5/23 Election Ups & Downs
It was an emotional week in Pennsylvania for the candidates who faced the primary battles this weekend; but winning alone isn’t enough to score an Up Arrow. See who did make the list!
Tom Wolf. Even as people were expecting a landslide, he exceeded expectations. Very solid win, he stayed positive, and he should enjoy a solid start in the polls vs. Corbett, particularly given Corbett’s underperformance compared to Lt. Gov. Cawley.
Rob McCord. The state Treasurer’s decision to inject race into the primary contest will go down as one of the most significant in his political career, and not in a good way. He accused Wolf of tacitly approving racism. It’s one thing to go nuclear if you have a path to victory. But he pulled the trigger when none was apparent. Not to mention the fact that as Treasurer he may have permanently damaged his relations with the potential future Governor.
Katie McGinty. Of the four candidates, McGinty performed the worst while looking the (second) best. She wisely recognized months ago that she couldn’t match Wolf’s early salvo and decided to use the campaign to build political capital rather than spend it. Democrats will remember her the next time they look for a candidate for Congress in PA-6 or other offices.
Allyson Schwartz. The once front-runner gave up her immensely powerful Washington-based platform because she thought she was a lock for the nomination. Instead she suffered her second statewide defeat in as many decades.
Pro-choice Democrats. The issue of abortion rights didn’t prove very useful to liberal Democrats on Tuesday. They lost in three races where they made abortion a major focus: the 13th congressional race, HD-36, and HD-164. And although all four candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial primary were united in their support for abortion rights, Schwartz was associated with the issue more than any other candidate. (In PA13 and HD164, Brendan Boyle and Margo Davidson each said they support abortion rights; opponents said their respective voting records showed otherwise).
Mark Critz. The Lieutenant Governor’s race was supposed to be tight. It was supposed to be an epic battle between Mike Stack in the east and former Congressman Critz in the west. Instead, Stack won in a romp. Critz, meanwhile, barely outperformed the rest of the field.
Incumbents. Another cycle, another strong showing for the butts already in seats. Just 3 incumbents in the entire state – including 2 who are ethically embattled – failed to achieve renomination Tuesday night. Another one is still counting votes and may lose (Mike Fleck). Another 2, Reps. Haggerty and Molchany, lost in member-vs-member races, so they don’t count toward the total.
Team Sims. State Rep. Brian Sims was working to build a progressive coalition in Pa. He publicly endorsed Jared Solomon against incumbent Rep. Mark Cohen; challenger Billy Smith against Rep. Margo Davidson; Rep. Erin Molchany against Rep. Harry Readshaw; Daylin Leach for Congress and Schwartz for Gov. He went 0 for 5.
While we sort through our long list of Ups and Downs, PA Independent wrapped up Tuesday in 140 characters or less.
What we’ve learned tonight: if you avoid the redistricting axe and don’t get caught stealing, you’ll probably never lose a primary.
— PA Independent (@PAindependent) May 21, 2014