One Democrat has officially declared a bid for Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District.
Daniel Smith Jr., a bank Senior manager who resides in Cranberry Township, is the first Democrat to file paperwork with the FEC attempting to run against Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler).
In his campaign announcement, Smith said people in the 16th District aren’t benefiting from the current administration and said there is “no more partisan member of Congress” than Kelly.
“From healthcare to jobs to infrastructure, people are feeling the promises of change crumbling down around them,” Smith said. “Members of Congress like Mike Kelly, at the urging of President Trump, are digging a hole for the rest of us with no plans for how we will ever get out. It’s up to all of us to reclaim our future and our potential, and start making good on the changes we’ve been promised for far too long.”
Smith attempted to unseat state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) in 2018, but lost by 16 points.
On his campaign website, Smith focuses on healthcare, jobs, and education. He is also pledging to not accept corporate PAC donations.
Smith participated in the 2019 Netroots Nation meeting in Philadelphia last weekend as a panelist on an event “evicting the bigots from Congress”. A Facebook post from Smith said he discussed Metcalfe on the panel, who he lost to last year.
If elected, Smith said would become the first openly gay member of Congress in Pennsylvania’s history.
Kelly is currently in his fifth term in Congress representing the Western Pennsylvania district. He bested Democrat Ron DiNicola in the 2018 election by just over 4 points in the Trump friendly district.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee placed Kelly as one of their three targets to flip in Pennsylvania for 2020.