Ups and Downs – March 18

What a week. It began with a press availability in Harrisburg and ended with a statement to renounce Turkish citizenship if elected to the U.S. Senate. It saw 91 candidates make official their intention to run for senator, governor, lieutenant governor or congress. It saw endorsements flying left and right. It saw the PA Supreme Court uphold the constitutionality of the LRC maps and set in motion the election calendar for potential state legislative nominees. And we lost an hour to Daylight Saving Time. Here are the ups and downs for March 18.

Mehmet Oz. A bad week for the celebrity doctor who, when asked by Steve Ulrich of PoliticsPA if he would forego security clearances as a senator to retain his dual citizenship with Turkey, answered yes. The story tweet went viral, amassing more then 4.7 million impressions on Twitter. Less than 24 hours later, Oz went on the record stating that he would renounce his Turkish citizenship if elected to the U.S. Senate.

Steve Ulrich. A good week for the managing editor of PoliticsPA, who stood by his reporting under heat from the Oz campaign. A new phone might be needed, as it blew up as over 1,800 people liked the story tweet, over 68,000 engaged with and over 4.7 million saw it. Note to self: turn off notifications next time. Alas, only nine new followers to the feed @PoliticsPA

Conor Lamb. The 17th District representative who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat secured the endorsement of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, as well as the support of state senator Sharif Street and his father, John, the former mayor of Philadelphia. It isn’t everyday that you see Philly give such a nod to someone from Pittsburgh.

Kathleen Kane. The former Pennsylvania Attorney General has had better weeks. She was formally charged with driving under the influence and careless driving after a minor crash in Scranton on Saturday night. Kane compounded the incident, telling police at the site that she was the designated driver and denied she had been drinking. However, officers smelled alcohol coming from the car and the other driver said she saw Kane spray herself with perfume right after the crash.

Steve Irwin and Summer Lee. Two of the five candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 12th District congressional seat picked up important endorsements. Irwin, a Pittsburgh attorney, notched the support of the man he hopes to succeed – U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Butler) – as well as Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Lee, the state rep from the 34th District, countered with an endorsement from former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Jason Richey. The Pittsburgh attorney ended his campaign for governor late Thursday night and cast his lot with Bill McSwain. This came on the heels of a story that indicated that GOP leaders were concerned that a field of 10 candidates could lead to a splintered election where the primary winner might not reach 20 percent support. Richey may be the first to step aside, but most likely won’t be the last.

Candidates With Petitions Submitted. Congratulations to the 91 candidates who successfully submitted their nomination petitions to the Department of State. Of course, one candidate has already stepped aside while the others await challenges on their petitions up to the March 22 deadline.

Candidates Without Petitions Filed. Those potential candidates saw their federal and statewide campaign dreams come to an end by either not reaching the signature threshold or opting out.

Pennsylvania House and Senate candidates. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the final challenges to the LRC map and established today as the beginning of a 10-day nomination petition signing period. The usual length of time to secure the 500 signatures for the PA Senate, 300 for the PA House and 100 for state committee positions is three weeks.

Guy Reschenthaler. The 14th District GOP Congressman not only does not face a primary challenge from his party – no Democrat filed a nomination petition to contest in the fall. So, unless faced with a write-in opponent or third-party challenger, Reschenthaler looks to be headed back to Harrisburg for another term.

Bob Brooks. The GOP state representative for Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties announced that he will not seek reelection in the fall. He cited the reason as his 54th District was altered as part of the redistricting process and would be forced to run in a primary against Rep. Jason Silvis (R-55).

PennWest and CUP. The Pennsylvania Western University and Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania received their accreditations from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The new institutions now hold degree-granting authority, although system officials said each university will maintain its own brand from logo and school colors to its mascot and the name Commonwealth University will not be actively marketed. PennWest comprises California, Clarion and Edinboro Universities, while CUP is made up of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield.

Walmart. The behemoth remains Pennsylvania’s top choice for grocery retailers. With 136 locations across the state, the superstore counted more than 13.7 million visits from March 2020 through February 2022. A visit is counted as a stay at the location for more than four minutes. Giant Food Stores, with its 159 locations in the Commonwealth, was second with more than three millions visits.

Have a great weekend.

8 Responses

  1. I am glad that Congressman Guy Reschenthaler has not drawn a Republican primary opponent or Democratic challenger this Spring and looks to be headed back to “Harrisburg” for another term.

  2. Where the hell is Mastriano’s UP ARROW for being so incredibly brilliant? Maybe the editor should spend more time learning Mastriano is a savant. Any third grader should know that.

  3. What the hell is PoliticsPA doing awarding an UP ARROW to itself? Maybe the editor should spend more time learning Guy R is either not a Congressman or else he won’t be sitting in Harrisburg. Congress sits in Washington, DC. Any third grader should know that.

  4. There’s enough foolishness going around like that character running for Governor calling the Governor of Pennsylvania and the President of the United States “Einsteins” as if he is the arbiter of the common folk without highlighting the struggles of Kathleen Kane. People are flawed. They make mistakes. Hey, but Corman’s greatest achievement (according to Corman) during his legislative tenure is that during a once in a hundred year pandemic he sued so that kids didn’t have to wear masks. And the beat goes on.

  5. Oz is being obedient to his handlers. They will do anything to keep a conservative from winning the US Senate seat in PA.

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