Schwartz Campaign Flexes Grassroots Muscle
The Congresswoman’s campaign held house parties for grassroots supporters in fifteen counties.
She assembled a long list of notables to speak on her behalf at these events including elected and party officials.
“A state as great as Pennsylvania deserves better than Governor Corbett,” said Ellie Horvath from Johnstown in a press release. She was one of the many attendees who delivered a message in support of the campaign.
“We need a proven leader with a strong track record of getting things done on behalf of every day families — that is Allyson Schwartz, and I am proud to be supporting candidacy along with so many grassroots volunteers across Pennsylvania.”
The Congresswoman herself spoke from a supporter’s home in Lansdale and had her remarks webcast to all 38 gatherings in PA.
This move by Schwartz appears to be an attempt to both showcase her strength throughout the state and gain a head start on her opponents for the Democratic nomination in the realm of face-to-face, on the ground, grassroots campaigning.
A crowded Democratic primary to face Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014 – with several candidates competing within the expensive Philadelphia media market – means personal campaign outreach will have greater value.
Every Democratic candidate for Governor is raising money and meeting party bigwigs, and most have an active press department. Kevin Washo, the executive director of the Pa. Democratic Party for its successful 2012 cycle, said Schwartz is taking the next step.
“It’s a move by Allyson and her team to take her campaign to another level,” he said. “These face-to-face efforts resonate with party voters and activists.”
He said Schwartz was borrowing from President Obama’s successful campaign tactics, which relied heavily on neighbor-to-neighbor outreach.
“[Candidates] take something that worked well for other campaigns and integrate it into their own efforts,” Washo continued. “It’s a good way to break out of the slow days of summer.”
Washo presently works as a consultant in Philadelphia and is not affiliated with any of the gubernatorial candidates.
Polls have shown Schwartz leading the primary field, although several Democratic insiders believe her campaign hasn’t been firing on all cylinders – yet. Her highly touted communications director recently left the campaign under unclear circumstances.
Schwartz’s opponents for the Democratic nomination include State Treasurer Rob McCord, former Secretary of the Department of Revenue Tom Wolf, former Secretaries of the Department of Environmental Protection John Hanger and Katie McGinty.
The 15 counties where events took place include, according to Schwartz’s campaign: Allegheny, Bucks, Cambria, Carbon, Columbia, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lycoming, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Tioga, and Warren.
Schwartz’s campaign listed these campaign surrogates: : Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, Georgia Berner, David Caliguiri, Frank Fantuzzi, Millersburg Council member Chris Dietz, Harrisburg Treasurer John Campbell, Northampton County Chair Walt Garvin, Upper Dublin Commissioner Stan Ropski, Lower Merion Committee member David Dormont, State Representative Mary Jo Daley, Lansdale Borough Councilman Jack Hansen, Lansdale Borough Councilman Rich DiGregorio, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Lower Merion Committee Member Barbara Schick.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.