April 23rd Ups and Downs

A Delaware County Democrat is up for an award from a national Democratic PAC, the State Treasurer endorses a candidate for U.S. Senate, plus the former State Treasurer has a new role in Harrisburg. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

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Jennifer O’Mara. This Delaware County Democrat serving in the state legislature is up for a national award for a Democratic PAC. EMILY’s List, the PAC that supports getting pro-choice Democratic women elected to office, announced that O’Mara (D-Delaware) is one of six finalists for their Gabrielle Giffords, Rising Star Award. 

Joe Torsella. Back to service in the state capital. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that former state Treasurer Joe Torsella was approved in a unanimous vote by the state Senate to rejoin the board that oversees Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees Retirement System.

Mike Kelly. Amidst the controversy surrounding former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment, most Republicans backed Trump, while a few voted with Democrats in supporting the effort to impeach the 45th president. Pennsylvania’s entire GOP delegation voted to acquit Trump in the second impeachment trial, but comments from Kelly directed at a GOP colleague earned the Butler County Republican negative attention. New York Times Magazine reports that Kelly was quoted as saying “You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the opposition’s side — that’s one hell of a tough thing to swallow,” about GOP Rep. Liz Cheney announcing her decision to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump. The report continues to detail that a female colleague yelled out that Cheney is “not your girlfriend!” and other Republican women “emailed that around, just horrified, commenting in real time.” 

Leanne Krueger. This Delaware County Democrat will continue to play an important role for House Democrats in the upcoming cycle. Minority Leader Joanna McClinton announced this week that Krueger was reappointed to serve as the chair of the HDCC

Marty Flynn. The GOP effort to keep the Lackawanna County Democrat off the ballot was unsuccessful. The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that a state appeals court judge ruled that Flynn should stay on the ballot for the May 18 special election for the state Senate’s 22nd District.

Jeff Bartos. The 2022 U.S. Senate field is still forming, but this candidate has received the backing from a recently-elected GOP statewide official. PA Treasurer Stacy Garrity endorsed Jeff Bartos U.S. Senate campaign this week. Garrity lauded Bartos for his recent work with the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund and described the GOP Senate hopeful as an “outsider” in her endorsement.

Bipartisanship in PA? Is bipartisanship back in style in Harrisburg? This group of 16 lawmakers is trying it out. The PLSReporter reports that the PA Once Caucus, a group of 16 lawmakers which includes eight Democrats and eight Republicans, that aims to “bridge the partisan divide” in Harrisburg announced their “first slate of legislative proposals.”

Derek Green. In the same week as 4/20, his bill overwhelmingly passed Philadelphia City Council. KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia businesses will no longer be allowed to require a screening for marijuana use as a condition for employment,” as a result of Green’s bill, which passed by a 15-1 vote. The bill allows exceptions for “law enforcement, professional drivers, caregivers and federal jobs that still have the requirement.”

Jim Bognet. We are now five months removed from November’s 2020 election and cases are still being rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Hill reports that on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case, introduced by former GOP congressional candidate Jim Bognet, against Pennsylvania’s handling of mail-in ballots, “dispensing with yet another legal challenge over the 2020 election.”

Jonathan Hershey. Is it time to “free the lemonade stand” in Pennsylvania? PennLive reports that legislation, backed by this Juniata County Republican, which is aimed at “freeing young people with an entrepreneurial spirit from worrying about obtaining a license to operate a business” unanimously passed the state House on Monday. 

Natasha Lindstrom. How’s this for a surprise? This reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was called on to ask a question remotely at the White House press briefing by Jen Psaki. We’d also like to wish Lindstrom a Happy Birthday! 

WFH. Work from home continues in the commonwealth. PennLive reports that the state Senate agreed on Monday to extend its temporary rules until May 31 which allows senators to participate remotely during the COVID-19 emergency. 

Denise Williams. Luzerne County has a new chair of the Election Board. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Denise Williams was unanimously selected by the Luzerne County’s Election Board to serve as the fifth member and chair. 


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