Dem State Committee Summer 2011 Preview

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

It’s that time of year again. PA’s Democratic insiders will travel to the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in beautiful southwestern Pennsylvania (near the border of Fayette and Somerset Counties).

It’s a chance for official party business, and a little of the business of partying. Prospective candidates will try their luck at courting the support of activists and insiders.

Here are some of the emerging questions story lines at this weekend’s meeting:

Who wins the AG popularity contest? Kathleen Granahan Kane is hosting a reception, former Rep. Pat Murphy is regular at these things and is expected to attend, and Dan McCaffery is a maybe. Who carries the day, and most importantly, does the Philly contingent appear to be more comfortable with Murphy or McCaffery?

Is Jason Altmire going? The event is in Rep. Mark Critz’s district, but that could change with redistricting. Will Altmire be on the scene to make nice with southwestern PA activists in the expectation of a primary contest if their districts are merged?

Does Dan Onorato make his presence known? The Allegheny County Exec is rumored to be looking at a run for Auditor General. Will he be sowing the seeds this weekend?

Does Barbara Ernsberger attend, and does the party celebrate its (almost) win in the Commonwealth Court primary?

Here are the receptions booked so far on Friday night:

9:30 pm to 11:00 pm – Eugene DePasquale for Auditor General Reception – Suite 336

9:30 pm to 11:00 pm – Kathleen Kane for Attorney General Reception – Suite 436

10:00 pm – Young Professionals Reception honoring Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl – Alpine Room

“I hope to meet and talk with as many Democrats interested in electing qualified leaders as possible,” said Kane.

“I’m looking forward to meeting state committee members. I know many of them already, and I’m looking to continue the dialogue over the weekend,” says State Rep. DePasquale. He ain’t kidding – his wife Tracey is a state committeewoman from York.

“Auditor general is not considered the most high profile office, and party activists will be very important in deciding who the nominee will be.”

The Catherine Baker Knoll dinner on Friday night will focus entirely on the former Lieutenant Governor, and will not feature a keynote speaker.

As far as official business the main issue to be discussed on Saturday is a possible change to the rules of party endorsements. A more detailed schedule of the meeting is available on the Dems’ website.

Yes, this is a real thing.


June 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | 1 Comment

One thought on “Dem State Committee Summer 2011 Preview”

  1. The race for the Commonwealth Court seat is not over until the recount is officially reported by the Department of State. As one of the two contenders, Barbara Ernsberger was not asked by the Pa. State Democraic Committee to participate in the Pa Democratic State Committee meeting and therefore did not attend.

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