Promotions, polls and the President. See who made this week’s list!
Joe Sestak. The second shoe has finally dropped and Joe Sestak at last has a credible primary challenge. While the famously indefatigable retired Admiral is likely not afraid, Katie McGinty has a much better chance at victory (and bigger backers) than Ed Pawlowski ever did. Furthermore, while the ex-Congressman improved his fundraising totals somewhat, he is still facing a $6 million cash on hand gap compared to Sen. Toomey. It’s quite the Catch-22. If Sestak had raised more money, he might have been able to win over wary Democrats. Yet that same hesitancy makes it harder to raise cash. Regardless, it’s a good thing Sestak envisions himself a fighter because he will face one or two serious bouts in the next year and a half.
Mary Isenhour. The long-time Democratic strategist got a huge promotion this week, as she’ll be taking over for Katie McGinty as Governor Wolf’s Chief of Staff. Isenhour was previously Wolf’s Secretary of Legislative Affairs and is considered one of the top political operatives in the commonwealth. She’ll be facing the challenge of her life, however, with a budget standoff heading into its fourth week with no end in sight. Isenhour must steer the Wolf Administration to brighter shores in the months ahead.
Jim Burn. Speaking of shoes dropping, Jim Burn’s long battle to remain Chairman of the PA Democratic Party also finally ended this week. Burn sent out a two and a half minute YouTube video to committee members stating that he will step down on Sept. 12th. Tom Wolf tried to remove him a year ago, but Burn resisted and the then-candidate created FreshStartPA instead. It’s unclear what the soon to be former Chairman will do next.
Joe Denham. You probably haven’t heard of Joe Denham (yet), but it was a great week for him. He is running against Mike Parrish for the PA-6 Democratic nomination to take on freshman Congressman Ryan Costello. While it will be an uphill battle for the West Whiteland Township Supervisor, an internal poll done for his campaign shows a prosperous avenue. Parrish donated money to Republicans for years, including McCain, Corbett and Romney, and has yet to prove he can overcome that baggage with Democratic voters. Either way, we may very well have another competitive congressional primary on our hands.
Bill Peduto and Rich Fitzgerald. Getting to ride with the President. Enough said.
Speaking of which, the tweet of the week also goes to Mayor Peduto.
Surprisingly there was no traffic or construction on the Parkway West this morning… pic.twitter.com/sGofsfFxgQ
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) July 21, 2015