Nathan Kleinman has an ambitious goal on Tuesday.
Kleinman, 29, is a write-in candidate in the Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District against four-term Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who has more than $2.6 million in her campaign treasury.
“My goal is to win,” Kleinman said.
Schwartz, 63, served in the Pennsylvania Senate from 1991 to 2004, when she was elected to Congress. She was easily re-elected in 2006 and ’08, then survived the Republican wave of 2010, taking 56 percent of the vote against the GOP’s Dee Adcock.
Gradually, Schwartz has become a bigger figure within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This cycle, she is the chairwoman for recruiting and candidate services.
As for the 13th Congressional District, it includes 70 percent of the Northeast, along with portions of Montgomery County.
Rep. Bob Brady (D-1st dist.), whose district extends all the way to Swarthmore, represents the rest of the Northeast.
Schwartz picked up areas of Olney and Feltonville to offset the losses of areas taken by Brady, chairman of the Democratic City Committee.
Since joining Congress, Schwartz has focused much of her local attention on the city’s northern Delaware River waterfront. More than $16 million in federal money is being used for a variety of riverfront upgrades, all designed to increase access for the public.
She’s also delivered millions for the Frankford and Torresdale avenue commercial strips in Mayfair, Wissinoming and Tacony.
Now, Brady represents West Mayfair and all of the waterfront from Port Richmond to East Torresdale. His new district even includes 7219 Frankford Ave. — the location of Schwartz’s district office.
Schwartz has also delivered money to make safety improvements for motorists and pedestrians on Roosevelt Boulevard and to improve the commute for drivers and SEPTA passengers on the busy highway.
More recently, she expressed opposition to a proposed methadone clinic in Mayfair.
Nationally, she has focused on improving job opportunities for veterans and maintaining guaranteed benefits for people on Medicare. She sat on a committee that agreed to preserve middle-class tax cuts and extend unemployment benefits.
Kleinman comes from the Occupy movement. He has also worked for former state Rep. Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania presidential campaign of Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate campaign of Joe Sestak.
In 2008, Kleinman was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
In his write-in effort, he has picked up the endorsement of Sestak, a former Delaware County congressman.
Kleinman believes Schwartz is a good person, but he opposes her politics.
The challenger supports gay marriage, universal health care, medical marijuana and a free and fair trade policy. He opposes tax cuts for the rich, the Patriot Act, the war in Afghanistan and the death penalty.
If elected, he would hold regular town hall meetings. He vows to stand up for the so-called “99 percent” and to focus on his job, not raising money for himself or other candidates.
As for Election Day, there are more than 500 polling places in the district, too many for him to have a volunteer at each location.
“I wish every polling place could be covered,” he said.
Kleinman hopes to have a couple hundred volunteers passing out a piece of literature that contrasts him with Schwartz.
Supporters of the challenger will instruct voters how to write-in his name.
The candidate is asking supporters to bring a pen to the polling place or ask an election worker to provide them with one.
During the last couple of months, Kleinman has handed out fliers, sought traditional and social media coverage, attended meetings and knocked on doors.
Now, it’s up to the voters.
“They have a choice,” he said. ••EndFragment