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9/11 Ups & Downs

Emails, endorsements and intraparty fights. See who made this week’s list!

Up Arrow1Todd Stephens. Very quietly, the GOP primary for Attorney General is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and entertaining races of 2016. State Sen. John Rafferty is finally running but State Rep. Todd Stephens is proving so far to be a legitimate threat. On Thursday, he revealed the endorsements of Speaker Turzai and Majority Leader Reed. While the Democratic contest will undoubtedly get the most attention, don’t sleep on the Republican race.

Down ArrowSeth Williams. It seemed that the Philadelphia District Attorney had a bright political future ahead of him…until Friday. Just as millions were leaving for the Labor Day weekend, Williams quietly dropped a bombshell. Despite the long string of lewd and offensive emails that Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo took part in during their time in the AG’s office, they would not be fired from their current jobs with Williams. Additionally, the Philly DA waited until yesterday to take any questions yet still didn’t have satisfactory answers. It seems it all comes down to a personal feud between Williams/Fina & Co. and the Attorney General. This battle hasn’t made anyone look good and has sadly hurt Pennsylvanians faith in their government.

Up Arrow1Katie McGinty. Over the weekend, the Democratic Senatorial candidate picked up the support of seemingly half of all Allegheny County. Among her endorsers was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Congressman Mike Doyle, PA Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. Altogether, over sixty elected officials and Democratic party members are backing McGinty. She also finally got off the fence (which she was experiencing significant heat for) and announced her support for the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. So far, McGinty has been able to maintain her momentum as she seeks to take the nomination from Joe Sestak.

Down ArrowBill Shuster. Congressman Shuster dodged a major bullet when 2012 GOP Senate nominee and multimillionaire Tom Smith had to pass on next year’s primary. Now, however, Shuster’s 2014 opponent Art Halvorson is running in Smith’s place. With the financial backing of Smith (remember we live in the post-Citizens United age of Super PACs) and the dirt Politico has been digging up on the Congressman’s personal life, it could be a long few months for Rep. Shuster.   

Up Arrow1Shaughnessy Naughton. One of the main reasons Naughton narrowly lost the 2014 Democratic primary in PA-8 was because of lack of establishment support. Her opponent Kevin Strouse was a top DCCC recruit and vastly outraised her. This time, though, she received the early endorsement from the powerful women’s group EMILY’s List. They gave some half-hearted support last year but now they’re fully behind her in next year’s contest against State Rep. Steve Santarsiero.

The tweet of the week goes to the Inquirer’s Angela Couloumbis for this overhead view of the Kathleen Kane rally (or lack thereof) in the Capitol rotunda.

11 Responses

  1. And if anyone doesn’t believe me that there was a STRONG chorus of State Committee voices from all over the state saying “NO!” to Jim Burn’s resignation, I just listened to the PCN broadcast. The noes in favor of keeping Jim sounded louder than the ayes accepting his resignation, but being the gentleman that he is Jim Burn stated that the ayes had it.

    The meeting will be rebroadcast tonight at 8:25 PM on PCN-TV — watch for yourself.

  2. Hmmm. The comments form is showing up in my browser in every other post on PoliticsPA — except the one on Jim Burn.

  3. There are no comments allowed on the article about the resignation of Jim Burn as PA Democratic Party chair, but it is very inaccurate and more like an Op-Ed rather than news reporting. Two glaring examples:

    1) There was a large and loud chorus of “NO!” resounding in the hall when the vote was taken to accept Jim Burn’s resignation. It was anything but scattered. I don’t know where the Post-Gazette reporter was sitting that he did not hear the strength of the opposition (perhaps in the midst of the Allegheny County or Philadelphia delegations?) but his assessment was very wrong and your reporter’s assessment was wrong as well. “No” was also called loudly by many when the vote was taken to accept Groen as Chair.

    2) Roger Lund did NOT run against Groen. There is a difference between running and being nominated; please train your reporters to recognize this. Roger Lund was nominated but he addressed the meeting and respectfully declined the nomination, expressing hope that the party would work together under Mr. Groen with the same transparency, openness, and respect for ALL members and regions of the state that Jim Burn showed.

    PoliticsPA, the quality of your reporting is really slipping.

  4. LOL, Emilys list has backed a lot of losers in the past so I think there is room for Donald Trump also!

  5. Sy Snyder – Well said re: Williams. He made a HUGE mistake getting into bed with Fina and Costanzo. He had a chance to abandon ship. Now he will go sown with it …

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