as hockey, teamwork, and encouraging our youth are passions of his.
Education is an emphasis for Byron, and he has witnessed firsthand the troubling effects of school funding crises emanating from Harrisburg’s inability to craft an equitable budget. That is why he supports NO BUDGET/NO PAY legislation! If you’re not doing your job, you shouldn’t get paid. It’s common sense. He is a champion for organized labor, and will always support collective bargaining rights, prevailing wages, and increased workplace safety provisions. He will proudly stand alongside Leader Dermody as the Democrats take back the House and move Pennsylvania forward.
Kara Scott, Pennsylvania State House District 122
Kara Scott graduated from Ohio University in 1994 with 2 bachelor degrees (communication psychology and recreation) and a masters in human services. She is a proud mother of four boys who knows how important it is to parents that they see their children succeed in school and that they find opportunities their own community. When her boys were young, Kara volunteered for many of their activities. She home schooled them for the first four years and saw them excel when they entered our public school system.
For the last 17 years Kara has worked as a behavioral consultant to families in the county.
She’s seen the challenges facing our underpaid and stressed neighbors and continues to help them work through difficulties. Knowing how to assess needs and focus on sensible solutions is second-nature to her.
In 2007 Kara organized her Bowmanstown community to stand up against plans to store toxic waste in the borough. That was the beginning of her involvement in local political work. She took up the call to serve her community in an official capacity when she was appointed to the Bowmanstown planning commission, starting in 2011. Soon she was elected to the Bowmanstown Borough Council, and has been elected by fellow Council members to preside as Council president. Kara founded the Bowmanstown Area Residents Connected community group, which offers services and fun, community-building events that bring neighbors together.
She regularly volunteers for Family Promise, serving the needs of homeless families in Carbon County.
Kara is a charter member of the Carbon County Council of Governments (COG), and was this year she was voted in by municipal officials from throughout the County as vice president of the organization. The COG serves 20 of 23 municipalities in Carbon County, pooling resources and entering joint agreements that save county residents’ tax dollars while cutting down on waste and duplication. She is has served as a board member for the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network since its inception.
Today she maintains her active membership in all these organizations while offering her experience and dedication to Carbon County residents as a candidate for Representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly for the 122nd district.
Amy Cozze, Pennsylvania State House District 137
Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, Amy Cozze was an honors graduate of Southern Lehigh High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business Administration. She then returned to the Lehigh Valley, where she met her husband Andrew Cozze. They moved to the Slate Belt region to work alongside the Cozze family at Deerfoot Auto Parts, a successful family-owned and 40-year auto recycling and service business. For six years, she did everything from transporting engines to launching the international internet sales department.
Over time, Amy knew she wanted to embark on her own professional endeavor. She made the move to start her own business from the ground up. She embraced the many challenges and went from not knowing how to bake a cookie to creating award-winning, custom wedding cakes in less than two years, earning a place in the Hall of Fame of Weddings in less than four years. She has consistently succeeded in not only learning new skills, but at mastering them. Her bakery, Cozze Cakes, located in the heart of Nazareth, has received numerous accolades both locally and nationally, and has been featured in publications such as The Knot and The Huffington Post.
As her business has grown, so has her desire to give back to the community. She has been a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber for the past five years, and a board member of the Nazareth Business Council for the last two years. Most recently, she was appointed as liaison for the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee. She has always been a strong supporter of union labor, having two brothers and a nephew who are Local 19 Sheet Metal workers. In addition to being a mother to two wonderful boys, she is also a breast cancer survivor, and a vocal and sensible advocate for my community.
Joseph Webster, Pennsylvania State House District 150
From the neighborhoods of Philadelphia to the halls of the Pentagon, Joe Webster’s life has been one of service, leadership, and accomplishment. His work ethic has driven a career spanning the military, academia, and business, moving him across the country and into many parts of the world. He and his wife, Laura, and their three children, came home to Pennsylvania in 2011, where they live on the banks of the Perkiomen Creek.
Part of the first generation in his large family to attend college, Joe was appointed to the Air Force Academy at age 18. He completed his studies as a member of the first female/male integrated graduating class. He furthered his education by attending the Naval War College as well as by obtaining a PhD in Public Policy from George Washington University.
As a Colonel in the Air Force, Joe managed the modernization program for the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve forces as they deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Overall, he worked for 20 years in the Pentagon on special government projects and as a legislative liaison between the US Congress and the Air Force.
