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Eaton Wins Dems’ Congressional Keystone Challenge

Missa Eaton (D-Mercer) has won the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s Congressional Keystone Challenge.

The contest was simple: whichever of the 18 Democratic congressional candidates received the most online votes, won. It was meant to be a measure of grassroots organizing strength. Eaton made it into the top three, the final round, along with Reps Mark Critz (D-Cambria) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery). They finished second and third respectively.

“I am honored to announce that I have won the Keystone Challenge! Thank you to all my supporters who voted for me. I will continue fighting for the people of the 3rd District!” said Eaton in a statement – appropriately – on Facebook.

The grand prize of this contest? Not just a pat on the back and boost to the ego. The prize is a fundraising email by the PA Dems to their six-figure email list, which will likely yield a few thousand dollars towards Eaton’s campaign.

The PA Dems get a bit of a boost, too: the email addresses of everyone who voted in the contest.

The prize will help Eaton, a professor of psychology at Penn State-Shenango, in a lopsided fundraising battle thus far in the race for PA-3. In Q2, Incumbent Mike Kelly raised $164k compared to Eaton’s $83k, and has a commanding lead in cash-on-hand, $389k to $21k.

In a statement, Kelly spokesperson Josh Wilson “commended” Eaton on winning this challenge.

“Mrs. Eaton should be congratulated. It’s quite an accomplishment to be recognized as one of the state’s most liberal campaigns. Voters in western Pennsylvania would love to hear about that accomplishment. Hopefully she’ll tell them about her big award this Fall.”

25 Responses

  1. It seems to me Missa Eaton is a genuine good person with the well being of the hard working people of the 3rd district her first priority. She has personally called me several times to discuss issues that pertain to the middle class. Congressman Kelly has never called or even cared about me. I can only hope good prevails over evil and Missa wins. No man is an island.

  2. If she can pile up big margins in Erie and Mercer counties she can definitely win this. Even though the Republicans cut part of Erie County out of this district to hurt the chances of a Dem from Erie County of winning (Erie County being the DEM part of the district) they added more of Mercer County to the district, so a DEM from Mercer County is in a good position.

  3. Again Kelly shows himself to be nothing more than a t-bagger mouthpiece and corporate shill responding only to competition with derision rather than any substantive policy statements or details of his “accomplishments”. Oh, Douggie-boy. Exactly what has Kelly been responsible for doing that has soooo… helped this district? The place still looks like the same reactionary backwater that it has always been since it was Gerrymandered into an annex of Alabama to cater to the ignorance, bigotry, and mean spiritedness of the poorly educated victims of “conservative” destruction of our public education system. Kelly is a self-interested and greedy political opportunist who will prostitute himself for “values” given him by wealthy benefactors.

  4. in response to Doug above, are you so out of touch w/ reality that you really believe Mike Kelly is the best representative PA 3 has ever had? which by the way was the PA-21 until this most recent reapportionment. I went to the debate he and Kathy Dahlkempher had at the Sharon City building and he could not hold a candle to her. He is your proverbial “used car saleman” he talks a great line but has nothing to back up his “facts”. I get his weekly survey and it is such an insult to our intelligence and a waste of a staffer’s time to put that out. He is a political hack looking out for his own interests and nothing more. What a sorry state of affairs that he is our “representative” and that you people who voted for him can ‘t be objective enough to see him for the fraud he really is.

  5. Mike Kelly didn’t comment. One of his staffers did.

    He’s the best rep PA-3 has ever had. Phil English never held their feet to the fire in D.C. like Mike Kelly does. Neither did Kathy Hairspray. In fact, she was a rubber stamp for Nancy and Obama.

    Instead of being partisan robots you should open your eyes and appreciate Mike Kelly fighting for common people like you and me in D.C.

    Congress is a bunch of crooks for the most part, so it’s refreshing to see someone like MK who cuts through the BS and tells you what he really thinks.

  6. I truly hope she will beat Kelly in November but I am more realistic than many that have commented above. The Republican controlled PA House has reapportioned the District so it is even more Republican leaning than ever. If we were unable to reelect Kathy Dahlkempher last time this will even be a more difficult race to win. I agree with most of the comments above that Mike Kelly has done absolutely nothing but be an obstructionist these last two years but unfortunately that seems to be what too many of our fellow citizens want.

  7. Kelly and his Republican cohorts have done nothing in the last 2 years to move this country forward. Kelly is a partisan hack in the mold of Newt Gingrich. Citizens in the district know that they are not being represented by Kelly and Missa Eaton is the only logical choice. With approval ratings hovering around 10%, every incumbent Republican congressman should be quaking in their boots. People have finally wised up to how bad they really are at governing. By the way Mike Kelly, where is that jobs bill you promised to pass when elected? Two years and no jobs bill in sight! Time to bring back the WPA and get people in the district back to work.

