PA Dems Select Street as Chair

Sharif Street

The Pennsylvania Democratic Committee selected state senator Sharif Street as its next chair.

Street (D-Philadelphia) defeated Gerald “Jerry” Lawrence of Delaware County by a 174-138 vote at the group’s reorganizational meeting Saturday in Gettysburg.

Lawrence, the chair of the party’s Southeast Caucus, was the endorsed candidate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro along with Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

Street, who represents the 3rd District in the PA Senate, served as vice-chair of the party under Nancy Patton Mills who did not seek reelection. He is the son of former Philadelphia mayor John Street.

24 Responses

  1. So what’s Sheriff Street going to do to help John Fetterman stay healthy? Why should people vote for someone who doesn’t take his health seriously – he admitted that ignoring his doctor’s advice may well have contributed to his stroke.

  2. Shariff Street, because someone’s gotta take this on the chin in 2022.

    1. If Josh loses, he’ll get the blame for spending $2 million to help pick his GOP opponent.

  3. My question is what are Sen Shariff’s plans for Philadelphia? PA can’t afford a lackluster performance in Philly again. The state lost the Supreme Court race for Maria McLaughlin because of a 19% voter turnout in Philly. Josh won’t win with only 19% from Philly. Yes we need outreach to voters in Rural Pa to neutralize Republican turnout but we need Philly to turn out. What is the Plan???? The collar counties are pulling their weight. If Bob Brady has a plan to unify and motivate and engage Philly voters I’d like to know what he plans to do differently this time. The old plans don’t work!!!

    1. Contact Sport-

      I have had a few discussions with Sharif’s team, particularly his data guys. We’ve got some ideas for new plans to incentivize performance improvements. If we are able to iron out the details, and do some targeted voter outreach that supports the new approach with some empirical data, then I hope the plan can be put in place for the Fall. It’s a long-term sustained plan, not merely a quick boost prior to a November election.

  4. BTW, I left out of my historical perspective that Wolf’s endorsement of Gerry Lawrence was an automatic disqualifier.

  5. Understanding the significance of the victory by Sharif Street requires a bit of recent history of Governors sticking their nose into state committee politics.

    (Note I attended state committee 8 years ago for the nominating meeting, and this weekend’s meeting)

    8 years ago Wolf screwed up the party by trying to install the unqualified McGinty as his lackey for state party chair. She withdrew less than 24 hours before the vote, when the whip-count indicated she would get crushed 2-1 by the then-current (well-liked, well-respected, and well-qualified) Jim Burn.

    Wolf then reacted like a complete f*cking child (seriously, it was disgraceful). He seemed to take it personally as a rejection of him, rather than McGinty.

    He formed some bullsh*t Fresh Start PAC, put McGinty in charge, told donors to give to that boondoggle instead. He actively and deliberately tried to defund/bankrupt the PA Dems State Committee. Wolf wouldn’t even show up for any events while Jim was chair.

    This eventually forced Jim Burn to resign, and Wolf installed Marcel Groen (who was so busy packing his bags to be the next ambassador to the Netherlands under Hillary, that he forgot to do his f*cking job, and Trump won PA instead). Note: Josh is a protégée of Marcel, who guided Josh’s run for second term as Montco Commissioner.. only to announce his Attorney General run a week after he was sworn in. (Marcel was also close buddies with disgraced former state senator, Daylin Leach.)

    This time around, Josh tried running Wolf’s playbook, to install his own lackey, Gerry Lawrence. Josh pushed out emails/letters supporting Gerry. There was a lot of talk about strong-arm tactics and threats by this side, enough so that one of the committee members gave short speech on the floor condemning it.

    The BIG difference from 8 years ago was that the whip-counts were too close to call. Each side thought they had enough votes, but felt their chances were slightly better than a coin-flip… so Josh’s side didn’t pull the plug to avoid the embarrassment of a defeat.

    Hopefully, Josh is a smarter politician than first-time candidate Wolf, and won’t p*ss in the pool and hurt the party in retaliation. Josh needs more than to just “win” for Governor. He need. to flip the state house to Dem and bust his ass helping Dems in every competitive race: money, appearances, and TV spots. Otherwise, he will just be a lame-duck vetoing stupid-sh*t, and not have any good legislation to sign.