Joe was there, on September 11, 2001, when the Pentagon was attacked. Over the following 18 months, he served our country in 32 different countries.
As an educator, Joe taught Speech Communications, Executive Writing and Western Civilizations/Values at the US Air Force Academy. He also teaches National Security Policy for the Air University in Montgomery, AL.
In 2004, Joe began a new career in business development/customer relations with a small start-up company in King of Prussia, and then as a VP of Mission Services for a global 500 company. He also founded Convergence Music, a nonprofit that specializes in event management and promotion through volunteerism and fundraising. In 2017, Convergence Music donated 100% of its Tall Trees Music Festival proceeds to Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Melissa Shusterman, Pennsylvania State House District 157
Melissa Shusterman is a 4th-generation resident of the greater Phoenixville area, currently residing in Schuylkill Township with her husband Hans, son Paris, and beloved Shih Tzu, Zoey.
While raising her son as a single mother, she founded her own business, Fedora Media. Fedora Media is a digital video production company that provides high quality digital video for various devices and platforms. Prior to founding Fedora Media, Melissa worked for several start-ups and national media companies such as The Food Network, VH1, fx, HGTV, MTV, QVC, and fuse network. She is very active in her community and with local charities.
Melissa is not a career politician; she's a passionate citizen who loves her community and is fed up with the political gridlock in Harrisburg. As Representative, Melissa will fight to protect seniors, put Pennsylvania on the path to fiscal responsibility, and put an end to the Keystone tests. Melissa has the business and life experience, commitment to our community, and new ideas needed to make an effective, no-nonsense legislator who will make Pennsylvania a better place.
Claudette Williams, Pennsylvania State House District 176
Claudette Williams, a proven leader and problem-solver, delivers keynote addresses and presentations drawing upon her experience from her roles as Sergeant Major in the United State Army. Personal endeavors of overcoming statistics and accessing higher goals led her to achieving the rank of Sergeant Major, a position that is attained by less than one percent of the Armed Forces.
With 30 years of service in the United States Army, her missions included serving in Operation Iraq Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. Claudette has led her soldiers in missions to Iraq, Afghanistan, Dubai, the Oman regions, Kuwait, and several other areas in Southwest Asia.
Claudette is the President of Council for the borough of Mt Pocono. She is the first woman of color to be elected to this position. She is also the Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee and the first African American to hold the chair of any political party in the County’s history. She also serves as a police commissioner for the Pocono Regional Police and once again is the first African American to hold a seat as a Commissioner.
A longtime resident of Mount Pocono, Claudette serves as an active community member. She is involved in many aspects of the community such as the African American Network, National Council of Negro Women, the Veteran of Foreign Wars, the League of Women Voters, the Disabled American Veterans, and a member of the PA State Veteran Causes, to name a few.
Her latest project is helping individuals in her community to gain permanent residence and citizenship through United State Consultee and Immigration Service (USCIS) and Homeland Security. She is the mother of three children, Brianna, and fraternal twins Kwame and Niambi.
Patty Smith, Pennsylvania State House District 104
Patty Smith has worked extensively in local government management. She has worked in the private and non-profit sectors as well as having been a small business owner. She is a Certified Public Manager from Millersville University and has extensive experience managing multi-million-dollar government budgets and projects.
She volunteers her time in the community promoting sensible development, adequate infrastructure, smart land use, traffic solutions, animal rescue, and she works with Rock the Capital fighting and exposing government corruption and waste on the state and local levels.
She has been married for more than 17 years to her husband Brad who is an avid hunter and sportsman. They love to travel, scuba dive, and enjoy the outdoors with their two dogs Baxter and Bailey. She is a life-long resident of Dauphin County, where her family has owned and operated a local business since her grandfather started it in 1956.
Sara Johnson Rothman, Pennsylvania State House District 151
Sara Johnson Rothman is a former special victims prosecutor, an education law attorney, the Vice President of the Upper Dublin School Board, and a mom of two children.
Sara attended Temple University for law school and found a love for trial advocacy. An internship with the Bucks County District Attorney's Office led to a full-time position as an Assistant District Attorney. She specialized in crimes against women and children during her tenure as well as supervising the internship program and overhauling the first time offender program.
Sara left the DA's Office after the birth of her second child, but wanted to continue helping others in her community. A member of the Upper Dublin School Board announced his resignation in December of 2013 and Sara decided to apply to fill the vacancy. In February of 2014, she was appointed to the School Board and subsequently elected in November of 2015 (4 year term).
