2/27 Ups & Downs
Budget preparation, big-money fundraisers and withdrawn nominations. See who made this week’s list!
Tom Wolf. The Governor is approaching his first big test in office, his initial budget address to the legislature. Therefore, it was important for Wolf’s team to control the narrative going into this big moment. Yet circumstances have caused things to swerve off-track. Gov. Wolf’s comments that the state’s economic problems are due to our low collective “self-esteem” and his appointment of John Dougherty to the PRPA board distracted from planned events like his Twitter townhall. Additionally, the leaks and preview of his budget proposals have already drawn Republican fire. Altogether, his “go big or go home” strategy is quite commendable yet extremely risky. The only silver lining is that next week will be even more important than this week.
Josh Shapiro. The Montgomery County Commissioner has been rumored to be circling a 2016 race for either Senate or Attorney General for quite some time now. The revelation that Shapiro raised half a million dollars from a single fundraiser is certain to add fuel to that fire. Considering as well that he held over a $1 million in the bank at the end of last year, Shapiro is in prime position to wait and see how the chips fall in 2015 and make his 2016 plans accordingly.
Thomas Kistler and Ken Gormley. Earlier this month, Thomas Kistler and Ken Gormley were preparing to join the State Supreme Court. Now, it looks as though the court will have two vacancies until the results of the November elections are in. First, it was revealed that Kistler had sent a racially inappropriate email. Then, it emerged that Gormley had faced an accusation of sexual harassment in the past. Kistler decided to withdraw from consideration and without a Republican to pair with the Democrat Gormley, Wolf abandoned any effort to fill the Court for the rest of 2015.
Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht. Last Sunday, the Democratic State Committee met in Hershey to decide which judicial candidates to endorse for the May primary elections. Due to the two-thirds threshold, however, the party was only able to garner enough support for two candidates for the three openings. Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht won those endorsements, giving them a leg up in the wide-open contest.
Martina White. The HD-170 special election has already provided plenty of intra-party intrigue. The biggest surprise of the race, however, occurred yesterday when Republican nominee Martina White announced the support of fifteen labor unions. Now that White has pulled off that coup, the pressure now transitions to first-time candidate Sarah Del Ricci to prove she can hold onto the seat for the Democrats.
The tweet of the week must go to Josh Shapiro, not because of the PoliticsPA plug but because of the embrace of the term “baller”.
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) February 26, 2015