State Sen. LeAnna Washington last week endorsed Marjorie Margolies in next year’s Democratic primary for the 13th Congressional District seat.
Washington is a city resident whose district includes portions of Northwest Philadelphia and Montgomery County. She is a former state representative who won her Senate seat in a 2005 special election. She succeeded Allyson Schwartz, who resigned after being elected to Congress.
Schwartz is running for governor instead of seeking re-election to the U.S. House.
The 13th district is roughly evenly divided between Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Other Democratic candidates are state Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. Daylin Leach and Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, a health-care reform advocate. Boyle is in the only Philadelphian in the race.
Washington’s Senate district comprises about 20 percent of the congressional district, specifically Abington, Jenkintown and Cheltenham.
Washington noted that she first ran for office in 1993 — winning a special election to replace state Rep. Gordon Linton, who resigned to become a federal transit administrator — the same year that Margolies cast the deciding vote for President Bill Clinton’s economic plan.
Margolies lost her seat the following year for voting for the plan, which raised taxes, but Washington described it as a “vote of conscience and courage” that set the U.S. on a path of economic growth.
“While most people remember Marjorie for that one vote, I remember her as a tireless advocate for legislation that made a difference to those whose voices were not always heard in Congress: women forced to choose between a job and raising a family now protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, and kids caught in the crossfire protected in 1993 by an assault weapons ban,” Washington said.
Margolies said that, if she returns to Congress, she will fight for two of Washington’s favorite causes — elderly caregiver background checks and educational support for foster youth.
Meanwhile, Schwartz picked up an endorsement last week from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.
The union represents about 5,000 nurses across Pennsylvania.
Specifically, the union cited Schwartz’s advocacy for safe practices for nurses and patients and her support for loan forgiveness for nursing education.
“Just as nurses struggle every day to advocate for patients under frequently difficult conditions, we all deserve a governor who will work every day to advocate for the interests of working families and the middle class. That person is Allyson Schwartz,” said Bill Cruice, the union’s executive director. ••