— 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. ••