Decision-time is inching closer for Margolies

Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies

— Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies, who teaches at the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania, said she will not make a de­cision re­gard­ing the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict seat un­til the school’s semester is over.

Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies could be near­ing a de­cision in the race for the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict seat.

Mar­gol­ies, a Demo­crat who served one term in Con­gress in the 1990s, is on the fac­ulty at the Fels In­sti­tute of Gov­ern­ment at the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania. She’s teach­ing courses in me­dia and polit­ics and em­power­ing wo­men in emer­ging demo­cra­cies.

“I’m not go­ing to file or do any­thing else un­til after the semester ends at the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania,” she said.

Mar­gol­ies was speak­ing on Fri­day from Bo­ston, where she was at­tend­ing a U.S. De­part­ment of State-sponsored Ful­bright Wo­men’s Re-Entry Sem­in­ar at Sim­mons Col­lege. About 100 for­eign stu­dents at­ten­ded the four-day sem­in­ar, which didn’t meet on Fri­day be­cause of the in­tense man­hunt for one of the Bo­ston Mara­thon bomb­ing sus­pects.

Mar­gol­ies is founder and CEO of Wo­men’s Cam­paign In­ter­na­tion­al, which provides ad­vocacy train­ing for wo­men throughout the world. She was in Los Angeles on Sunday for a fun­draiser for the group.

Penn’s gradu­ation is set for May 13 at Frank­lin Field, with Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden as the com­mence­ment speak­er, so an an­nounce­ment on the con­gres­sion­al cam­paign could come in a few weeks.

Mar­gol­ies has spoken with polit­ic­al lead­ers and elec­ted of­fi­cials about the race. Ken Smuk­ler, a vet­er­an polit­ic­al op­er­at­ive who handled her con­gres­sion­al cam­paigns, would likely be on the team if she runs for the seat.

“I’m really in­ter­ested in the race,” she said.

What could keep her out of the race?

“Who knows? I’m really look­ing at it in­tensely,” she said.

Oth­er likely can­did­ates are state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and Dr. Valer­ie Arkoosh, a health-care re­form ad­voc­ate.

Boyle will kick off his cam­paign on May 22 dur­ing a fun­draiser at Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice’s new hall in the Far North­east.

The seat is open be­cause in­cum­bent Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz is run­ning for gov­ernor.

Mar­gol­ies, 70, is a former tele­vi­sion journ­al­ist, hav­ing worked at Chan­nel 10 and as a cor­res­pond­ent for the Today show.

In 1992, she edged Re­pub­lic­an Jon Fox for the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, which at the time did not in­clude the North­east.

In 1993, she cast the de­cid­ing vote for Pres­id­ent Bill Clin­ton’s budget, which Re­pub­lic­ans cri­ti­cized for its tax hikes. Some GOP House mem­bers were heard to say, “Good­bye, Mar­jor­ie,” as she cast the vote.

They were right. Fox won a 1994 re­match with Mar­gol­ies, as Re­pub­lic­ans picked up 54 seats to win con­trol of the House for the first time in more than 40 years.

In 1998, Mar­gol­ies was the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee for lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor. She and Ivan Itkin were crushed by the Re­pub­lic­an tick­et of Gov. Tom Ridge and Lt. Gov. Mark Sch­weiker.

Mar­gol­ies is di­vorced from Ed Mezv­in­sky, a former Iowa con­gress­man. Their son, Marc, mar­ried Chelsea Clin­ton in 2010. 


State Rep. Mark Co­hen has made up his mind about a run in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

“I’m not a can­did­ate,” the vet­er­an Demo­crat­ic law­maker said last week.

Co­hen cited a “lack of en­thu­si­asm” for his cam­paign on the part of po­ten­tial sup­port­ers.

Elec­ted in 1974, he plans to re­main in the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives.

“I en­joy serving in the le­gis­lature very much,” he said.

Co­hen said he has not de­cided whom to en­dorse in the primary.

In 2004, Co­hen an­nounced a bid for Con­gress be­fore drop­ping out when he couldn’t match the fun­drais­ing prowess of Schwartz and her primary foe, Joe Torsella.

Co­hen ran for Con­gress in 1978, los­ing a primary chal­lenge to Rep. Josh Eil­berg.


The Demo­crat­ic City Com­mit­tee has dumped one of its pre­vi­ously en­dorsed can­did­ates for Com­mon Pleas Court, and Somer­ton’s Joe Fernandes was giv­en the party nod. 

Fernandes re­places Daine Grey as an en­dorsed can­did­ate.

City Demo­crats look at ra­cial di­versity, bal­lot po­s­i­tion and wheth­er a can­did­ate has done pro bono work for the party or has close ties to ward lead­ers or uni­on bosses. Re­gistered Re­pub­lic­ans gen­er­ally need not ap­ply.

En­dorsed can­did­ates also must pay a $35,000 “as­sess­ment” to have their names prin­ted on of­fi­cial sample bal­lots.

Any can­did­ate who doesn’t pay the fee usu­ally loses the en­dorse­ment.

Fernandes, who works as a ju­ven­ile court mas­ter at the Youth Study Cen­ter, is lis­ted sixth among 24 can­did­ates in the race.

The Phil­adelphia Bar As­so­ci­ation has rated him “re­com­men­ded” for Com­mon Pleas and Mu­ni­cip­al Court.

Now that his chances for win­ning the Com­mon Pleas race have dra­mat­ic­ally im­proved, he is ask­ing Com­mon­wealth Court to re­move his name from the Mu­ni­cip­al Court bal­lot.


The Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce will hold a for­um fea­tur­ing the four can­did­ates for city con­trol­ler on Fri­day, May 10, at Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing-Pennypack, at 8401 Roosevelt Blvd.

The cham­ber’s Gov­ern­ment Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee has in­vited Re­pub­lic­an Terry Tracy, in­cum­bent Demo­crat Alan Butkovitz and Demo­crat­ic primary chal­lengers Brett Man­del and Mark Zecca.

Re­gis­tra­tion and net­work­ing starts at 8:15 a.m. Break­fast will be avail­able at 8:30. Tick­ets cost $10 and will be avail­able at the door or in ad­vance by call­ing 215-332-3400. ••

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