By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Despite the heavy rain in the Reading area today, Larry Medaglia continued his full-court press in the run up to election day on March 15th.
The Republican candidate for the now-vacant seat of the late State Senator Mike O’Pake went door-to-door talking to voters in the Reading suburbs. Medaglia is currently the Berks County Register of Wills and formerly served as Chair of the Berks GOP.
Though the Reading-based 11th Senate district is relatively compact, Medaglia’s schedule took him to voters who live practically in different worlds.
PoliticsPA caught up with Medaglia at a small restaurant in a heavily Latino neighborhood in east Reading immediately he attended services at a Spanish-speaking church.
Medaglia was introduced to the group of about 25 residents by Luis Tejada, an active member of Reading’s Latino business community. In his speech, Medaglia struck a highly positive note about the success of Latinos in the district.
“The one thing this is so clear to me, is that this story is not being told,” Medaglia said.
“Someone needs to step up, and someone needs to get up and stand up on a chair if I have to, and talk about the good things that are happening in this city, and the good things that are happening in the Latino community. All the businesses that you see, and the thriving churches. We need to make sure that folks understand how much is happening here.”
He pointed to his first act as Register of Wills, hiring a bilingual employee to assist Berks County’s Spanish-speaking population, as evidence that he understood the needs of the Latino community.
The visit was the latest in a series of outreach efforts from Medaglia to the sizable Latino community in the 11th district, including a Spanish-language television ad. Reading’s Latino population is estimated to be about 43,000, or 51% of Reading’s population.
He followed up that visit with a drop-in at a Fasnacht sale at the home of a supporter, where he talked with some of the district’s rural voters. He finished the afternoon going door-to-door in the well-to-do Shillington neighborhood in the Reading suburbs.
While Medaglia has been largely positive in person, his paid media have been harshly critical of opponent, Democrat Judy Schwank.