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Lackawanna Dems Back Holden

DFA Endorses Cartwright

The race for Congress in PA-17 continues to heat up and the endorsement battle rages on. Rep. Tim Holden picked up the endorsement of the Lackawanna County Democratic Committee over native son Matt Cartwright. But the Moosic attorney scored more national support with the backing of Democracy for America, the activist group formed from Howard Dean’s presidential campaign.

“Experience and seniority,” summed up Lackawanna Dems chairman Harry McGrath when asked why his committee backed Holden. “There are a number of other reasons, too, but those are the primary ones.”

McGrath said the endorsement was decided by an executive committee of local party leaders and elected officials. He would not divulge the margin of the vote.

Cartwright dismissed the endorsement as he did Holden’s support from the Luzerne and Schuylkill county Democrats. No other committees in the district plan to endorse.

“Tim Holden is busy gathering up endorsements from political insiders.  I am more concerned about the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania,” he said. “My campaign is about bringing jobs to Northeastern Pennsylvania, strengthening the health care reform law, which Holden voted against, and ending the Halliburton loophole that Holden supported.”

The endorsement carries bragging rights – it’s Cartwright’s home county, where he and his family are best known – and ballot cards on election day. But it’s not likely to be decisive.

“Does it have the power that a 1958 Democratic endorsement had, here or any committee in the country? No,” McGrath said. “But what it shows is that the rank and file Democrats in the county support Holden.”

The committee also endorsed hometown candidate Kathleen Kane for Attorney General. For state house, the Dems backed incumbent Reps. Ken Smith and Kevin Murphy in their primaries, and Randy Castellani for the seat of retiring Rep. Ed Staback.

Democracy for America

Meanwhile, Cartwright continued his effort to make the race national. This morning, he celebrated the backing of Blue America PAC, a joint effort of national progressives. This afternoon, he announced the endorsement of Democracy for America.

The endorsement carries little weight on its own, but it helps Cartwright bring national attention to the race and energize any PA-17 grassroots volunteers still in DFA’s orbit.

“Matt Cartwright is the right man for Congress,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA. “He is leading the charge against fracking to protect clean air and clean water for working people in Pennsylvania communities. Matt represents Pennsylvania’s middle class.”

“I am thrilled and humbled by this endorsement. DFA has been in a leader in fighting for the issues that matter to every Democrat. I am running for Congress because I believe corporate America has taken advantage of working families and the middle class, and it needs to stop,” said, Cartwright.

The Republican candidate in safely Democratic 17th district is Laureen Cummings, a nurse who co-founded the Scranton Tea Party.

6 Responses

  1. Where he lives doesn’t matter. The vote was decided before the meeting by the insiders trying to shove through their guy. Obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about Jpick.

  2. Once again Cartwright goes after these people for their endorcement, thinks because he live in Glenmaura it should automatically go to him and when he doesn’t get it he claims he never wanted it.

  3. This is classic:

    “Does it have the power that a 1958 Democratic endorsement had, here or any committee in the country? No,” McGrath said. “But what it shows is that the rank and file Democrats in the county support Holden.”

    So this clown puts down the county endorsement, I agree with him btw, and says this means the insiders are behind Holden. Well that exactly what you don’t want in Lackawanna County.

  4. McGrath said the endorsement was decided by an executive committee of local party leaders and elected officials. He would not divulge the margin of the vote.

    Not exactly the “Open Government we need and deserve. Matt Cartwright is like a breath of fresh air in these ‘back rooms.’

  5. They won’t divulge the margin probably because Holden barely won. Harry McGrath is just a Scranton Political hack who has no credibility with the voters. Lackawanna endorsements historically have not held up. Thank god voters can make a decision and we don’t have to be’holden’ to McGrath’s decision to ram through Holden regardless of the fact that most voters in Lackawanna county don’t even know holden and probably don’t like his poor record in congress.

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