Battle for the ballot

The deadline to file for candidates has now passed. Here’s a look at the upcoming election lineup.

Staying put: Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who will not run for Congress, said he is committed to the lieutenant governor’s office. He has been very active in criminal justice reform, specifically granting pardons. He’s also focused on fighting the opioid epidemic. TIMES FILE PHOTO

The political season is here, with last week being the deadline to file for candidates for state representative, state Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate.

The next big date on the calendar is Tuesday, March 20, the filing deadline for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack wants to set the record straight as that deadline nears.

“I’m not running for Congress,” he said.

Stack, a Democrat, supported the successful lawsuit that claimed Republicans drew a congressional map designed to win as many seats as possible. He also proposed a map of his own.

Republicans have appealed the ruling by the Democratic-controlled state Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Stack said odds of a successful appeal are “slim and none,” adding it would cause instability and postponement of the May 15 primary.

The new 2nd Congressional District includes all of the Northeast and neighborhoods such as Bridesburg, Port Richmond, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Kensington, Juniata, Olney, Logan, Feltonville and North Philadelphia.

Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle will run for re-election, with a primary challenge from Michele Lawrence, a former Wells Fargo area president. Stack, who is not close to Boyle, said he has spoken to another possible candidate, School Reform Commission member and former City Councilman Bill Green.

The Republican candidate is Meggen Taylor, a writer for Forbes.

“I want to make sure Northeast Philadelphia is served as well as it can possibly be,” Stack said.

Stack is running for re-election in the primary.

Other Democratic candidates are Nina Ahmad, a former deputy mayor; Braddock Mayor John Fetterman; Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone; Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman; Aryanna Berringer, an IT project manager from Westmoreland County; and Raymond Sosa, who has worked in emergency management and response and human rights advocacy.

“The more, the merrier,” Stack said.

Stack said he is “very confident” he’ll win the primary and will be re-elected in the fall on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf.

Stack said he is committed to the lieutenant governor’s office. He has been very active in criminal justice reform, specifically granting pardons. He’s also focused on fighting the opioid epidemic and has established a veterans task force to deal with mental illness, homelessness, joblessness and criminal court matters.

“I’m blessed to be able to serve people who’ve served us,” said Stack, a former captain in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

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Dropping out: Sean McMonagle has dropped out of the Democratic primary in the 177th Legislative District after determining that he could not withstand a court challenge to his petitions. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Sean McMonagle has dropped out of the Democratic primary in the 177th Legislative District after determining that he could not withstand a court challenge to his petitions.

McMonagle acknowledged in a Facebook posting making an error while filling out his petition packets, resulting in the omission of necessary information on his forms.

McMonagle, who gave up his job as an aide to City Councilman Mark Squilla, believes he would have won the primary had he been allowed on the ballot.

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Gaining support: Pennsylvania Working Families Party has endorsed Joe Hohenstein in the Democratic primary in the 177th Legislative District. The primary election is May 15. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Pennsylvania Working Families Party has endorsed Joe Hohenstein in the Democratic primary in the 177th Legislative District.

The political operation was a key player in the election of District Attorney Larry Krasner. The primary election is ​May​ ​15.

“The racist, kleptocratic Trump administration is inspiring a new class of candidates motivated to advocate for working families,” said Brandon Evans, state director of Pennsylvania Working Families Party. “The dysfunctional state of politics at the federal level makes it more important than ever to elect candidates who will fight at the state level for policies that will protect and lift all of us.”

Pennsylvania Working Families Party will provide campaign consultation, including field, as well as mobilizing volunteers and members.

An immigration attorney, Hohenstein is running for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. John Taylor. Two years ago, he took 45 percent of the vote against Taylor.

Hohenstein is running on a platform of fair funding for public schools, tighter regulations for gun purchases, raising the state minimum wage to $15 and protecting the environment by levying a severance tax on the oil and gas drilling industry

Hohenstein submitted more than 1,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The minimum required was 300.

