State rep. kicks off re-election campaign

Off and run­ning: State Rep. John Sabat­ina Jr. re­cently an­nounced his can­did­acy at his cam­paign headquar­ters in Rhawn­hurst. MARIA POUCH­NIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

State Rep. John Sabat­ina Jr. last week of­fi­cially kicked off a re-elec­tion cam­paign that could see him face a fel­low law­maker in the May 20 primary.

Sabat­ina (D-174th dist.) has been in of­fice since win­ning a spe­cial elec­tion in 2006 to re­place fel­low Demo­crat Alan Butkovitz, who left to be­come city con­trol­ler.

Rep. Ed Neilson (D-169th dist.) won a spe­cial elec­tion in 2012 to re­place Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Denny O’Bri­en, who left to join City Coun­cil.

A re­dis­trict­ing com­mit­tee planned to move the 169th dis­trict to York County, so Neilson knew he’d have to chal­lenge an in­cum­bent to re­main in of­fice. His home was placed in the 174th.

The new 174th in­cludes di­vi­sions new to both law­makers. The dis­trict is home to more of Sabat­ina’s con­stitu­ents than Neilson’s. Sabat­ina has more than $205,000 cash on hand.

“I’m op­tim­ist­ic,” he said of the pos­sible show­down.

Sabat­ina, a former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney, an­nounced his can­did­acy at his cam­paign headquar­ters at 7718 Castor Ave. in Rhawn­hurst. He was joined by rep­res­ent­at­ives of the Pennsylvania Con­fer­ence of Team­sters, Sheet Met­al Work­ers Loc­al 19, the Car­penters Met­ro­pol­it­an Re­gion­al Coun­cil of Phil­adelphia & Vi­cin­ity and the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Let­ter Car­ri­ers Branch 157-Key­stone.

The le­gis­lat­or spoke of his op­pos­i­tion to a pro­posed re­form school at Rhawn Street and Dun­gan Road and a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic at Grant Av­en­ue and Roosevelt Boulevard. Both pro­pos­als died after com­munity op­pos­i­tion. He plans to seek more fund­ing for pub­lic edu­ca­tion and vote for le­gis­la­tion that would boost small busi­nesses at Roosevelt Mall and along Castor Av­en­ue, Bustleton Av­en­ue, Welsh Road and Grant Av­en­ue.

“I have the ex­per­i­ence, seni­or­ity and the drive to rep­res­ent the 174th dis­trict,” Sabat­ina said.

Sabat­ina said he has no in­terest in re­pla­cing City Coun­cil­man Bill Green, who is resign­ing Thursday to chair the School Re­form Com­mis­sion.

One way for him to avoid a primary is for Demo­crat­ic ward lead­ers to choose Neilson to run in the spe­cial elec­tion to re­place Green.


State Rep. Bri­an Sims, of Cen­ter City, en­dorsed Jared So­lomon, who is chal­len­ging Rep. Mark Co­hen (D-202nd dist.) in the primary.

“Phil­adelphia has lost its voice in the Cap­it­ol, and if we are go­ing to get it back, we must elect en­er­get­ic lead­ers like Jared So­lomon to the state House,” Sims said.

So­lomon said he plans to emu­late Sims’ hard work and in­teg­rity to over­come the status quo.

“From Castor Av­en­ue to the Cap­it­ol build­ing, I in­tend to work with Bri­an to get Pennsylvania on track,” he said.

Sims will hold a free com­munity din­ner on Tues­day at 6:30 p.m. at Nick’s Roast Beef, at 2212 Cottman Ave. 


Dan Sav­age, a re­gion­al co­ordin­at­or for the Pennsylvania Turn­pike Com­mis­sion and a former city coun­cil­man, re­mains a likely chal­lenger to state Sen. Tina Tartagli­one (D-2nd dist.) in the primary.

“Due to the code of con­duct of my job, I can­not an­nounce my can­did­acy or take any pub­lic en­dorse­ments,” he said.

Sav­age, of North­wood, serves as Demo­crat­ic lead­er of the 23rd Ward.

A third pos­sible can­did­ate is To­mas Sanc­hez, hus­band of City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez. She beat Sav­age for the seat in the 2007 primary and won a re­match four years later.

