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Leach Draws First Primary Challenger in Sara Atkins

State Sen. Daylin Leach was unlikely to have a clear path to re-election. Today, it’s official.

Sara Atkins, an activist and community leader, announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the state’s 17th Senate District. She’s the first challenger to formally enter the race against Leach (D-Montgomery), according to the Main Line Times. Leach has been accused of sexual assault, which he denies. Separately, he apologized for incidents of inappropriate conduct with staff members.

The 39 year-old Lower Merion resident released a campaign announcement video over the weekend along with an in-depth interview with Main Line Times.

Her announcement video, “An Apple is Not Enough” highlights her focus on healthcare, specifically citing her children’s health conditions, along with targeting Leach for his sexual harassment allegations.

“When you’re the mother of five kids with complex medical issues, you know that an apple a day is not enough to keep the doctor away,” Atkins says in the video.

She details her role as an activist and being arrested 11 times for what she “believes in” and calling those to run if their elected officials are not listening to the community.

“When the lawmakers you’re screaming at aren’t listening, you need to vote them out,” Atkins says in the video. “When there’s a sexual harasser in your own backyard, you have to step up and replace them.”

Leach, who has represented the district since 2009, has faced calls to resign from numerous Democratic officials including Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov John Fetterman and the Delaware and Montgomery County Democratic committees. Leach has denied allegations of misconduct and filed a defamation suit against two accusers over a 1991 allegation.

Atkins said in an interview with the Main Line Times that she believes that Leach is unable to do the job in part to being distracted from these claims. A spokesperson for Leach’s 2020 campaign said that is not true in that same article.

“I would not say the senator is distracted,” said Andrew Blum, a spokesperson for Leach’s 2020 campaign. “I would not say that is a fair characterization.” He added that Leach is currently working hard on the state budget.

Atkins, who is running on a progressive agenda, highlights criminal justice reform, education, environment, gun control, healthcare, justice for sexual assault victims, LGBTQ+ rights, taxes, voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, and workers rights on her campaign issues page.

Atkins has also been involved with Tuesdays for Toomey protests and was featured in Pod Save America talking about healthcare prior to the 2018 midterms.

Leach has not faced a primary challenger since being elected to the state Senate in 2009.

24 Responses

  1. Exactly my point. A non story and waste of time. Meanwhile, here we talk about something for 3 years of a presidency and still you are clinging to it. Trump is a tool. Get over it. Democrats are nlthe party advocating communist philosophy and practice. Be more concerned with that and stop being so hypocritical.

  2. You are a stooge, David. Because you use your real name you feel you have more value in your comments.
    I dont use my real name because I want to post thoughts without a reflexive backlash which would negatively impact my professional position. You, apparently, do not care. Hence why you are a less than mediocre consultant who tries to portray a real player. You arent. Your insights and work are lackluster. The worst part is I think you fail to see it.

    1. Huh-

      If you had anything worthwhile to say, or if you could stand behind your statements, you could post under your real name. I doubt your “professional position” sweeping floors would be adversely affected by anything you post here, stupid as it might be.

      I was at the PA Dems State committee event and got some great praise and compliments for my posts here. You are 100% wrong that posting under ones own name doesn’t have value. So many people here are shills for elected officials, or political operatives/consultants with a hidden agenda, that their posts are mostly worthless drivel. One of the biggest reasons I wasn’t banned from the old pa2010 site, and this one, is that the owners place value on posting under one’s real name.

      BTW, I don’t claim to be a political consultant. I provide voter data and use my technical expertise to give my clients custom reports for some of the trickier targeting. I don’t do social media, press-releases, fundraising, set up events, create lit-pieces or any of the other mind-numbing crap that political consultants have to deal with.

      Now, my targeting and likely-voter models are probably better, because I’ve been dealing with the raw voter data for over a decade, and can construct more complex queries. I’m not constrained by whatever interface VoteBuilder provides nor that their data is older and out-of-date (I update the full 8 million record voter database about 8-10 times per year.) Also, nobody beats me on customer service.

      1. Boo hook.
        The wannabe politico insulted my fictitious job as a broom jockey. Really got me there with that zinger!

        Wow. You received compliments from people at State Committee? A bunch of people who have no idea what’s going on and love to hear people regurgitate MSNBC together. Congratulations on being complimented at the circle jerk.

        You go on to plug your business. I’ll let that go. You need all the help you can get.