  8. First off, I’d like to comment that there is no Westmoreland County Democratic committee person named George so I’m pretty sure that is enough to discredit you there. Have you ever even spoken with her? Not only have I found it extremely easy to just walk in her office to speak to her but when I did speak to her one on one and even hear her speak, I could tell that she is the one most genuine candidates I have ever seen. She truly represents what her districts needs.

  9. Missa Eaton will not stand a snowball’s chance in hell against Mike Kelly. The guy has too much money, and like it or not, Eaton was a terrible candidate. And this isn’t a Republican talking, just a Westmoreland County Democratic Committeeman observing the situation.

  10. The more I see about Rep. Kelly, the more disgusted I am by him and his do-nothing approach.

    The third district has been hurting for too long — way before 2008 — and we need someone in office who will actually fight for us and bring home solutions that work for us. Missa is that kind of person. I met her recently and she was tremendously impressive. She knows all of the issues inside and out, she’s been in our shoes, and she’s willing to work to bring our tax dollars right back here.

    We need more people like Missa in Congress! Congratulations to her for beating out Rep. Schwartz and I hope she keeps the momentum going!

  11. OMG! The people — We the People — understand what’s in our best interests. We’ve looked at how out of touch Mike Kelly is. He doesn’t understand the issues important to his constituents. Let’s hope and pray that soon the people — We the People — of NW PA will be Missa Eaton’s constituents. She knows what’s necessary to get the economy moving and put people — We the People — back to work.

    We’ve had more than enough of Kelly. He’s voted wrong on every bill since he took office in January of 2011. He’s shown his true allegiance, and it’s to big-money special interests, not to the people — We the People — of NW PA.

    Good job, Missa! Keep up the good work! Thanks to the people — We the People — Missa gets a boost up for her campaign to unseat that idiot Kelly.

  12. Schwartz in an incumbent, is well funded, AND has more than a 2-1 Dem voter registration advantage. She shouldn’t even be allowed in a “grassroots” challenge.

    Kudo’s to Eaton for the win.

  13. It was meant to be snarky and deragatory, therefore it is being responded to in that manner. Mike Kelly and his campaign once again shows how little they know about the opposition, the district or the issues.

  14. I don’t get what many of you are so upset about.

    What is so derogatory about the truth? (1) most liberal campaigns, (2) voters want to know, and (3) it would be great for her to spread that word.

    Are we a little sensitive?

  15. This is so inspiring. This race was is really starting to heat up. These next few months are going to be fun to watch if Missa keeps shining like this. Its obvious now that Western PA doesn’t want Mike Kelly’s extremist Tea- Party shenanigans. All he is representing is his own personal interests, and it doesn’t help that not only does he own a few used car dealerships but he has a ton of money in big oil too, its disgusting.

  16. Talia is right; “classless” perfectly describes the response from the Kelly campaign. You would think that a sitting congressman and his staff would have learned learned what professionalism means during their time in Washington. Apparently not…

    Add this to the long list of reasons why Mike Kelly has got to go.

    Congrats to Missa for the win. I know she can win in November and do an infinitely better job than our current representative.

  17. Congratulations Missa!

    It’s wonderful to see a smart, strong, solutions-oriented woman win! We need more women in Congress like you! You have my vote and the votes of all of my friends and family! We’re proud to be Pro-Missa!

  18. Rep. Kelly’s comment only goes to show what a classless, out-of-touch obstructionist he really is. In two years, Kelly has done NOTHING for the people of his district and has done EVERYTHING he can to hurt them.

    Missa is the right candidate for this district and that’s why thousands of people are showing their support for her! Go Missa!

  19. Congrats to Missa Eaton for this extraordinary win! You are truly a formidable candidate who is showing the wonderful support and following you are gaining in this race! As far as Mike Kelly’s quote, He is showing once again that he knows nothing about and cares nothing for the people of our district.

    I cannot wait to vote him out in Nov. Missa I’m calling now to volunteer to help you!

  20. That’s amazing, Missa is really starting to look like one of the most winnable races for the democrats to take back a seat in PA. Especially after showing such a large grassroots support like this.

  21. Mike Kelly is clearly running scared (and well he should be) if he is commenting on Missa Eaton’s Win.. He is so completely out of touch with the needs of the 3rd district. I can’t wait until November to hear him comment on Missa’s Congressional Win!

  22. Two things about this article are extremely fascinating:

    1) Missa Eaton came out of nowhere to win this thing. I mean, she beat some heavy-hitting Democrats. Good for her.

    2) What kind of classless response is that from an opponent! Representative Kelly has been destroying Missa in fundraising and such a response is disgusting. Get over yourself Mr. Kelly.

  23. Josh is hysterical and is his comment is right on the money. Good luck with that, Missa.

  24. When I first read that Kelly’s campaign manager “commended” Eaton on the win, I thought “Wow, that’s rare… that’s really cool that an opposing candidate would be so civil and actually give credit to an opponent for accomplishing something.”

    Then, I read the rest of his quote, and I thought “Wow, what a total dick.”

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