    Note: This article leaves out two other important historical points. Nancy Mills was the first woman chair of the PA Dems. The very first resolution she passed once she was gaveled in was a committee policy against sex-harassment and how it won’t be tolerated. (Hint: This was a pretty clear parting shot at Marcel, who embraced Daylin Leach and his behavior.)
    The second historical point is that Sharif is the first chairman of color for the PA Dems. One of the arguments on the floor for his candidacy from the members of the party’s Black Caucus was party needed to show it was progressive/inclusive or stop pretending it was.

    1. Wow. A ton of sour grapes there. Hope you got it all out and can feel better now.

      1. What sour grapes? My side won the vote. For the second time, the party rejected the efforts of a governor nominee to control/subvert the independence of the state party.

        1. YOUR side won?? LOLOL! You Badmouthed Fetterman, and lauded Corporate Lackey Lamb AT EVERY TURN. How’d that work out for you? Stop pretending to have an inkling of what motivates Dem voters – cuz YOU are as out of touch as Hillary. Wolf WON. Fetterman WON. Your lousy candidates Lost and Lost and Lost. Stay OUT of Democratic politics, for the good of the state.

    2. Good points about inter party politics. Also, McGinty was a disaster. Had the party rallied behind Sestak he’d won for Senate. Lawrence lost . Life goes on. Rank and file Dem does not care what the State Party does. Josh will need to get Dems in House and Senate. Put in new staffers asap in Governor’s Office..

      1. Sestak would have gotten crushed by Toomey. Sestak had nothing new to offer, and just kept retelling his boring Navy stories that really didn’t connect with any points he was making. He was an incoherent mess (and didn’t live in Pennsylvania anymore than Dr Oz).

        At the time McGinty won the 2016 primary, Hillary was up by a solid 9 points in the polls against Trump. The feeling was that Hillary would have big coattails, particularly for a female US Senate candidate.

        There was no scenario where Sestak could beat Toomey.

        1. You leanred nothing from 2016. McGinty LOST – by more than Hillary! She was an AWFUL Corporate Dem who didn’t connect to any dem Voters, anywhere. With Arrogant Hillary at the top of the ticket, and Wall Street Katie for Senate, PA Dems had no chance of winning.

          1. REVRESBO-
            No one expected McGinty to outperform Hillary. Duh. Read what I wrote. McGinty (at the time of the primary) was expected to win on Hillary’s coattails (which never manifested). Clearly, you don’t like Hillary, and probably think that smart/strong women are arrogant and don’t know their place. But, no candidate has been more arrogant that Trump.

            In 2016, the PA Dems had TERRIBLE leadership. Marcel blew it.

      2. Diano blames McGinty on wolf – NOW. But back then he was pushing and pushing and pusing for her. Denigrating REAL non-corporate Dems like Sestak and Fetterman at every turn. He is TERRIBLE at electing Dems! Yet considers himself an expert. Wow. He is EVERYTHING that is wrong with Establishment Democrats.

        1. Fetterman had NO shot back in 2016, and neither did Sestak. Sestak was worse than a “corporate Dem”, he was a closet Republican and pro-war neo-con.

    3. Correction: Nancy was the second female chair. Sen Tartaglione was the first (elected 2002). Tina reportedly did a great job until she was badly injured in a boating accident in Summer 2003.

    4. Unfortunately you got one fact wrong – the first female Chair of the PDP was PA Senator Tina Tartaglion’ from Senator Fumo’s district in Philadelphia. She was chair when Bob Casey gained the Democratic endorsement for Governor and his opponent mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendel would go on to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination that spring. Instead of taking a heavy handed approach to the PA Stare Committee instead
      He asked senator Allen Kukivich to serve as interim Chair and Harrisburg City Councilwoman Peggy Grove to serve as interim Vice Chair. They served til the January meeting when the election for the permanent PDP leadership took place. The Honorable Peggy Grove, the choice of Senator Sharif Street, was also elected on Saturday as Chairman Street!s Vice Chair.

    5. Mills was NOT the first chair there were two other woman Sen Tartagleon and another woman

      1. Stop this “first woman” nonsense. Linda Rhodes was state party chair in the 90s.

    6. David’s history is unfortunately riddled with errors. Nancy Mills was not the first female PA Dems Chair. She wasn’t even the second. And rather than go on the record defending the losing candidate in this race, I’ll leave the other corrections to someone else.

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