Civic group leader announces candidacy

In the run­ning: Jared So­lomon, who formed the Castor Gar­dens-based Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation, plans a primary chal­lenge to state Rep. Mark Co­hen. PHOTO COUR­TESY OF JARED SO­LOMON

A civic as­so­ci­ation lead­er plans a primary chal­lenge to state Rep. Mark Co­hen, who was first elec­ted in 1974.

Jared So­lomon, who formed the Castor Gar­dens-based Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation five years ago, will chal­lenge Co­hen (D-202nd dist.) in the May 20 Demo­crat­ic primary.

So­lomon will an­nounce his can­did­acy on Sunday at noon at his cam­paign headquar­ters at 6601 Rut­land St., a store­front be­low his child­hood home.

A law­yer and a U.S. Army JAG Re­serve Of­ficer, he bills him­self as a good-gov­ern­ment ad­voc­ate. He is a former strategist for U.S. Rep. Joe Ses­tak and worked for the Pennsylvania Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic Caucus.

As pres­id­ent of Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood, he has or­gan­ized block cleanups, ini­ti­ated youth ment­or­ing and sports pro­grams, worked with the po­lice de­part­ment on crime-re­duc­tion strategies, raised money for Max My­ers Play­ground and ob­tained trash and re­cyc­ling re­cept­acles for the Castor Av­en­ue com­mer­cial cor­ridor.

Co­hen went on Face­book to ask for cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions and vo­lun­teers. The in­cum­bent touted his lead­er­ship on is­sues such as ex­pan­ded rights for work­ers; gay, les­bi­an, bi­sexu­al and trans­gender rights; safe drink­ing wa­ter, fund­ing for pub­lic edu­ca­tion and mass trans­it; sep­ar­a­tion of church and state; sup­port for the Pennsylvania Hu­man Re­la­tions Com­mis­sion and anti-dis­crim­in­a­tion laws; and pre­serving and ex­pand­ing Amer­ic­an in­dustry.


U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, wants to lift the cur­rent ban on Sunday hunt­ing.

“I will work to end the out­dated ban on Sunday hunt­ing and make sure Pennsylvania hunters can give back to their com­munit­ies through a deer-har­vest shar­ing pro­gram,” she said.

Schwartz said she would re­spect the rights of private prop­erty own­ers to close their land to hunt­ing when they see fit and will work to find com­mon ground between hunters and farm­ers on which rules work best for Sunday hunt­ing.

In ad­di­tion, she would en­act a $50 tax cred­it for qual­i­fied meat pro­cessors who donate their ser­vices to provide ven­ison to the needy. These pro­cessors cut and pack­age the deer meat, and a Hunters Shar­ing the Har­vest vo­lun­teer drives it to any of the 21 food-dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters around the state. 


Schwartz leads the Demo­crat­ic race for gov­ernor, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased by Pub­lic Policy Polling. The firm polled 436 Demo­crats from Nov. 22-25.

The con­gress­wo­man took 21 per­cent of the vote, fol­lowed by former Aud­it­or Gen­er­al Jack Wag­n­er with 17 per­cent. Wag­n­er has not entered the race, but would be a for­mid­able can­did­ate be­cause he would be the only can­did­ate from west­ern Pennsylvania.

The oth­er can­did­ates and their polling num­bers are state Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord (10 per­cent); former state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Sec­ret­ary Katie Mc­Ginty (9 per­cent); former DEP Sec­ret­ary John Hanger (8 per­cent); Al­lentown May­or Ed Pawlowski (4 per­cent); former De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue Sec­ret­ary Tom Wolf (2 per­cent); Le­ban­on County Com­mis­sion­er Jo El­len Litz (2 per­cent); and Cum­ber­land County pas­tor, au­thor and busi­ness­man Max My­ers (2 per­cent).


Pub­lic Policy Polling also sur­veyed Pennsylvania voters about the 2016 pres­id­en­tial race.

The over­whelm­ing fa­vor­ite among Demo­crats is former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton, backed by 61 per­cent of voters. She is fol­lowed by Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden (13 per­cent), Mas­sachu­setts Sen. Eliza­beth War­ren (11 per­cent), New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo (3 per­cent) and New Jer­sey Sen. Cory Book­er (2 per­cent).

The Re­pub­lic­an race is closer. New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie leads with 26 per­cent, fol­lowed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 16 per­cent. Oth­ers with sup­port were Ken­tucky Sen. Rand Paul (14 per­cent), former Flor­ida Gov. Jeb Bush (10 per­cent), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick San­tor­um (8 per­cent), Flor­ida Sen. Marco Ru­bio (6 per­cent), Wis­con­sin Rep. Paul Ry­an (5 per­cent), Louisi­ana Gov. Bobby Jin­dal (3 per­cent) and Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er (3 per­cent).

In gen­er­al elec­tion match­ups in Pennsylvania, Christie leads Clin­ton, 48 per­cent to 44 per­cent. Clin­ton leads Bush (48-44), Paul (51-43), San­tor­um (51-42) and Cruz (53-41). ••

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