A sixth Democrat joins the race to primary state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery).
Jamie Mogil, a consumer protection and workplace discrimination attorney, announced her intentions to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the state’s 17th Senate District. She becomes at least the sixth Democrat thus far to formally announce a challenge against Leach, joining activist Sara Atkins, Norristown Area School Board President Shae Ashe, longtime labor organizer Linda Fields, small business owner and attorney Elvira Berry, and Vice-Chair of the East Norriton Board of Supervisors Amanda Cappelletti.
In a release detailing her background and interest in the seat, she lists several legislative priorities, but credits her focus on ending gerrymandering as the reason she has entered this race.
“I was motivated to run for this seat for many reasons but most of them stem back to the issue I have spent the last several years working on–ending gerrymandering,” Mogil said in a statement. “We need a redistricting reform champion, like myself, in Harrisburg to ensure we have fair maps in 2021 and are able to pass legislation in the future to provide access to quality, affordable health care, protect our environment, enact gun safety legislation, increase funding for public schools, and protect women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions.”
Over the last eight years, Mogil has been involved in a number of efforts to expand voter access and combat gerrymandering. In 2018, her release states that she “led the largest voter protection coalition in Pennsylvania history at Common Cause PA.” The release from her campaign also states that she’s traveled all across the state to “pass over 350 municipal resolutions” aimed at ending “partisan gerrymandering” with Fair Districts PA.
Mogil’s most recent role was serving as the Vice President of Government and Social Policy of the League of Women Voters, where she says she helped pass legislation to adopt “no-excuse absentee voting” signed by Gov. Tom Wolf.
In an effort to distance herself in the crowded Democratic primary field, her campaign states that she’s raised more than $78,000 in the first six weeks of the campaign from November 19, 2019 to December 21, 2019.
While her release emphasizes her experience fighting for “fair maps” a number of other Democrats seeking their party’s nomination have stressed bringing “integrity” or “dignity” back to the office.
Calls for Leach to resign have grown from the Delaware and Montgomery County Democratic committees up to Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman amid sexual assault allegations, which Leach denies. According to a final report by the lawyers from the firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC, Leach did not break any federal discrimination laws, although the same report concluded that Leach engaged in “workplace humor that was at times ‘unquestionsably sexual in nature.’” Following the release of that report, Wolf, Fetterman, Senate Majority Leader Jay Costa reiterated their calls for Leach to resign. Separately, Leach has apologized for incidents of inappropriate conduct with staff members. He has refused to resign.
In a push to show strength from the incumbent, Leach’s campaign released an internal poll in the first week of January that found 47% of Democratic likely voters saying they will vote for Leach, while 18% said they are planning to vote for another candidate and 35% saying they are undecided. This internal poll from the Leach campaign did not mention any of his opponents by name.
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from the Leach campaign on Mogil’s entrance into the race.