DLCC Adds 8 Candidates to Spotlight List
In July, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced 27 “spotlight candidates” in an effort to flip both the state House and Senate in the Keystone State. With just under 2 months until Election Day, the DLCC is expanding its targets by adding 8 more “spotlight candidates” in the effort of flipping the state House.
“The Pennsylvania Republican Party has doubled down on extremism, and they have absolutely nothing to offer Pennsylvanians who are struggling through this pandemic and economic crisis,” DLCC President Jessica Post said in a release from Tuesday afternoon. “We have an incredible group of leaders who are stepping up to hold them accountable, and I’m so excited to flip Pennsylvania blue so they can finally get to work.”
The 8 House candidates added to this list this week are Paul Friel (HD-26), Lissa Geiger Shulman (HD-30), Jessica Benham (HD-36), Napoleon Nelson (HD-154), Anton Andrew (HD-160), state Rep. Dave Delloso (HD-162), Deb Ciamacca (HD-168), and Darisha Parker (HD-198).
All of these seats are either in the Philadelphia or Pittsburgh region – some are attempting to unseat incumbent Republicans, while some are attempting to fend off challenges from Republicans.
Ciamaca, Friel, and Shulman are the lone candidates attempting to unseat incumbent Republicans in this latest expansion of the “spotlight candidate” list.
Ciama is challenging state Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) for the seat in the Philadelphia suburbs. Quinn won his most recent reelection bid by 1.4 points in 2018 over Democrat Kristin Seale in a district that Sec. Hillary Clinton bested President Donald Trump by nearly 7 points, according to DailyKos.
Friel is facing state Rep. Tim Hennessy (R-Chester) for the seat that is also in the Philadelphia suburbs. Hennessey ran unopposed in 2016 and won by 5 points during his 2018 reelection bid. Trump carried this district by just under 9 points, according to DailyKos.
Shulman is attempting to unseat state Rep. Lori Mizgorski (R-Allegheny), who was elected to the seat in western PA in 2018. Mizgorski won by 4.5 points, while state Rep. Hal English (R-Allegheny) was unopposed for the seat in 2016. Trump carried the 30th District by 7 points.
The other race the DLCC is hoping to flip red-to-blue in this latest rollout is in the 160th District where Democrat Anton Andrew faces Republican Craig Williams. The seat is held by state Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Delaware), who is retiring at the end of his current term. Barrar bested Andrew by 2.5 points in 2018 after running unopposed in 2016. The district supported Clinton by 2 points in 2016.
Benham, Delloso, Nelson, and Parker are all running in seats currently held by Democrats.
The lone incumbent of the bunch is Delloso, who won the Delaware County seat in 2018 by 3 points. Clinton won the 162nd District by 2.84 points in 2016.
Benham, Nelson, and Parker are all running in more Democratic friendly districts where incumbents are retiring.
Of these 8 “spotlight candidates,” six of them are running in districts that Clinton carried over Trump.
In 2018, Democrats flipped 11 seats in the state House, but still remain 9 seats short of flipping the chamber.
Although the DLCC expanded its map this week, Republicans have also set lofty goals for themselves in Pennsylvania for the upcoming races in the general assembly. In June, the RSLC announced that they are targeting 17 districts, 15 House and 2 Senate, that Trump carried in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats.
The full list of the DLCC spotlight candidates, which includes the 27 candidates announced in the initial July rollout, can be found here.