“I’m proud to have earned the endorsement of Working Families Party,” he said. “They recognize that I am a progressive champion and the only candidate in this race with the guts and experience to successfully fight for social and economic justice for all citizens in our commonwealth. In my 25-year career as an immigration attorney, I have helped families and individuals through difficult circumstances so that they may enjoy the same American dream that caused my ancestors to immigrate from Germany and Ireland generations ago. I plan to use my skills and experience to help my neighbors in the 177th district and throughout our state.”

Hohenstein is one of five Democrats in the race. The others are Iraq War veteran Sean Patrick Wayland; union plasterer Sean Kilkenny; community activist Dan Martino; and Maggie Borski, a law student and daughter of former Congressman Bob Borski.

The Republican candidate is Patty-Pat Kozlowski, a community activist and former city parks director.

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Borski

Borski submitted more than 1,100 signatures to earn a spot on the Democratic primary ballot for the 177th district. She collected more signatures than any other candidate in the race, Democrat or Republican.

“Over the last three weeks, our goal was to knock on doors, meet voters, and earn their support. Despite rain and snow, I am so proud of this campaign and our volunteers for collecting over 1,100 signatures. This kind of grassroots effort is what will bring about real change for Philadelphia. We are going to keep working harder than ever,” Borski said.

Borski’s next campaign fundraiser will be at Polonia Hall in Bridesburg on March 23.

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Ahmad

Nina Ahmad filed 4,289 signatures in an effort to seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in the May 15 primary.

Ahmad, former chairwoman of the local National Organization for women and deputy mayor for public engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney, said she looked forward to a vigorous campaign focused on redefining the office of lieutenant governor.

“We’re going to have serious debates throughout the course of this campaign, and there are many issues we need to address, like ending sexual harassment in Harrisburg, bringing new 21st-century jobs to Pennsylvania, and making sure children in every ZIP code get the same level of quality, public education.”

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Bartos

Jeff Bartos, the endorsed Republican candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, has been rated “Pro-Life” by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

“I’m honored to have been rated ‘pro-life’ by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation as I work to bring our shared values to Harrisburg,” Bartos said. “Since 1979, the Federation has been a leader in defending the sanctity of life and protecting the unborn. I believe that every human life is sacred, and as lieutenant governor, I will staunchly defend our most vulnerable and work tirelessly to preserve and protect life.”

Bartos is backed by state Sen. Scott Wagner, who is running for governor. He filed 14,718 nominating petitions.

“I am grateful for this incredible outpouring of support from across the commonwealth,” he said. “The 14,718 signatures we secured to gain access to the primary ballot demonstrates our campaign’s superior grassroots organization and readiness to take on Tom Wolf. After securing more signatures than all of our opponents combined, it is critical that we maintain our momentum across the commonwealth with our pro-growth message of hope and opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.”

Lieutenant governor candidates are required to submit 1,000 signatures from registered Republicans. In addition, candidates are required to submit at least 100 signatures from at least five counties. Bartos submitted 100 or more signatures from 37 counties.

Other GOP candidates for lieutenant governor are longtime conservative activist Peg Luksik, Commissioners Joe Gale of Montgomery County and Diana Irey Vaughan of Washington County and small business owner Kathy Coder.

Vaughn is backed by Paul Mango, a candidate for governor.

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March 6 was the deadline to file for candidates for state representative, state Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate.

Locally, Democratic Reps. Kevin Boyle, Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson, Jared Solomon and Isabella Fitzgerald are unopposed in the primary and general elections.

Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) will face Democrat Daryl Boling.

Rep. Martina White (R-170th dist.) will face Democrat and fellow Parkwood resident Mike Doyle, a Realtor.

Rep. Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179th dist.) will face Abu Edwards in the Democratic primary. No Republican filed.

State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.) will face Marcus Paul in the Democratic primary. Republican Elijah Myers failed to gather the 500 necessary signatures, and will run as a write-in candidate in the primary. He’ll need 500 write-ins to have his name appear on the general election ballot.

Gov. Tom Wolf is the only Democrat who filed for governor. Republican candidates are state Sen. Scott Wagner, Allegheny County attorney Laura Ellsworth and Allegheny County businessman Paul Mango. Wagner has the state party’s backing.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in the only Democrat who filed for the Senate. The Republican candidates are U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, state Rep. Jim Christiana and Allegheny County businessman Joseph Vodvarka. ••