As a school board member, Sara is the Chair the Policy Committee, serves on the Operations Committee, and serves on the District's contract negotiating teams. Since becoming Chair of the Policy Committee, Sara has led the update of hundreds of the District's policies and administrative regulations including the anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. In May of 2016, Upper Dublin became the second school district in Pennsylvania to adopt a policy protecting gender expansive and transgender students. One of Sara’s greatest accomplishments is playing an instrumental part in resolving a contentious contract negotiation with the District's teachers' union and, more importantly, improving the Board's relationship with the teachers' union.
Sara currently works as an education law attorney, representing several local school districts. She focuses her work on school policy.
Mary Popovich, Pennsylvania State House District 58
Mary Popovich is seeking the 58th district seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is currently serving her third term as Mayor of the Borough of West Newton, the first woman to hold this office. Prior to her election as Mayor, she served as a member of borough council for three years.
As State Representative, Mary will encourage civic participation. She believes in open records, so constituents can better understand how the actions of their elected officials are affecting their daily lives. She encourages accountability of officials that work for you, so the people of our district do not have to endure hardships when the state budget is not passed by the deadline.
Mary is dedicated to fighting for proper funding appropriations to maintain sustainability for increasingly fractured communities, crumbling infrastructure, and underfunded schools. She looks forward to continuing her life-long dedication to education, and elevating the working class and under-privileged families of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Her legislative goals include job creation, eliminating blight through programs that support local government to accomplish this task, addressing drug addiction problems affecting families and communities through education and task force programs, and providing support for programs to enhance Fire, Police, and Emergency Management Agencies to keep communities safe.
Jennifer O’Mara, Pennsylvania State House District 165
Jennifer O’Mara’s dedication to public service is deeply rooted in her own experience, and her ability to deliver practical solutions has been similarly forged by her challenging personal journey.
Jennifer O’Mara was born in Southwest Philadelphia to a career firemen and a stay-at-home mom. After her father’s suicide when she was 13 years old, Jennifer and her family moved to Prospect Park, Delaware County. At Interboro High School, a caring public school teacher recognized that Jennifer was struggling to cope with her personal tragedy and encouraged her to channel her energies in a productive direction. Jennifer became a leader in student council, where she discovered a passion for government. She was selected to serve as a student representative on the Interboro School Board, and subsequently attended a leadership camp sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Council (PASC), an organization that Jennifer still volunteers for over a decade later.
As the daughter of a single mother, and with two younger brothers at home, affording college was a significant challenge. With the help of financial aid, student loans, and by working three part-time jobs, Jennifer O’Mara was able to attend West Chester University. She earned a dual degree in history and secondary education, and became certified to teach in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer O’Mara went on to earn a Master of Liberal Arts in English and history from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been employed for five and a half years. She currently holds the position of Assistant Director of University Stewardship, working alongside her colleagues to steward the University's top donors. Jennifer also serves on the Board of Directors for PASC, and teaches organization and personal time management to high school students at the organization’s statewide leadership training program.
Jennifer and her husband, Bradford, were married in August 2017, and currently reside in Springfield, Pennsylvania, with their two cats.
Joe Ciresi, Pennsylvania State House District 146
Joe, Pam, and their 19-year-old son, Danny, live in Limerick Township where they purchased a home in 2001. He was elected in 2003 to the Spring-Ford Area School Board, where he served for 12-plus years, including three years as president and three years as vice president.
Once his son graduated, Joe decided not to run for another term on the school board.
One of three children, Joe was born in Long Island, New York, to Maria and James Ciresi. His father worked at a hydraulic filter factory and became a shop steward for the United Auto Workers. Always one to value life-long learning, his mother earned her high school diploma at the age of 65.
With the assistance of student loans and part-time jobs, Joe was the first in his family to attend college. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami in 1992, where he met his wife, Pam. After graduation, he worked odd jobs to make ends meet until landing a sales position with Encore magazine.
Starting around the age of 6, Joe began participating in live performance arts and continues to do so today. Locally, Joe is a board member of the Trappe Community Music School, as well as a steering committee member of Steel River Theatre (where he also performs). For the past three years, he has served as the board president of Petra Community Housing, a nonprofit organization that improves the availability of affordable housing.
