Dr. Val Arkoosh, a Democratic candidate in the 13th Congressional District, unveiled an online video highlighting what she sees as the importance of maintaining a woman’s voice in the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.
Arkoosh is running for the seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Allyson Schwartz, who is running for governor. The other candidates are state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and former congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.
In the 20-member Pennsylvania congressional delegation - two members of the Senate and 18 members of the House of Representatives - Schwartz is the only woman.
As a physician, Arkoosh has specialized in women’s health and provided care to thousands of women in the Philadelphia area for almost three decades. Arkoosh also has worked with groups and organizations committed to empowering women to become tomorrow’s leaders.
She serves on the board of the Montgomery County Women’s Leadership Initiative, a group aimed at increasing women’s presence in Montgomery County politics.
Earlier this year, Arkoosh received an endorsement from the Women’s Campaign Fund, a prominent national organization dedicated to supporting women running for office.
“We need Valerie Arkoosh with her experience, her leadership skills, her courage, her convictions, sitting at the table in Washington making sure that Congress focuses on American families,” said Mary Helf, a supporter and participant in the video. “She is a mother; she is a doctor; she has worked with thousands and thousands of women.”
“Women need to have a voice, because they need a voice for children, they need a voice for families. And they need a diverse voice that we don’t have right now because we don’t have many women in politics,” said Michele Weiner Lockman, a longtime supporter featured in the video.
Arkoosh, a first-time candidate, leads her opponents with more than $588,000 cash on hand, according to campaign finance data released last month.
Margolies, the other woman in the Democrats’ 13th district primary race, was endorsed by Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards.
Richards commented, “Marjorie’s experience, both on the Hill and around the globe working to empower women in emerging democracies as head of Women’s Campaign International, is that of a fighter who understands the importance of getting more women to the decision-making table. I want that kind of leader for Montgomery County in the U.S. Congress.”
The district is almost evenly split between Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.
Tom Wolf, a Democratic candidate for governor, plans to heavily invest in public education if elected.
At the same time, he’ll take a close look at operations at charter and cyber charter schools.
As governor, he’d leverage the effective, innovative teaching tools being developed in high-performing charter schools while reforming policies and strengthening oversight of the charter school sector. He’d create a state-level Office of Charter and Cyber Charter Schools to improve financial and academic oversight and investigate fraud and waste.
Also, he’d require charter schools to submit monthly enrollment statistics.
During a roundtable with college students at the University of Pittsburgh, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz announced a plan that would give Pennsylvania community college graduates full tuition to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in the state system of higher education.
The plan would also offer a similar level of tuition assistance awards for community college graduates to attend any Pennsylvania college.
Schwartz also proposed a two-year tuition freeze at state universities, restoring state support for higher education and strengthening financial aid support to make college more affordable.
To reduce the college debt facing many students from middle-class families, Schwartz proposed to raise the income-eligibility ceiling of Pennsylvania’s state grant program to expand access to college grants to more students.
State Treasurer Rob McCord, who is seeking the Democratic nod for governor, recently was endorsed by nine current and former county commissioners and five current and former county Democratic Party chairpersons.
Commissioners announcing their endorsement of McCord governor were Tony Amadio (Beaver County), Kathi Cozzone (Chester County), Patricia Evanko (Indiana County), Craig Lehman (Lancaster County), Larry Maggi (Washington County), Harland Shober (Washington County), Joe Spanik (Beaver County) and Vince Zapotosky (Fayette County). Former Beaver County Commissioner Dan Donatella is also on board.
County Democratic Party chairs adding their names to the previously released list of more than 20 county party chairs endorsing McCord were Germaine Donahue (Sullivan County), Sheri Morgan (Franklin County), Michael Sisk (Beaver County) and Hugh Reiley (Schuylkill County). Former Schuylkill County Commissioner Edward M. Kleha is also in McCord’s camp. ••