In Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, it is official that businesswoman Erin McClelland has defeated her opponent Col. John Hugya — and by a wide margin at that.
It has been reported that McClelland received nearly two-thirds of the popular vote in PA-12 — 66.64% to be exact, compared to Hugya’s 33.36%. McClelland netted 29,220 votes while Hugya received 14,630.
“I am honored and humbled to have been selected to represent the Democratic Party in this November’s election,” said McClelland, once the results were in. “We have come a long way since we started on this road, but our work is not done yet. Because thanks to you, to our hard working families, to our tireless brothers and sisters in organized labor and thanks to each and every volunteer who has picked up a phone, knocked on a door or stopped to tell a friend about what we are doing, we get to keep on fighting tomorrow and the next day and every day. We get to keep on fighting to fix Washington, to make our government work for us and to make sure the people of Western Pennsylvania have their voices heard.
“I want to thank my opponent, John Hugya after this hard fought campaign,” McClelland added. “Mr. Hugya has dedicated his life to public service. He has been a steadfast Democrat and the 12th Congressional District is indebted to him for his many years of service under Congressman John Murtha.”
Democrat McClelland will now face off against incumbent Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus in the general election.
@Tom Balya This district has produced some really good fundraising historically, not least of which in 2012.
If you look at McClelland’s reports, it’s clear that all the money she’s raised so far has come from unions and her personal network. Political donors weren’t holding back because they thought she couldn’t beat Hugya. They’re holding back because they know she can’t beat Rothfus and the resources are better used elsewhere. So maybe she manages now to raise twice as much as she did up to the primary, which is on the upper end of what’s usually possible: that puts her at under $400k, which will barely cover a field program, let alone the necessary television. When that April report came out and it wasn’t an improvement over any of the other reports, it was over. There’s no financial momentum here.
I agree that money drives the process, but the way that district is gerrymandered, no on could raise money in it. The incumbent isn’t raising money back in his district and Tim Murphy doesn’t raise much here either. Now that McClelland won, maybe she’ll raise some here. But it will be out of district dollars that decide how well most congressional candidates that don’t have an urban center in their district raise money.
@Tom Balya What matters in winning Congressional elections, unfortunately, is raising money. It’s not a virtue that she won a primary (basically by default) with no money. She isn’t successful at raising money, which is why she can’t win. It’s that simple. We needed to field someone who could raise money. It’s better for everyone not to pretend we have a shot at this, rather than to dash unfounded hopes.
I’d say electing a Democrat in the 12th is what matters. Just how “progressive ” do you think a person can be that is elected in that district? As for the DCCC; they help who they want when they want. If they were so good at getting people elected, we wouldn’t have right wingers in every congressional district but Mike Doyle’s in the western half of the state and we wouldn’t be facing zero chance of taking back the US House. McClelland worked her butt off with no money and won. Quit worrying about what questionnaires someone fills out. That’s not what matters in winning elections.
It is beyond disappointing that this woman is the nominee. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The only major funder to her wacky alt-med clinic is a right winger who has contributed substantially to Rothfus’ campaign. I heard her at a veterans event once advocate for a GOP-style consumption tax. She says she supports the ACA, but wouldn’t say on record with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she would have voted for it. She talks a lot about “unfunded liabilities”, a GOP scare tactic that isn’t really grounded in facts: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/is-our-debt-burden-really-100-trillion/265644/. I bet if you asked her she wouldn’t even know how the figures are calculated or what they actually mean. She just parrots talking points from the former Republican Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.
She says she’s pro-choice, but won’t even fill out the Planned Parenthood questionnaire. She says she’s pro-equality, but she can’t be bothered to answer the Stonewall Dems or Equality PA questionnaires.
I know people want a progressive champion for 12, but she is not it. But she’s not the conservative profile necessary to win the district, either, since she does go around telling people she’s pro-choice and pro-equality. So she fails to appeal to any particular constituency. It’s like she’s trying to hedge and hide her true beliefs (in both directions) and not doing a good job of it.
MOST importantly, the DCCC won’t touch the race (they declined to even put her on a watch list) because she’s chewed through three finance consultants and hasn’t even come close to hitting $100k in an given quarter. She’s raised less than $200k in the entire year she’s been running! An employee of the DCCC I spoke to literally laughed when her name came up, and from what I’ve heard, the response at Emily’s List isn’t much different. This race can’t be won without outside support, especially considering her abject failure as a fundraiser and the totally legitimate ethics complaint against her.
Oh well. Oh to 2016.
Yawn. Say hello to two more years of tea party Rothfus.
My friend from state committee, congrats!