For the last 16 years, Joe has worked as the Director of Sales and Promotions at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Danielle Otten, Pennsylvania State House District 155
Danielle is a mother, businesswoman, and community leader who has called Chester County home for over two decades. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she first moved to Chester County to attend college at West Chester University. She quickly fell in love with the rolling countryside, small town boroughs, and the comfort of a strong community-focused life.
Danielle has spent the majority of her professional career in marketing and hospitality and has served on the executive teams of some of Philadelphia’s most notable hospitality brands. As a marketer, Danielle listens to varied perspectives, formulates effective strategies, and executes plans that deliver meaningful results on budget and on time. She will take these skills to the State House to be a strong voice for everyone in the 155th, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Over the past two years, much of Danielle’s time and energy has also turned towards leading a community-based coalition for public safety, private property rights, and environmental preservation in Exton, Pennsylvania, where she resides with her husband and two young children.
Danielle’s community-based organizing began when rumors that the Mariner East pipeline construction would overtake her neighbor’s yard, just feet from where her children play. Danielle began coordinating with neighbors to demand safety, transparency, and accountability within the township of Uwchlan. They were instrumental in electing a new slate of township leaders committed to enforcing local pipeline zoning ordinance.
Danielle was integral in founding the Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, a collective of eight Delaware County and Chester County coalitions joining forces to bring the fight for public safety to Harrisburg. Del-Chesco United engages in advocacy work at the state level, working to ensure that Pennsylvania legislators do their job to protect public health and safety, safeguard private property rights, and preserve natural resources, including clean safe drinking water. Danielle’s goal throughout this work has been to empower and support Chester County residents to discover their collective power & build leadership in their own communities.
Liz Hanbidge, Pennsylvania State House District 61
Liz’s family moved to Blue Bell in 2001, when she began to pursue a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, she continued her academic pursuits, earning graduate degrees in Psychology from the University of Oxford and Harvard University, as well as a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Upon her return to Montgomery County in 2008, Liz began to use her expertise as an attorney and her passion for public service to open her own practice, serving the county's most vulnerable populations. In 2015, she began studies to augment her legal practice as a PhD candidate in Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, her research focusing on the intersection of child psychology and the law.
Liz continues to work tirelessly to build a vibrant community in which to raise a family of her own. Most recently, she has begun teaching civics to sixth graders at Gwyn-Nor Elementary and East Norton Middle School, working in conjunction with the local bar association. She lives on a farm near Montgomery County Community College where she spends her early mornings caring for her two horses, and is frequently accompanied by her beloved canine companions. A lifelong horseback rider, competitive rower, occasional triathlete, and trained soprano, Liz's talents extend well-beyond the classroom and courtroom.
Kristin Seale, Pennsylvania State House District 168
Kristin Seale lives in Media Borough, Pennsylvania. She is the proud mother of two daughters as well as spouse to Chris Seale. Raised by a hard-working single mother in Baltimore, Maryland, Kristin’s family instilled in her the belief that if they had enough to eat and a place to sleep, it was their responsibility to serve others in need. She spent her childhood volunteering for members of her community including Maryland School for the Blind, a homeless breakfast, peer groups for children of separation and divorce, and the first wave of people living with HIV/AIDS.
A lifelong public servant, Kristin currently serves on the leadership team of a statewide energy nonprofit that has helped Pennsylvanians of every electric ratepayer class conserve energy and save money through energy efficiency. She has a long track record of protecting and supporting communities in public health, poverty law, and energy, by advocating for and successfully moving bipartisan legislation in two state legislatures through community-led and coalition-based collaboration with elected decision makers. She is a founder of two successful nonprofit women’s sports organizations -- one local, and one international in scope. Kristin earned a Bachelors of Public and Community Health from New Mexico State University, and a Masters of Public Administration from Villanova University.
Kristin was elected Rose Tree Media School Board Director in November 2017, winning an historic number of votes in the race. She was sworn in on December 5th, 2017, and is enjoying serving her community and the students of the RTMSD every day.
Steve Malagari, Pennsylvania State House District 53
Steve Malagari grew up in Lansdale, where he currently lives with his wife Rachel and is in his second term on Lansdale Borough Council. He is a graduate of Ursinus College and North Penn High School. Throughout his two terms on the council, Steve has served as council vice president, and on the Administration and Finance, Electric, Code Enforcement, Parks and Recreation, Public Safety, and Public Works committees. Steve currently chairs the Public Works committee. He also serves on the Library and Economic Development committees and is the Council’s representative to the Planning Commission. Since 2013, Steve has served on the Montgomery County Transportation Authority.
