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Former Rep. Houghton to Primary Sen. Dinniman

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Pa. Senator Andy Dinniman has drawn a primary challenge from one-term Pa. Rep. Tom Houghton, the former lawmaker confirmed to PoliticsPA.

Citing Dinniman’s support for SB1, the vouchers/school choice bill Houghton accused the Senator of failing to support public education.

“He’s supposed a Democratic leader on education. Not only has he supported a voucher bill, but he’s taken a lead on it,” Houghton said. “He’s giving cover to right-wingers who are threatening to defund our public schools.”

PoliticsPA was unable to reach Dinniman (D-Chester) for comment.

Houghton served in the Pa. House from the 13th district from 2009 to 2010, when he lost his re-election race. He had earlier declared a Senate bid against Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, but was drawn out of the district during reapportionment. He said he saw that coming, so he suspended his campaign and released his staff in the summer. He has no leftover cash on hand from that short-lived bid.

He says he got back in when he tuned in to Dinniman’s votes in Harrisburg.

“During that time as [Chester County] Commissioner, he made me proud to be a Democrat,” Houghton said. “In Harrisburg, I feel like he’s lost his way.”

The Chester County Dems have their endorsement meeting on January 25th, and Houghton says he is sending out a letter with the names of over 40 committee members who have endorsed his bid.

“The committee has been paying attention,” said a source close to the Chester County Dems. “Once we started looking at one vote, we realized there were many more.”

Dinniman will have the resources of the Pa. Senate Democrats Campaign Committee on top of his approximately $284,000 cash on hand. The latter number includes a total of $45,000 from pro-vouchers group Students First.

8 Responses

  1. @Lou and @Brian, Senator Dinniman is not the saint you think he is.

    Residents can no longer trust Dinniman. He has voted against working families, he has voted against women’s rights, and he has voted for the insurance industry over us.

    Dinniman is the poster child for what’s gone wrong in Harrisburg – a generation of politicians who think that they can take a position not based upon conviction or core beliefs, but about their electoral prospects.

  2. State Senator Dinniman should stay. Just goes to show how the radical ends of the Democratic and Republican Party are destroying this country. I have ZERO respect for Rep. Houghton

  3. Senator Dinniman is doing an excellent job representing our county.Houghton accomplished nothing in Harrisburg while he was there. He couldn’t even get re-elected to the House.

  4. Is it April 1st already?

    So, you mean to tell me that a one-term House Rep who couldn’t even hold his own seat is going to challenge the most open-minded and nonpartisan state legislator we’ve ever had in Chester County? Laughable…Seriously TOM, PLEASE GO HOME! The only one who lost his way is you. You road into office on Dinniman’s coattails and couldn’t hack it. You tried to kill the mushroom industry when we need it most. You announced candidacy before you even know where your district is. You are completely out of touch and have no business on the ballot.

    Anyone who votes for this guy might as well vote Republican. Guess it is true, ANYONE can run for office!

  5. Andy governs as a Republican, perhaps he should run as one instead. The Democrats of Chester County no longer need to put up with fake Democrats to win.

  6. It is about time for a change. Dinniman has been a tool for the Republicans for years. Its about time that local Democrats are holding him accountable. Dinniman doesn’t care about poor kids, he cares about how much money the PACs give him – nearly 50K from those charter school advocates at Students First. They don’t care about poor kids, they care about getting themselves rich.

  7. Since when do Democrats not care about the education of the poor kids in this country? If you can save some I say do it, unfortunately you can’t save them all. My vote is with Andy

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