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Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs

The General Assembly has left Harrisburg for the week, so it’s time for us to take a look back at the week that was around the Capitol and the Commonwealth in a little feature we like to call – Ups and Downs.

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Sara Innamorato. The state representative picked up two major boosts in her campaign for the Democratic nomination for Allegheny County Executive. First, a poll from Pittsburgh Works showed her with a 12-percentage point lead over her two main rivals. Second, Innamorato received an endorsement from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Up arrowJulia K. Munley. The Lackawanna County Judge has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Munley has served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in Pennsylvania’s 45th Judicial District since 2016.

Up arrowKim Ward. The President Pro Tempore of the PA Senate saw her landmark legislation signed into law on Monday. It removes out-of-pocket costs associated with genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancer syndromes – as well as supplemental breast screenings for women with a high lifetime risk of breast cancer.

Josh Shapiro. Days after he signed his first bill into law, the governor had some fun showing off his love for the Philadelphia 76ers’ basketball team. First, he posted a video playing 1-on-1 against NBA MVP Joel Embiid. Then, he released another video asking a staffer wearing a Boston Celtics jersey to leave a meeting. Unfortunately for Shapiro and Sixer fans, the Celtics took game 2, leading Massachusetts governor Maura Healey to needle her counterpart, saying, “There’s still time to delete this.”

Up arrowJohnstown and Hazleton. The cities – one in Southwest PA and the other in Northeast PA – are now officially out of financial distress according to the state. Johnstown exits after 30 years of participation in Act 47, while Hazleton exits after just six years.

Up arrow2024 PA Primary Date. Momentum appears to be building behind changing the date of Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary election, which could put the state in the thick of the presidential nominating process. The Shapiro administration continues to support a change from the current April 23, 2024 primary date, to avoid a conflict with the start of Passover. 

Up arrowHelen Gym. The former Philadelphia City Councilmember picked up a well-known endorsement on Tuesday, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threw his support behind her candidacy for mayor.

Up arrowAllan Domb. Breaking with a recent trend, former Philadelphia mayor Bill Green endorsed Domb to be the city’s 100th mayor. Former city controller Rebecca Rhynhart had previously secured the endorsement of three other former mayors – John Street, Michael Nutter and Ed Rendell.

Down arrowAndrea Lynn Speck. The Republican candidate for commissioner in Huntingdon County was charged with felony 2 strangulation, misdemeanor 2 simple assault and summary harassment, stemming from an alleged incident at Speck home the evening of April 28, state police report.

Down arrowSilas Russell. The political director of SEIU Healthcare struggled during a TV interview with KDKA’s Andy Sheehan this week when questioned whether the healthcare union exerts too much influence on Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s administration. Russell served as co-chair of the mayor’s election campaign, co-chaired his transition committee and his union contributed $350,000 in so-called “independent expenditures” to elect the mayor — more than all other contributions combined. 

Down arrowRep. Torren Ecker. The Republican who represents parts of Cumberland and Adams County, was charged with drunken driving following a single-vehicle crash in Adams County, last month. Ecker had a blood-alcohol level of .13, leading to the driving under the influence and related charges filed against him, according to court documents. The state’s legal limit is .08.

Down arrowTurboTax. Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that consumers may have been misled by Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, into paying for free tax services. Pennsylvania consumers will receive more than $4.76 million for the 158,779 consumers who were tricked into paying to file their federal tax returns.

Up arrowKevin Bittenbender. The Afghanistan veteran who lost his left leg to amputation is hoping to celebrate Military Appreciation Month by running in the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday. A year ago, he handcycled the marathon with a cycle given to him by Hope for the Warriors after developing severe PTSD from an almost two-year deployment.

Down arrowCandace Chapman Scott / Jeremy Lee Pauley. Scott, the 36-year-old former mortuary worker from Arkansas has pleaded not guilty to charges that she sold 20 boxes of stolen body parts from medical school cadavers to Pauley, a resident of Enola, for possible resale on Facebook for nearly $11,000. He was charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property and other charges.

Up arrowBaby Names. Running for election in 2041? Get ready to meet a lot of new eligible voters named Noah, Liam, Charlotte and Olivia. Those are the top boys’ and girls’ names predicted for Pennsylvania births in 2023 by a website called


updated to reflect that Johnstown and Hazleton are cities, not counties. We apologize for the error.

3 Responses

  1. As usual, our elected officials are engaging in critical thinking developing policy, rather than stupid shtick content for social media to entertain the moronic masses.

    We are withering on the vine as WW III looms and our hot topics are LGBTQ+ feel good legislation and skits to show you care about “home teams” made up of players who don’t live in your state beyond their contract engagements.

    It’s all a joke. A big fugging joke.


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