Four years ago, progressives in Pennsylvania went into a primary election with one very progressive candidate who was polling too low to be able to carry the State, and a democratic challenger who wasn’t seen as progressive enough but could possibly beat the GOP candidate Tom Corbett. With the progressive candidate defeated, progressives lost their momentum and didn’t turn out in the Fall. Coupled with a poorly run campaign by Dan Onorato, Tom Corbett won the race and we have been hurting ever since. Now, we are on the edge of turning that all around, and progressive voters are needed in landmark numbers at the polls.
The media has attempted to paint the Dem candidates as clones of each other, but in reality they are not. While Tom Wolf appears the have a commanding lead, that can be impacted in a big way by the voter turnout. If he isn’t progressive enough for you, make that known at the polls tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th. But as important as the governor race, is the lieutenant governor race. Mark Critz, a democrat with good name recognition is running, but he is as far towards the right for a democrat as they come. Progressives have the opportunity to affect the Fall election by making. Sure a real progressive democrat wins tomorrow’s primary for lieutenant governor.
Even if we win the governor’s race in the Fall, we will face a divided Harrisburg, and I believe we need a governor with a proven track record at dealing with consensus building and bipartisanship, and I think the only candidate who can offer that based on her record, is Allyson Schwartz. I don’t think any of the candidates would be bad for Pennsylvania, but of all of them, her experience as well as her positions place her out front in my opinion.
For me the really challenging race is for lieutenant governor, and it is one place where we need a real progressive on board. Brad Koplinski is the most progressive of all the candidates in that race. From fracking to reproductive rights, to LGBTQ issues, Koplinski shines. But there are two things Brad shared with me when we talked last that demonstrate why we need him in Harrisburg.
First is Bead’s position on fracking, and the fact that as lieutenant governor he will sit on the Marcellus Shale Commission where he can have a real impact on what happens in Pennsylvania. Secondly is Brad’s commitment to improving the relationship and communication and cooperation between the Commonwealth and local municipalities. So often we hear people describe the Stye as a “T” where the South East and South West are in competition and both fighting the rest of the State. I believe Brad can play a hand in changing those dynamics.
Of the lieutenant governor candidates, Mark Critz has perhaps the best name recognition, and in a race that has had little coverage, that can work to his favor. He is about as anti-women’s right and anti-LGBT as he can be. We can not allow him a seat in Harrisburg if we are to keep moving Pennsylvania forward.
Tomorrow, get out and vote! Support progressive candidates and help turn Pennsylvania around.