Dan Savage believes he’ll have the support of many elected officials, ward leaders and unions in his expected Democratic primary challenge next year to state Sen. Tina Tartaglione.
What he also needs will be money to take on Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.), a 20-year incumbent and a favorite of Democratic Senate leadership who will certainly be well-funded.
On Sunday morning, Savage will be hosting a breakfast fundraiser at Westy’s Irish Pub in North Wildwood, N.J. The cost is $100.
A former city councilman, Savage thinks Tartaglione has been in office too long, adding that she is largely unknown to longtime constituents and the voters new to the 2nd district after reapportionment. He faults her record on constituent service and sees few legislative accomplishments.
“She has totally failed at the job,” he said.
Savage, 42, lives in Northwood and is Democratic leader of the 23rd Ward. He won a November 2006 special election for the vacant 7th Councilmanic District seat. But he lost to Maria Quinones Sanchez in the 2007 primary and fell short in a 2011 primary challenge to Sanchez.
Savage counts among his supporters City Councilman Bobby Henon.
On the campaign trail, he’ll talk about the accomplishments during his 13 months on Council. He plans to meet voters at their doors.
“I’ll work my butt off when I run and I’ll work my butt off when I’m elected,” he said.
Tartaglione, 52, narrowly defeated Republican Sen. Bruce Marks in 1994 and hasn’t had a tough race since. Her mother, Marge, served 36 years as a city elections commissioner before her defeat in 2011.
Recently, she has worked to oppose privatization of the state liquor store system and pushed for passage of a bill that would fund transportation and infrastructure projects.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman Vincent Hughes and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee will be fully behind the incumbent.
Tartaglione is a member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 and serves as minority party chairwoman of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, so she should have significant union backing.
Sanchez, Savage’s bitter political foe, is sure to be with her, too.
“Senator Tartaglione is going to run, she is going to win and she is going to do it with the full support of Senate Democrats,” said campaign spokesman Aren Platt.
Marjorie Margolies last week earned the endorsement of a prominent Russian-American leader in her campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 13th Congressional District.
Joseph Leventan, director of the Greater Philadelphia Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the board of the Russian-American United Art Council, recalled the assistance she gave small businesses when she served in Congress in 1993–94. He also cited her service with the Women’s Campaign International. He said he was speaking for himself, and not his organization.
“Marjorie’s work as president of Women’s Campaign International to empower women in emerging democracies, particularly those in the former Soviet Union, is equally important,” Leventan said. “She has an understanding of the global stage, and America’s place in it, that is unmatched by any other candidate in this race.”
As nonprofits, the chamber and the council are prohibited from making political endorsements.
In next year’s primary, Margolies will face state Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. Daylin Leach and Dr. Val Arkoosh, a health-care reform advocate.
Meanwhile, Margolies reported raising $185,345 from May 31 to June 30.
Among her national contributors were former treasury secretary Robert Rubin, former health and human services secretary Donna Shalala, former Office of Management and Budget director Alice Rivlin, former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty and Clinton administration advisers Lanny Davis, Vernon Jordan and Harold Ickes.
Local contributors included former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford, Montgomery County Democratic chairman and vice chairwoman Marcel Groen and Joanne Olszewski and state Rep. Dwight Evans.
Leach led the way by raising $354,490.84. Arkoosh raised more than $285,000 to go with the $218,000 she raised in 17 days in March. Boyle raised more than $252,000.
Terry Tracy, the Republican candidate for city controller, will hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 30, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Rhawn and Ditman streets.
The meeting had been set for July 16, but Terry moved it out of respect for a public meeting the same night about a proposed methadone clinic at Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street.
Terry, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Alan Butkovitz, planned to attend the meeting about the clinic.
A survey by Harper Polling indicated some troubling signs for Gov. Tom Corbett.
The survey, conducted July 1–2 of 813 voters, showed that just 24 percent of the people say he deserves to be re-elected next year. Some 56 percent said he should be replaced, and the rest were not sure. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.44 percent.
According to the poll, most Republicans, Democrats and independents believe the state’s economy is getting worse.
There were some positives for the governor. By huge margins, voters like the fact that the state budget was passed by the June 30 deadline and that it contained no tax increases for the third year in a row. They support a plan that would require new state employees to participate in a 401k retirement plan as opposed to the current pension system.
Corbett will be in the Northeast on Tuesday night, greeting supporters at P&P Caterers,
Those polled also think the state should expand Medicaid coverage for poor people under Obamacare. They were generally split on whether the state spent enough on education in the budget.
The poll also included a light-hearted question about the state’s favorite Hershey candy. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was the runaway winner, easily beating York Peppermint Patties, Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, Kit Kat and Hershey’s Kisses.
Another Democrat has jumped into the race to challenge Corbett.
Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz is running on a platform of fixing unsafe roads and bridges and making investments into the research of diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other Democrats who have either announced bids or are potential candidates include U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz; state Sen. Mike Stack; Katie McGinty, a Rhawnhurst native and former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection; State Treasurer Rob McCord; Tom Wolf, a York County businessman and former secretary of the state Department of Revenue; Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski; former DEP secretary John Hanger; and Max Myers, a pastor, businessman and author from Cumberland County. ••