It’s the “last” weekend of the summer for most folks, as the three-day Labor Day holiday is upon us. Those who make news in politics certainly gave us a lot to digest during the last seven days … here is who we think had a good week, and those who may wish they had a better week.
Josh Shapiro. The Democratic candidate for governor was the beneficiary of more Republicans who stepped forward to endorse the Attorney General, including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Other endorsers include former GOP state Reps. Mario Civera, David Heckler, Raymond Bunt Jr., Beverly Mackereth and J. Scot Chadwick.
Jim Gregory. The GOP state representative from Blair County was appointed to Pennsylvania’s opioid settlement trust. Gregory will serve as the House appointee to the 13-member Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust, established to distribute funds received from a settlement with three pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson that Pennsylvania signed onto in January.
Lisa Scheller. The Republican candidate for Congress in PA-07 saw her campaign get an attack ad that had alleged falsehoods removed from the airwaves. She also slammed President Biden’s student debt plan, but was revealed to have had her company’s $5 million PPP loan wiped clean.
Jim Bognet. The GOP candidate for Congress in PA-08 also had a mixed week. He was targeted by the House Majority PAC for his lobbying work for Saudi Arabia. Bognet also introduced House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for his prebuttal to President Biden’s address to the nation on Thursday and will appear with former President Donald Trump at his rally Saturday.
Malcolm Kenyatta. The representative from Philadelphia is chair of the Board of the new Agenda PAC, a super political-action committee looking to defeat anti-LGBTQ candidates nationwide. The first candidate the group is taking on is GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. Kenyatta said Agenda PAC has raised somewhere in the “six figures,” including pledges of support, and planned to spend “seven figures” during the midterms.
Chrissy Houlahan. The incumbent Democrat in PA-06 has reserved nearly $1.5 million in ad time in the Philadelphia TV market for the upcoming general election. Her opponent – Guy Ciarrocchi – has not reserved ad time at this juncture.
Ashley Ehasz. The Democratic challenger to Brian Fitzpatrick in PA-01 is not surprisingly trailing the incumbent in fundraising. What is surprising is that her fundraising is well off the pace of the last three Democrats to lose to Fitzpatrick in a general election — Christina Finello, Scott Wallace and state Sen. Steve Santarsiero. The trio received 43%, 49% and 46% of the vote in their respective races against Fitzpatrick.
Pennsylvania employers. One hundred companies doing business in Pennsylvania made Forbes’ new list of “America’s Best Employers By State.” In Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with 15,248 employees, topped the list. Rounding out the top five were Wegmans Food Markets, with 52,000 employees; Microsoft with 103,000 employees; Costco Wholesale with 192,000 employees; and Amtrak with 17,100 employees.
Ronald Tanney. The Republican from Mount Carmel attracted more than 400 write-in votes on the Democratic side of the ticket in the May primary to qualify him for the general. Tanney has neither accepted nor rejected the nomination, and, with the deadline to withdraw passed, will appear on the ballot for the 107th state representative seat against fellow Republican Joanne Stehr, who defeated Tanney, 53-47, in the GOP primary.
Brian Gundersen. The 28-year-old from Lock Haven is seeking to have three of the charges against him dismissed from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Gundersen claims the Electoral College vote that was taking place at the time of the riot was a ceremonial not an official proceeding.