HomeNewsCivic group leader announces candidacy

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.

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“I will work to end the outdated ban on Sunday hunting and make sure Pennsylvania hunters can give back to their communities through a deer-harvest sharing program,” she said.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

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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).

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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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