Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT), arguably the most progressive member of Congress, announced his endorsement of Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach in the contentious four-way primary battle at stake in Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district.
Senator Sanders released the following statement:
“At a time when our country has more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth, and when the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider— it is imperative that we send candidates like Daylin Leach to the U.S. Congress.”
This is the biggest in a series of progressive endorsements made for Senator Daylin Leach, who is running against Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, and State Representative Brendan Boyle. Leach has also been endorsed by MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Blue America PAC, Progressive Kick, Progressive Majority, both Chairs of the U.S. House Congressional Progressive Caucus — Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and progressive champion U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).
Senator Leach said the following about Senator Sanders’ endorsement announcement:
“I am thrilled to have the endorsement of a progressive titan like Senator Sanders. The Senator’s recognition of the work that we have been doing to bring light to the economic issues that are dividing our country is humbling. I look forward to going Washington to work with leaders such as Sen. Sanders to make sure the richest Americans pay their fair share and that the big banks and Wall Street that wrecked our economy are held accountable.”
Most recently before Sanders’ announcement, Diane Ravitch’s new public education organization, called the Network for Public Education, endorsed Leach for his efforts to combat school vouchers and end corrupt practices within charter and cyber charter schools. Representative Boyle has been seen by public education advocates as someone with a lot at stake in promoting the corporate education reform platform, so it will be intriguing to see if the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) or the National Education Association (NEA) make an endorsement of any candidate in this race.
Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies has focused on institutional support as far as endorsements, with the support of Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards, and more notably, implied support throughout this cycle from the Clinton family. Until recently, it was perceived by most in politics as talk rather than reality, but she will indeed be having a fundraiser in about a week with President Clinton as the guest of honor. Margolies’ inability thus far to attend any debates with the other candidates has left her at a disadvantage with voters, but maybe some serious fundraising from the Clinton dynasty will make the real difference.
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh has focused on her role in advocating for and passing the Affordable Care Act, and the systemic poverty she has seen of patients within her medical practice. She has endorsements from State Representative Steve McCarter, the American Medical Political Action Committee, and the Pennsylvania Medical Political Action Committee, along with a slew of local endorsements. She also holds the endorsement from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, as well as the Women’s Campaign Fund.
If this becomes a race about who is perceived as the most progressive champion of various issues, Senator Leach has surely taken the lead, but voters in the 13th congressional district vote based on a variety of reasons.
Those interested in learning more about this race should definitely plan to attend “A Forum of Four”, an event being hosted by the Abington-Rockledge Democratic Committee. It would be really embarrassing if Margolies doesn’t show up to this one, and the KP team cannot wait to hear what she has to say.