State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton) has gone 15 years without a primary challenge, but that may be about to change.
According to Northampton County Democratic Party Chair Walt Garvin, Fountain Hill Borough Mayor Jose Rosado is looking at a 2014 challenge to the long-term incumbent.
Rosado is a Bethlehem native currently two years into his term as Mayor since being appointed by the borough council in 2011. He serves as the Director for Community and Student Services in the Allentown School District.
Rosado did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
Boscola Chief of Staff Steve DeFrank said he is confident that the Senator would earn a victory as she has in the past.
“She took 68 percent in a highly contested race in 2010, when many Democrats were getting wiped out,” DeFrank said. “The district has become a little more Democratic, but only by 2%. We went from 52% to 54%.”
When asked specifically about a primary challenge, DeFrank acknowledged Boscola may be in for a fight.
“I have heard about that possibility on the street. It is going to be a bigger challenge, but [Rosado] will still be dealing with an extremely popular legislator.”
Jon Geeting is a Lehigh Valley native and runs the liberal blog Keystone Politics. As he said before when he wrote in support of a primary challenge, Geeting asserted that there is room to Boscola’s left.
“Boscola is not a progressive. She was a member of ALEC until last year, she almost switched parties in 2005, voted for several GOP budgets, took a no-tax-pledge . . . and sunk the candidacy of Jennifer Mann,” Geeting charged.
But Geeting agreed that mounting a primary challenge would be difficult.
“She has held up the district for some time, she has high name recognition and won by convincing margins.” But, “Rosado is well known, and any credible primary needs strong roots in Bethlehem and Easton. Being well known on South Side [of Bethlehem], it can’t hurt that he is a Latino lawmaker himself.”
Some Lehigh Valley politicos said they were aware of the possibility of a Rosado run, some weren’t.
“I have heard that rumor,” said Northampton County Democratic State Committeewoman Olga Gonzalez.
“I am in the dark,” said Lehigh County Democratic Chair Rick Daugherty.
The challenge has been speculated by some since redistricting. Most notably, when the new map takes effect for the 2014 election, Boscola’s 18th district will lose all of its Monroe County territory and add the city of Easton.
According to Labels & Lists, 61.2% of Democrats living in the newly drawn SD-18 are current Boscola constituents. 38.8% will be new.