Steve is a sales professional who enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering, and attending the various events and activities across the Indian Valley, Hatfield, and Lansdale.
Christina Sappey, Pennsylvania State House District 158
Christina Sappey and her husband Jon have lived in Chester County for 25 years. While raising their three children in Chester County, Christina served on the education committee at her church, taught Sunday School, and volunteered at her children’s schools. She is a proud public school parent - her children went to the Downingtown School District - and she volunteered on various school sports and extracurricular teams.
Concerned by the increasing impact of traffic on the historic village of Marshallton and surrounding area in West Bradford, Christina and several other residents founded the Marshallton Conservation Trust (MCT), a registered 501C3 non-profit, where she has been a board member since 2009.
Christina has over 12 years of government experience. She has served as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith (D156), Director of Legislative Initiatives to State Senator Andy Dinniman (D19), and most recently, Chief of Staff to State Representative Carolyn Comitta (D156).
Christina also knows business, having previously managed businesses ranging from a small $100,000 family-owned retail business to a $30 million division within a nation-wide fashion corporation. She understands the business mindset, from start-ups to established corporations. She's worked with businesses to open new stores, strategize pricing, purchase goods, and analyze market trends. Her business experience will ensure that Chester County economic interests are well-represented in Harrisburg. Christina will also use her business acumen to bring innovation and family-sustaining job growth.
Mike Doyle, Pennsylvania State House District 170
Mike Doyle moved to Parkwood 14 years ago with his future wife. Today, he knows Parkwood and the people he’s met there are the reason that he is alive today. When he was at the lowest point in his life and dealing with alcoholism and addiction, it was the people of Parkwood and the Far Northeast who gave him hope and welcomed him with open arms.
At this moment in time when Harrisburg and DC are full of division and hyper-partisanship, Mike believes his community needs a representative to work from a place of compassion and unity. Whether it’s the opioid epidemic, building a stronger economy for workers and local businesses, protecting immigrants, or establishing mutual trust between the police and residents, Mike knows that focusing on what we have in common rather than what divides us will build community and understanding to tackle difficult issues. He will dedicate himself to listening to you and fighting for policies that will improve the lives of all Pennsylvanians.
Mike Zabel, Pennsylvania State House District 163
Mike Zabel is a lifelong resident of Delaware County who lives in Drexel Hill with his wife, Lauren, their two-and-a-half-year-old son, John, and infant daughter, Lila. He is an attorney who works in private practice. Mike previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, and also as a teacher at the middle school, high school, and college level. He sits on the board of the charitable organization SJP Man For Others, Inc.
The oldest of six children, Mike grew up in Havertown, where he graduated from St. Denis School, before heading to St. Joseph’s Prep for high school and College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He earned his Master’s Degree in Classics from Indiana. After seven years of teaching Latin and Greek, Mike headed to Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he met his soon-to-be wife. Mike graduated in the top 10% of his law school class (although Lauren did even better!) and was elected class graduation speaker. Mike and Lauren have lived in Drexel Hill for twelve years, and are proud to be raising their children there.
These days, Mike’s spare time is largely devoted to playing with his two children and talking with voters of the 163rd district. Mike has been an avid runner, having completed five marathons, including two running side-by-side to his wife. Mike also enjoys poker, crossword puzzles, and his Philly sports teams - with a special soft spot for the Phillies.
Adam Rodriguez, Pennsylvania State House District 189
Adam Rodriguez works for The Betesh Group as a Graphic Artist. He’s been working in the Apparel Industry since 1996 as both a Designer and an Artist. He has over 23 years of experience making products for the retail sector with national and international distribution. He’s worked with some of the world’s leading brands along the way.
Previously, Adam worked for the NY/NJ Port Authority in their Maintenance Division at both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, where he was a member of the Teamsters Union. He’s also worked as an apprentice and Journeyman Carpenter in New York City in what used to be known as Local 608, of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, often working at heights doing various types of high-rise construction.
Adam was born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1963, graduated Midland Park High School in 1982, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design for two years before leaving to pursue his professional interests.
While many might think of Pennsylvania as a blue state, Donald Trump’s victory punched a hole in the “blue wall” that Pennsylvania once represented. But on the state level, Republicans have long been influential. Republicans have controlled the State Senate since 1994, and currently have a 33 to 16 majority (with one vacancy). With the exception of a four-year period from 2007 to 2011, Republicans have controlled the State House since 1995, and currently have a 121 to 82 majority. These large majorities have given Republicans substantial power to push a destructive agenda in the Keystone State.
