Mark Critz did a pretty good job representing the Republican-leaning PA-12 district in Congress for Democratic activists, so good in fact that he probably overreached a bit for that electorate and lost his reelection bid to Keith Rothfus
in the Great Shitwave of 2010 in 2012.
So no disrespect to Critz, but it’s still the case that he’s a pretty conservative Democrat on the merits, and the state as a whole is several notches to the left of PA-12 – about one point more Democratic than the national average.
Liberal activists no longer have to settle for conservative Democrats in statewide elections. If fairly orthodox liberal Democratic politicians like Kathleen Kane, Eugene DePasquale, and Rob McCord can win statewide, we don’t have to worry about “balancing the ticket” or whatever. Voters simply are not going to know or care who the Lt. Governor candidate is.
But even though liberals can have our pick of Lt. Governor, we’re currently on track to get stuck with Mark Critz. That’s because Critz is going to have a buttload of money, and the liberal vote is currently set to get split between Brad Koplinski, Mike Stack, and Mark Smith. Under those circumstances Critz is going to cruise to victory.
That is why liberal activists and donors need to coordinate around Brad Koplinski now, make the money dry up for Stack and Smith, and push those two out of the race. The only way Critz maybe loses is if this becomes a race between one conservative Democrat and one liberal Democrat, with activists rallying around the purest candidate as per usual.
Nothing against Stack or Smith but Brad Koplinski is uniquely qualified for this job. He deserves to win the nomination, and we need to get busy clearing the field for him to become the anti-Critz.