HD-163: Rongione Narrowly Outraises Santora In Prep For November

Rongione

Rongione

Democratic candidate for the 163rd District seat in the State House Vince Rongione announced the financial gains he made over Republican opponent Jamie Santora, in the categories of both money raised and cash on hand.

The two are in the race to replace retiring Rep. Nick Micozzie (R-163).

As reported, Rongione raised over $76,000. $74,091.98 was in monetary contributions and the rest were in-kind. He kept $62,312.15 cash on hand. Santora came relatively close; raising $70,622 and has $57,934.12 in cash on hand, all listed in his just-released financial report.

Rongione, who had close to 300 donors listed on his campaign finance report, had a wide base of individual donors. Of these individuals, 251 gave $250 or less and 164 gave at least $100 or less, showing the payoff of Rongione’s strong grassroots campaigning.

“I just want to say ‘Thank You’,” Rongione said. “It is really inspiring to have so many neighbors and friends rallying around our campaign. We are running a very positive, forward-looking, grassroots campaign that is focused on economic growth and quality education and people are really responding. The resources we’ve put together are just one more signal of the momentum our message and our campaign are gaining.”

But there’s a little bit more to this story. In an email sent on January 28, Rongione claimed to have raised $20,000 before launching his campaign.

“With your help, we launched our campaign on January 7th having raised $20,000, and soon after received the endorsement of the Steelworkers Local 10-1. The early momentum we are showing is exciting, and thanks to you we have game-changing news.”

However, by January 7th, he had only raised $250. Extending the window to the end of the month shows just $4,000 in individual contributions in addition to a $10,000 PAC donation, still short of the $20,000 claimed in the earlier email.

“We launched our campaign with that money in pledges and commitments, and we’re thrilled that we exceeded it,” Rongione explained to PoliticsPA.

On the other side of the aisle, 50 percent of Santora’s money came from just three contributors. Micozzie gave a generous $25,000 to Santora’s campaign alone. Dave White, of the Delaware City Council, and Rep. William Adolph Jr. (R-165) gifted $5,000 each.

According to Santora’s campaign, 100 percent of his contributions were from residents of Pennsylvania, two-thirds of the contributions were from residents of Delaware County, and more than half of his contributions were from residents who live in the 163rd Legislative District. 

I greatly appreciate the strong local support for my campaign that my campaign has received,” said Santora. “These fundraising numbers are a reflection of the strength of the grassroots support for my campaign and my commitment to fight for fiscal responsibility, increased educational funding for our schools, and job creation.  Local residents want a voice in the legislature who will represent their views and not be beholden to special interests and outsiders.”

Also worth noting, Rongione’s campaign pointed out that 46 percent of Santora’s money came from legislators who had voted for Governor Tom Corbett’s budget.

“High quality education is the first building block for nice neighborhoods, high property values, and economic growth that benefits everyone,” Rongione added. “People are joining our campaign in large numbers because they know we are the only candidate who will fight back against Governor Corbett’s drastic education cuts and protect our local schools.”

Micozzie, 85, originally announced his retirement in January of this year. He held his seat for 36 years, and has spent 44 years total in public office.

Judging upon these fundraising numbers, the contest to replace Micozzie is quite close and still remains open enough for anyone to get a leg up between now and November.

Brittany Foster contributed to this report.

May 13th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 10 Comments

10 thoughts on “HD-163: Rongione Narrowly Outraises Santora In Prep For November”

  1. Jtimon says:

    It is misleading to claim that Bill Adolph voted for the Corbett budget. Each of the proposed budgets from Tom Corbett have been reworked to restore education funding before its passage. As Appropriation Chairman, Bill Adolph played the largest role in restoring this funding. Additionally, Margo Davidson shares credit with Nick Micozzie for restoring funding to the Upper Darby School District when they were faced with budget cuts.

  2. Delco Fact Check says:

    Who is Santora kidding!?!? Over 60% of his money came from PACs that are based outside the 163rd. My guess is that he is the special interest candidate in this race.

  3. delco observer says:

    @Jason M-You must be a Santora staffer or HRCC troll-you have spent way too much time studying Rongione’s petitions and finance reports.

  4. Trevose Troll says:

    Jason, only 400 improper signatures is considered a huge victory. On average, 40% of signatures filed by candidates are not going to be valid for a myriad of reasons (out of towners, false information, outdated information, etc.) Most candidates traditionally sign their own petitions, its a huge personal achievement being able to sign your name to your own petition. Vince’s experience in campaigns makes him uniquely qualified to represent his district. I wish I lived in the 163rd and had an opportunity to be represented by a guy like Vince!

  5. Molly C says:

    @jason M – I haven’t looked closely at Rongione’s petitions, but if anything you were saying were true, you wouldn’t be making nasty comments, you would be doing something about it. Obviously he has lived in the district for more than a year and had way more than enough signatures, or he wouldn’t be on the ballot. Sounds to me like sour grapes from a sore loser.

  6. jason M says:

    Interesting if the Republican had claimed to raise $20K and really didn’t have the money you all would be screaming fowl. Since its Rongoine it’s who’s entire career has been a professional campaigner, it amazes me that he gets away with this. He knows the rules. For the person who commented on his petitions, they were a mess. He signed his own petition twice. His campaign manager solicited signatures from outside the district . I believe there was close to 400 signatures that were not proper. As for his fundraising, Why doesn’t he spend a little time in the Pennsylvania. I believe he has more outside contributions than any other candidate running for the legislature and only a few from in his own district. I guess when you move into a district for the first time less than a year away from your first election you need to go outside to get funding. As for the quote about Santora receiving 46% of the money from Corbett budget supporters, just say your referring to Nick Micozzie and Bill Adolph two of the most respected legislators in Harrisburg. One who currently holds the seat and the other from the district directly adjacent to the 163rd. Vince Preaches new politics but its just more of the same.

  7. David Diano says:

    ” Rongione’s campaign pointed out that 46 percent of Santora’s money came from legislators who had voted for Governor Tom Corbett’s budget.”

    excellent point

  8. delco observer says:

    A good sign for Dems…Delco Rs will be so concerned with beating John Kane that the Rs wont have the resources to beat back rongione. A Rongione victory leads to a debunking of the DELCO R macine’s grip. A Kane victory in SD 26 means the Rs should move to Chester County. But the Delco Rs secret weapon still remains the Delco Dem Leadership of David Landau…that is a lot for Rongione and Kane to overcome.

  9. Molly C says:

    I gotta say, looks like Rongione is running a pretty impressive campaign. more signatures and more money raised than the Delco Republican machine? that used to be unheard of. very impressive…

  10. Trevose Troll says:

    Go get em’ Vince!

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