Immigration attorney seeks Democratic nomination

Hohenstein

Joe Hohenstein, an immigration attorney from Northwood, last week held a news conference outside Simpson Recreation Center to announce he’s seeking the Democratic nomination in the 177th Legislative District.

Hohenstein hopes to challenge Republican Rep. John Taylor. The Democrat lives on Wakeling Street, around the corner from Taylor, who was first elected in 1984.

Democrats have a voter-registration in the district.

“The guy in there has been in there a long time, and I’m a rookie candidate, but I think we can do it,” he said.

Hohenstein will not have a free ride in the April 26 primary. Rob Quartucci is also running.

So far, Hohenstein has spoken to the Democratic ward leaders. He said Dan Savage, Democratic leader of the 23rd Ward, has pledged his support.

Hohenstein grew up playing soccer at Simpson and working as a lifeguard at the pool. He’s a 1985 graduate of Frankford High School and active with the Frankford Friends Meeting House.

As for why he’s running, Hohenstein pointed to the “budget mess” in Harrisburg.

“I have to jump in and do this,” he said. “This is a chance to do something bigger on a broader scale.”

On the issues, Hohenstein wants to make corporations pay their “fair share.”

Specifically, he wants the oil and natural gas industry to pay an extraction tax.

“We need the increased revenue to help support infrastructure and schools,” he said. “If you don’t have good public schools, you don’t have a good neighborhood.”

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State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. on Saturday won the Democratic Party endorsement as he faces a primary challenger from state Rep. Kevin Boyle.

Ward leaders Mike Stack, Connie Dougherty, Mike McAleer, John Sabatina Sr. and Harry Enggasser are backing Sabatina. They gathered at Cafe Michelangelo to endorse the incumbent.

Boyle expects support from ward leaders Alan Butkovitz, Pat Parkinson, Lorri Bednarek, Bobby Henon and Shawn Dillon. They did not attend the endorsement vote.

“I’m with Boyle,” Dillon said.

Though the 10 ward leaders are evenly split, Sabatina is the endorsed candidate because the wards backing him account for 156 divisions, to 99 for Boyle,

“It is an honor that the Democratic Party has chosen to support my re-election,” he said. “I would like to ensure party activists as well as the general electorate that I will aggressively continue to fight for just policies and programs that benefit the residents of the 5th Senatorial District. Over the years, I have pressed my colleagues in the legislature to increase punishments for those committing crimes against the elderly, increased general awareness of home invasions in Northeast Philadelphia, supported efforts to increase the minimum wage, expand family leave, and reduce the cost of a college education. It is my goal to redouble my effort to represent and protect 5th Senatorial residents.”

Stack — the lieutenant governor and former 5th district senator — heartily endorses Sabatina’s re-election.

“Over the last year, John Sabatina has been a firm ally of mine in the battle to secure a fair and balanced budget, and I know he goes to work every day with the people of Northeast Philadelphia in mind,” he said. “He’s going to do a great job in his second term as a senator.”

Ross Feinberg is the Republican candidate.

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee last week endorsed Boyle for re-election to his House seat, which includes Rockledge.

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The Philadelphia Republican Party has selected Debbie Williams to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.

In the 13th Congressional District, possible candidates are Armond James and Dr. Bob Sklaroff to take on Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle.

State House candidates include Jim Pio (172nd district) and Khareif Williams (203rd district). A candidate is expected to emerge in the 202nd district. There will be no challengers to Democratic Reps. Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson and Jason Dawkins.

Meanwhile, the city GOP conducted a straw poll of presidential candidates. Here are the results: Donald Trump (37 percent), Marco Rubio (22), Ted Cruz (9), Rand Paul (7), Jeb Bush (5), John Kasich (5), Chris Christie (4), Carly Fiorina (4), Rick Santorum (4), Ben Carson (3) and Mike Huckabee (0).

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The Spirit of 76 Political Action Committee, a tri-state conservative federal PAC, has unanimously voted to endorse Marco Rubio for president.

PAC spokeswoman Teri Adams called Rubio the “best candidate to run for president from either party since Ronald Reagan.”

“Sen. Rubio is the only Republican candidate to consistently defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in head-to-head general election polls,” said advisory board member Bill Green. “We think he is, by far, the best GOP candidate to represent the conservative cause and the Republican Party.”

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Katie McGinty, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement after a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in alleged cases of sales of fetal tissues and organs:

ldquo;As a woman and a mother, I believe that it is a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, privately and personally, without politicians interfering. Planned Parenthood is an essential organization, providing healthcare to millions of women, including over 108,000 Pennsylvanians. And yet Planned Parenthood has been under relentless assault from extreme organizations and their political allies like Sen. Pat Toomey.

“Yesterday, a Texas grand jury determined that Planned Parenthood was innocent of any misconduct and instead indicted two extremist activists that had taken secret videos and heavily manipulated them to cast Planned Parenthood in a bad light. It seems clear now that these two individuals created these videos specifically to mislead the public.

ldquo;Planned Parenthood provides life-saving services to tens of thousands of women in Pennsylvania yet this organization has constantly been under attack from extremists, like Sen. Toomey, who went so far as to vote to shut down the government in order to defund the health services provider. Pennsylvania deserves better, as senator I will fight for quality, affordable healthcare.”

McGinty is a Rhawnhurst native who attended Resurrection of Our Lord Grammar School, St. Hubert High School and St. Joseph’s University. She faces former congressman Joe Sestak and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman in the primary.

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Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican Party, is criticizing City Councilman Mark Squilla and Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez for pushing legislation — since shelved — that “…would require owners of nightclubs, cabarets, bars and restaurants in the city to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of entertainers — bands, rappers and DJs — in a registry, and to share that personal information with police upon request.”

In addition, it would give the police department the ability to prevent shows from happening while also raising the permit cost by 500 percent.

“We have a healthy and growing music scene in Philadelphia and the natural instinct of Democrats on City Council is to see how they can throw needless regulations at it,” DeFelice said. “We should also have serious concerns and reservations about City Hall being fair and uniform on how they apply this and to who they apply it against.

“On top of that, the city would likely be asking for a lawsuit for First Amendment and free speech violations. It’s sad that this isn’t the first time they have forgotten Philadelphia is where the Constitution was born. This can be a major civil rights issue from many angles.” ••