Al­most one-third of the dis­trict is new based on the re­cent re­dis­trict­ing.


U.S. House Minor­ity Whip Steny Hoy­er of Mary­land was in Bris­tol on Sat­urday to sup­port Kev­in Strouse, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Hoy­er pivoted dur­ing his speech to talk about former con­gress­wo­man Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies, who is one of four Demo­crats run­ning in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Mar­gol­ies served in Con­gress in 1993-94, and cast the de­cid­ing vote for Pres­id­ent Bill Clin­ton’s eco­nom­ic plan, which was op­posed by Re­pub­lic­ans and some Demo­crats be­cause of its tax hikes.

Hoy­er re­calls GOP mem­bers say­ing, “Bye-bye, Mar­jor­ie,” as she cast the vote. In­deed, Mar­jor­ies lost her re-elec­tion race.

In Hoy­er’s view, the plan led to an eco­nom­ic boom. If John F. Kennedy were writ­ing his book Pro­files in Cour­age today, Hoy­er said, Mar­jor­ies should be in­cluded in it.

“I’m for Mar­jor­ie,” Hoy­er said. “Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies has shown as much cour­age as I’ve ever seen from a mem­ber of Con­gress. She had the cour­age of her con­vic­tion.”


Mo­ve­ en­dorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

In a vote of Mo­ve­ mem­bers who live in the dis­trict, Leach re­ceived 55 per­cent of the vote, fol­lowed by Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies (17 per­cent), Dr. Valer­ie Arkoosh (15 per­cent) and state Rep. Brendan Boyle (13 per­cent).

“This re­sound­ing vote con­firms that Daylin Leach is the clear choice of pro­gress­ive voters in Pennsylvania’s 13th dis­trict,” said Ilya Sher­man, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of Mo­ve­ Polit­ic­al Ac­tion, which claims more than 16,000 mem­bers in the dis­trict.


Dr. Val Arkoosh hired Dav­id Mad­sen as her field dir­ect­or.

Mad­sen is the polit­ic­al dir­ect­or for the Na­tion­al Young Demo­crats Black Caucus, chairs the Pennsylvania Young Demo­crats Minor­ity Caucus and is pres­id­ent of the Dauph­in County Young Demo­crats. He had been chief county co­ordin­at­or for John Hanger’s cam­paign for gov­ernor.

“Dr. Arkoosh is in the unique po­s­i­tion to reach the most voters in this race,” Mad­sen said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to run­ning a ro­bust field and out­reach cam­paign that shows every voter why Dr. Arkoosh is the right can­did­ate to rep­res­ent the Pennsylvania 13th.”

Arkoosh raised more than $935,000 in 2013 and had $643,000 cash on hand at the end of last year. Those fig­ures out­pace her three op­pon­ents.


U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, cri­ti­cized Gov. Corbett’s budget pro­pos­al, con­tend­ing it can­not make up for what she said is his lack of suf­fi­cient fund­ing for pub­lic edu­ca­tion and the state’s stag­nant job growth.

Schwartz also faul­ted him for not back­ing a sev­er­ance tax on nat­ur­al gas drilling.

“Next year’s budget speech will be very dif­fer­ent, be­cause Pennsylvani­ans are ready for a new gov­ernor,” she said. “As gov­ernor, I will bring a dif­fer­ent kind of lead­er­ship and break through the stale polit­ics of in­ac­tion in Har­ris­burg to build on the great as­sets of Pennsylvania to grow and ex­pand our eco­nomy, to make sure Pennsylvania be­ne­fits from the Mar­cel­lus Shale with a mod­er­ate 5-per­cent sev­er­ance tax, and to make re­cord in­vest­ments in pub­lic edu­ca­tion and uni­ver­sal pre-kinder­garten.”

Mean­while, Schwartz col­lec­ted en­dorse­ments from Bucks County Com­mis­sion­er Di­ane Marseglia and Bucks County state Reps. Steve Santar­siero, John Gal­lo­way and Tina Dav­is.

Santar­siero cited her com­mit­ment to pub­lic edu­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly uni­ver­sal pre-kinder­garten for 4 year olds.

Gal­lo­way poin­ted to her sup­port of a sev­er­ance tax on nat­ur­al gas drilling to in­vest in pub­lic schools and trans­port­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture. ••

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