Good Policy Makes Good Politics
2022 has marked several political milestones for Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania. Our political engagement hinges on leadership for our issues for incumbents and for new candidates, alignment on the issues we prioritize with a commitment that these candidates will work to advance those chief priorities. Each of the individuals we’ve endorsed for the 2023-2024 General Assembly are individuals who have fiercely committed to working collaboratively with their colleagues to ensure Pennsylvanians have an unencumbered path to live their unique version of the American Dream. For incumbents, we based our endorsements on their voting records with a large emphasis on their historic grades on both midsession and full session scorecards. For first-time candidates, we conducted policy interviews and coupled that discussion with their completed questionnaires. This allowed us to decide their potential alignment from economic progress portfolio work around fiscal and regulatory reform to criminal justice and health care. We analyzed dozens of the 203 races in the house and 25 in the senate. This process allowed us to pursue several political “firsts” for our chapter.
For the first time, we endorsed several candidates in the primary. One of those engagements was for Representative Natalie Mihalek who serves the 40th Legislative District outside of Pittsburgh. Representative Mihalek is a member with an undeniably strong record of not only supporting but championing transformative reforms that Harrisburg so sorely needs. This session, she introduced first-of-its-kind legislation for a constitutional amendment to finally privatize the state-run liquor monopoly. When we consider what it means to get back to “good government” at the state level, the elimination of the commonwealth’s role in liquor sales is arguably ground zero. We also endorsed Representative Greg Rothman, running for an open seat in the 34th Senatorial District. In the House, Representative Rothman has been a leading voice for permit transparency, granting applicants greater access to the progress their permit application is making through a given agency’s decision-making process. Additionally, he’s championed transformative labor reforms that would provide greater protections for public sector workers, a first amendment right worthy of greater defense.
Another first for our chapter was the endorsement of seven first-time candidates. Spanning from districts in the northeast to southwest, we have backed candidates who fully support our Personal Option approach to health care policy and who support reform to the budgeting status quo in Harrisburg. The districts include both open seats and challenges to several long-tenured incumbents. To highlight an open seat, Cindy Kirk is running in the open 30th Legislative District in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. She’s a candidate with a history of local government service on Allegheny County Council who spent her career as a nurse. In both capacities, she’s shown dedication to fiscal prudence by opposing tax hikes on council and enthusiasm for expanding access to care though nursing scope of practice reform. In the 16th Legislative District, we endorsed Rico Elmore, who is challenging a six-term incumbent who has a 31% on our current scorecard. Rico’s candidacy brings renewed hope for continuing occupational licensure reform conversations to address the workforce struggles that are plaguing our communities.
In total, we’ve endorsed a record 18 candidates for the General Assembly. As you think about your selections for state office, consider candidates who desire challenge to the status quo. We need reformers who will prioritize transformational legislation instead of advancing compartmentalized and diluted bills that stand to impact a select few. If there’s one resounding theme to what our team has heard on the doorsteps of Pennsylvanians from Pittsburgh to Palmyra to Philadelphia, it’s that they’re struggling. Relief can be granted in the 2023-2024 Legislative Session with a composition of members who will prioritize Main Street needs over State Street wants. We look forward to seeing you at the polls November 8th. Our primary endorsements are listed here, our first-round of general election endorsements can be found here and the second round can be accessed here. I’m Ashley Klingensmith, State Director with Americans for Prosperity-PA. You can find us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and can follow us on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.
Ashley Sisca Klingensmith | State Director | Americans for Prosperity – PA
m: 412.915.1551 | e: [email protected] | @AFPPennsylvania