Down Ticket Races to Watch in Pennsylvania

Bitter has a summary of the down ticket races to watch in Pennsylvania in regards to gun rights. Despite turning a number of the Philadelphia suburban ring county districts back to red in the 2010 election, I’m still very concerned about how long term trends look for the GOP. Gerlach has always been in tight races. It’s one of those things that just feels like it’s a matter of time. I am quite pleased that Kathy Boockvar, the Democratic Challenger of Mike Fitzpatrick, scored an A on her NRA questionnaire. While Fitzpatrick will undoubtedly carry an endorsement per NRA’s incumbent friendly policy, it is a sign that perhaps the Democrats don’t think running anti-gun candidates is a wise choice, even very close to Philadelphia. The worst thing that could happen to us would be for the Democratic Party in this area to become reflexively pro-gun-control. Not only does that run the risk that a good seat goes bad, it makes it easier for the Republicans to get away with just not being as bad as the other guy.

8 thoughts on “Down Ticket Races to Watch in Pennsylvania”

  1. “I am quite pleased that Kathy Boockvar, the Democratic Challenger of Mike Fitzpatrick, scored an A on her NRA questionnaire.”


    As I write this I am quite sure I’ve heard it said that she has been very explicitly anti-gun. Maybe I just assumed that was true, when someone said it, because it would fit the partisan profile, but I intend to see what I can find, back in time a bit.

    I’d recommend anyone else who is affected by that race, to do likewise.

    1. Let me know what you find. I don’t really know anything about her, and anyone can fill out the questionnaire to get an A even if they have no intention of voting that way.

    2. If you’ve got the evidence, provide it. She doesn’t have a record on the issue since she hasn’t held elected office before. I’m not aware of anything she has said or done on the issue, and I did quite a bit of searching early on.

      Now, it’s entirely possible that the person you spoke with might have been confusing her with Kathleen Kane who is running for Attorney General. (Kathy Boockvar ran for a judicial spot last year, which could lend to the confusion even beyond both being brunette attorneys with similar first names.) She did speak on the record at the Progressive Summit against gun ownership earlier this year.

    3. Forget my comment — for now.

      All I can find in the time spent so far is:

      “But Democrats believe they have a strong candidate in Kathy Boockvar, a lawyer who bills herself as a Second Amendment Democrat.”

      So, if she is coming out pro-gun in other major public/election media, chances are she has never said anything anti-gun in print.

      Don’t let me discourage others from looking, but I don’t want to poison the well based on something that was hearsay to me, and hearsay from a source I can’t even remember.

      Speaking of not knowing much about her: Coincidentally I had read her name in the newspaper, the same morning I got a very amateurish cold-call from one of her campaigners, asking if I knew of her candidacy. I told them I had just heard of her that morning. But, I think it was later that day I stumbled over someone claiming she was an arch-gun-grabber. Chances are it was a comment by one of the rightwing frequent-commenter idiots that chase every political article in the local paper.

      I’m glad Sebastian’s post started this conversation, since I am going to take a harder look at her now. I had read a lot of the comments on one of those websites dedicated to telling us how evil she is, and the more strident the attacks, the more they persuaded me she was worth a second look. But while I was assuming she really was anti-gun through and through, I was dismissing the idea of voting for her. For now, my ears are perked again.

  2. Tim Holden getting taken out in the primary is a major loss for gun owners. I don’t know why Timmy never jumped parties. The new democrat party is certainly a place that Holden belonged.

    Much of western Berks, where republicans have a 2 to 1 registration advantage, is now in Gerlach’s district. I’d say that Gerlach is once again safe.

    1. If he switched parties, Holden would still be out. That seat was drawn to be Democratic – for Holden. Of course, he was beat in the primary, so it didn’t really save him.

      Gerlach is certainly safer, but he’s not safe. Western Berks is split between Gerlach, Meehan, Dent, and Pitts, so that registration advantage really isn’t helping out Gerlach that much. Gerlach was also stuck with the more liberal parts of Chester County, and he doesn’t have nearly as much of the more conservative parts of Montco to rely on since those were divided up with Fitzpatrick and Meehan. While Gerlach should be able to pull one out, the biggest reason he’s still at the top of that list is because the Dems are putting that race higher up on their priority list.

      Technically, PA-8 is at the very top of that Democratic money list. But, when it comes to looking at the race for gun owners, there’s not much to say because Boockvar turned in an A rated questionnaire which turned it into an A vs. A race.

      1. 10 years ago during redistricting Holden survived despite his solid Berks county base being quartered among 4 districts as to dilute the solid blue voters of Reading. As for western Berks, where I live and have lived for nearly 40 years, it’s pretty damn hard to find a democrat in office out here. Townships like Lower Heidelberg, Heidelberg, South Heidelberg, and North Heidelberg are solid Republican. These are the new areas picked up by Gerlach under the new map. The Cook PVI gives the advantage to Gerlach. Under the old district it was a Cook PVI rating of d+4 and Gerlach still won.

        Trividi is an Indian Doctor. That’s not a great combo for running in a district that just picked up a load of farmers and families whose roots go back 200 years. People here don’t move far and they don’t trust outsiders. Remember, schools out here are still closed on the first day of deer season. Living in the district, I’m not worried at all about Gerlach with the new voting demographic.

        1. they don’t trust outsiders

          In that case, it should have nothing to do with his ethnic background, but his neighborhood. Trivedi isn’t a resident of the district.

          I agreed in the last post that indicators point to Gerlach pulling through, but money can make a big difference. The biggest benefit that Gerlach actually has is the fact that Obama’s not spending major money in Pennsylvania to get out the vote since the presidential race is essentially determined. Regardless, it’s one of the more interesting races to watch for gun owners this cycle. That’s partly because the turnout across such an interestingly drawn district will likely determine what kind of challengers he draws for the next decade. This is just election 1 of 5 with the new boundaries.

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