        1. Huh-

          Boo hook?

          Do you see the flaw in your “logic”? On one hand (the hand not in your pants while you type), you claim that my posts would hurt my professional position. But then, upon news that my comments are appreciated (from a group that helps generate clients for my voter services business), you dismiss that group with a wave (or jerk) of your other hand.

          You can’t have it both ways.

          As for my voter business, this is my second best year so far (last year being a bit better due to more contested races from redistricting, and my lists being up-to-date for petitions).

          As for my guess at your broom sweeping, it was a compliment, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’d been promoted from cleaning sewers and toilets.

  3. This is not going to end well for senator swine, even balless Jay Costa finally stood up.

  4. How many of the 4 anonymous posters (especially upper Merioned) are Daylin’s stooges?

    (hint: It’s one less than five)

    Daylin appears to be in panic mode after the senate investigation of his behavior, and his little minions and lemmings are scurrying around to give him cover.

    So, no shock that “upper Merioned” would attack the health issues of Sara’s kids. That’s on page one of the playbook for Daylin supporters.

  5. My children due to their complex medical situations are in a public cyber. It was not my first choice by any means but the brick and mortar were not able to give them an appropriate and free education. We never should have been put in a situation though to have to make this choice. I do not support the for profit charter enterprise and will not take money from pro-charter PACs or lobbyists.

    1. Do you imagine that your choice to have children with someone so genetically similar to yourself (where the medical literature is clear WRT the incidence of congenital health defects) may have had something to do with a perfect 5 for 5 score with regard to their health issues?

      Do you really believe that this is a normal state of affairs for most people with children in the Commonwealth such that we should be making public policy on the basis of your very rare experience?

    2. Your inappropriate behavior has led to being arrested. Its not standing up. Its grandstanding. Its what children do when they do not understand and do not get what they want.

      Your solutions of further government intervention in the Healthcare industry is counter intuitive. What exactly do you think is going to happen with Healthcare that you will “stand up” for? Deregulating Pharma? I can’t wait to see what poorly informed and shortsighted trite positions your advocate for, Comrade.

  6. She will be an afterthought in less than six months. And then she can be more focused on her children and complex medical issues.

  7. Saying you support education and sending your kids to charter schools that are draining funds from local school districts is inconsistent with supporting public education. Public education is the foundation of our society and needs 100% support.

    1. So, you’re going to attack a mom with special needs kids who couldn’t be cared for in the district but not hold Daylin accountable for using district bussing to send his kids to super rich private schools? Public bussing to private schools drains money from public education. He is rich, and his kids are “normal”, there is no reason for this.

      1. He pays taxes. Be thankful all he is asking for is bussing and leaving the rest of the cost per student minimum the budget.

        Charters are also public schools. Get off the Teacher’s Union’s crotch.

  8. How is she a progressive on Education when she sends her kids to Charter Schools? And Daylin supports all the other issues she claims she supports. There is no evidence Daylin is not fully engaged in his work as State Senator.

    Where is the report on the Senate investigation that apparently exonerates Daylin? Inquiring minds want to know

  9. Another person to advocate policies of a political philosophy resoundingly proven a failure and defeated in the cold war. Yay. But she’s a mom and screams and arrested breaking the law. Sounds like a person to represent hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.

      1. What corruption? Being a tool and accused of being a scumbag is a big difference from corruption.

        I dont like the guy. But I like communists less. Further, I’m not advocating for him. I am stating this moron candidate -and many other “progressives” are advocating for policies (ironically) of communist Russia.

          1. As long as we are making jumps to party vs. Party generalizations, how did you feel with Obama’s live mic comments to Putin. I think Trump sucks and distracts from the Russian communist party similarities to your own DNC party platform. Pot meet kettle, David.

          2. Yay-

            I thought the live mic comment by Obama was to Medvedev, and not Putin. (Putin soon after replaced Medvedev.) The comment was a simple acknowledgement of the political realities during a US presidential election year, as well as the Russian transition. Obama couldn’t make a deal with Medvedev, who was leaving office. If Obama didn’t win, he’d be a lame-duck, and if he did win, he’d have more options for negotiations.

            This always was a non-story that the right-wing tried to pretend was a concession to Russia, when it was more of a delay tactic.

            The Russians were opposed to a NATO missile defense system (and that’s exactly what Obama got done before he left office, roughly 4 years after this innocuous exchange).

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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