Despite Republican’s longtime control of the state legislature, Democrats have a substantial opportunity to retake both chambers in 2018. To do so, Democrats would need to win 10 State Senate seats and 20 State House seats. This year, they can take back the majority in both chambers.
EveryDistrict’s Legislative District Index (LDI) ranks state legislative districts on a scale from 100 to -100, using statewide elections data. Districts with a score of 100 would vote for statewide Democratic candidates by 100 points (with the Democratic candidate receiving 100% of the vote); districts with a score of -100 would vote for statewide Republican candidates by 100 points (with the Republican candidate receiving 100% of the vote).
EveryDistrict divides winnable districts into three categories: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Tier I districts lean Democratic but are held by a Republican state legislator. Tier II districts lean slightly Republican, with a range of 0 up to -5. Tier III districts lean slightly more Republican, with a range of -5 up to -10. For more information about EveryDistrict’s LDI, please click here.
In 2018, only the even-numbered State Senate seats are on the ballot. Even with that limitation, there are more than 10 State Senate seats within reach. There are 6 even-numbered Senate Districts that lean Democratic (Tier I): Senate Districts 6, 12, 16, 26, 40, and 46. There are 4 Tier II districts: Senate Districts 10, 24, 38, and 44. Then, there are 4 Tier III districts: Senate Districts 20, 32, 34, and 50.
Districts 16 and 40 are based in and around Allentown, a former Democratic stronghold where Hillary Clinton struggled. Districts 6, 12, 24, 26, and 44 are all in the Philly area. Districts 32, 38, and 46 are outside of Pittsburgh in “Connor Lamb country.” District 34 represents an outside chance because of State College (home of the Nittany Lions), while District 50 is south of Erie.
In the State House, there are 18 seats that lean Democratic (Tier I): House Districts 18, 49, 58, 61, 74, 120, 152, 157, 162, 163, 142, 146, 150, 151, 170, 176, 177, and 189. There are 15 seats in the Tier II category: 4, 10, 46, 51, 52, 53, 104, 122, 137, 155, 158, 165, 167, 168, and 183.
Districts 122, 137, 176, 183, and 189 are based north of Allentown and Bethlehem. District 120 is outside of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Districts 18, 53, 61, 74, 142, 146, 150, 151, 152, 158, 155, 157, 162, 163, 165, 167, 168, 170, and 177 are all in the Philly area. Districts 10, 46, 49, 51, 52, and 58 are outside of Pittsburgh. District 171 covers State College, while District 104 has enough of Harrisburg to make it competitive.
What’s At Stake
Pennsylvania’s blue leanings haven’t stopped its Republican legislators from attempting to implement an ultra-conservative agenda.
While other states have implemented common-sense gun safety measures in the wake of mass shootings, Pennsylvania Republicans have refused to do so. Pennsylvania does not have an assault weapons ban, nor does it ban bump stocks. The Republican-controlled legislature has also refused to invest in workers; Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remains at the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.
Pennsylvania college students graduate with more student debt on average that any other state. A Democratic legislature would invest in students and boost funding for higher education.
In 2017, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have implemented one of the strictest abortion bans in the country – banning abortion at 20 weeks, among other measures. Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast without a law protecting individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. But Pennsylvania Republicans have refused to allow passage of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which would extend non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Pennsylvanians.
EveryDistrict endorses candidates in competitive districts that are committed to moving their communities forward, have strong connections to their districts, and have a campaign strategy in place to win. In Pennsylvania, EveryDistrict has endorsed: Byron Timmins (HD 46), Steve Malagari (HD 53), Mary Popovich (HD 58), Liz Hanbidge (HD 61), Patty Smith (HD 104), Kara Scott (HD 122), Amy Cozze (HD 137), Lauren Lareau (HD 142), Joe Ciresi (HD 146), Joseph Webster (HD 150), Sara Johnson Rothman (HD 151), Danielle Otten (HD 155), Melissa Shusterman (HD 157), Christina Sappey (HD 158), Mike Zabel (HD 163), Jennifer O’Mara (HD 165), Kristin Seale (HD 168), Mike Doyle (HD 170), Claudette Williams (HD 176), and Adam Rodriguez (HD 189).