Republican candidate enters 13th Congressional race

Beverly Plosa-Bowser, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, last week entered the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional District.

Bowser announced her candidacy at the Cpl. John Loudenslager American Legion Post 366 in Fox Chase and at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Glenside. She plans to stress fixing the stagnant economy, reining in government spending and improving health care.

The other Republican candidate in the race is Dee Adcock, owner of a swimming pool company and a candidate for the seat in 2010. Bowser calls him a “very nice man,” but said she would be a stronger candidate in the general election.

“The Republicans have a chance, and I believe I’m the best candidate,” she said.

Bowser spent more than 30 years in the Air Force and Reserve, retiring in June 2010. She is a combat veteran, earning a Bronze Star for negotiating and building a security cooperation relationship with senior Iraqi officials.

The candidate said she continues to live by the Air Force motto of “Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence In All We Do.”

Bowser has master’s degrees in public administration and political management. She is married with five children and a grandson.

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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach in the Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District.

“Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren have proven that bold progressives in Congress can change the national conversation,” said PCCC co-founder Adam Green, speaking of the liberal Florida congressman and Massachusetts senator. “Daylin is one of those game-changers.”

Leach’s primary opponents are state Rep. Brendan Boyle, Dr. Val Arkoosh and former congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.

The PCCC is backing Leach, in part, because of his support for expanding Social Security benefits, making student loans interest-free, raising the minimum wage and tying it to inflation and legalizing same-sex marriage, along with his opposition to Republican gerrymandering.

In a fundraising appeal, Green told PCCC supporters that Leach is running against opponents who are “pro-voucher, anti-choice and generally not that inspiring.”

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Dr. Val Arkoosh raised $203,089 in the fourth quarter of 2013. In all, she raised more than $935,000 in 2013. She has more than $643,000 cash on hand, outpacing her three primary opponents.

“Over the last 25 years serving in Philadelphia’s hospitals, I’ve experienced firsthand growing economic hardships in the patients I care for — families thrown into poverty because of an unexpected illness — brought on by a Congress playing politics rather than solving problems,” she said. “That’s why I chose to step up for my patients when few in Washington would to get healthcare reform passed, and it’s that track record of getting things done that has people excited about my campaign.”

Arkoosh is making her first bid for office. The primary is May 20. The district includes most of Northeast Philadelphia and much of Montgomery County.

“I am proud of the momentum we’ve built from the ground up so far and motivated to continue running an assertive, grassroots-driven campaign in the next months that connects with each and every voter on the ground,” she said.

The seat is open because Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz is running for governor

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Brendan Boyle, one of Arkoosh’s primary opponents, issued a statement after last week’s State of the Union speech, arguing that he is the best candidate to strengthen the middle class.

“The gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us continues to grow, but this Republican Congress has done nothing to address this problem that threatens the middle class,” he said. “I’m running for Congress to join President Obama to grow the economy from the middle class out and raise the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage increases the spending power of low-wage workers, helping grow the entire economy, resulting in increased wages for middle-class earners as well. As the only candidate in this race who is not a millionaire or married to one, working people in the 13th district can count on me to fight for policies that help their families, grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.”

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Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee, faulted Obama for promoting tax-and-spend policies in his address.

“Instead of rolling out the old stale policies of big government, we would like to see the president work with Congress to greatly reduce federal taxes and burdensome regulations in cities struggling with above-average unemployment such as Philadelphia,” DeFelice said.

DeFelice noted that the city’s official unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, but that the rate is believed to be higher because so many long-term unemployed people have given up looking for work. He called on the city to reduce the Business Income and Receipts Tax.

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Democratic ward leaders in the 2nd Senatorial District endorsed state Sen. Tina Tartaglione, who is expected to be challenged by Dan Savage, a former city councilman and Democratic leader of the 23rd Ward.

“She has served our communities with determination and a strong spirit, and has tremendous expertise in the Senate as Democratic chair of the Senate Labor Committee,” said Bill Dolbow, Democratic leader of the 35th Ward. “I know that she has a keen understanding of the diverse challenges facing the people of our district.”

Tartaglione was first elected in 1994, edging Republican Sen. Bruce Marks.

“Our endorsement should convey the great amount of confidence we have in Sen. Tartaglione’s ability to represent us, our children, our families and our neighbors,” said Bob Dellavella, Democratic leader of the 55th Ward. “Her record demonstrates that she fights for us, and that she is indeed our advocate in Harrisburg.”

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State Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.), first elected in 1984, announced that he would seek another two-year term.

Taylor said his priorities will be trying to create jobs, fight blight, keep taxes low and improve education.

“Blight leads to an increase in crime and can spread rapidly and destroy whole neighborhoods if not stopped,” he said.

The district includes Frankford, Northwood, Tacony, Mayfair, Bridesburg and Port Richmond.

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Jared Solomon, who is challenging state Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) in the primary, was endorsed by former congressman Joe Sestak.

“Jared Solomon represents the next generation of leaders we need in Pennsylvania,” Sestak said. “Jared will roll up his sleeves and fight for the residents of Northeast Philadelphia, working to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to quality education, well-paying jobs and safe neighborhoods.”

Sestak pointed to Solomon’s founding of the Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association and service as an officer in the U.S. Army JAG Reserve.

“I highly recommend that Northeast Philadelphia voters join me in supporting Jared Solomon,” he said.

Solomon served as Sestak’s statewide field director when he ran for Senate in 2010.

The candidate has been meeting voters at free community dinners. The next one is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Nick’s Roast Beef, 2212 Cottman Ave.

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In news from the Democratic campaign for governor, former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty ran 30-second television commercials on CNN and MSNBC throughout Pennsylvania before and after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

McGinty is a Rhawnhurst native who attended St. Hubert High School.

In the commercial, McGinty says, “I grew up in a household where hard work was the order of the day. My dad was a policeman, and my mom worked nights in a restaurant. And all 10 of us kids understood the value of hard work. We had a good middle-class life.

“My concern today is that hard-working men and women are not able to offer that same promise for their children. That’s why we need good jobs, with good pay, that provide a bright opportunity and future for Pennsylvanians.” ••