Planned Parenthood PA PAC endorses reproductive rights leaders in the 2024 election - TAI News
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On March 8, Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania Political Action Committee endorsed over 100 candidates for legislative seats and one for state auditor general.

Adam Hosey, the political director of the PAC, told the Pennsylvania Independent that some of the candidates are poised to flip important districts and others are vital in securing legal protection of the right to abortion.

Hosey said one seat the PAC would like to flip is state Senate District 15, which includes Harrisburg. Democratic state Rep. Patty Kim is running for the seat, and if she wins in November, she would be the first Asian American woman elected to the Senate. The seat is currently held by Republican Sen. John DiSanto, who opposes abortion and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2021, DiSanto co-sponsored S.B. 378, legislation that would have made abortion illegal after six weeks of pregnancy.

In December 2023, DiSanto announced he would not be running for reelection in 2024.

Republican Ken Stambaugh, a U.S. Army veteran who currently serves as commander of the Dauphin County Council of the American Legion, recently entered the race, along with Republican Nick DiFrancesco, the Dauphin County treasurer. 

Hosey also highlighted two candidates in the Pittsburgh area: Nicole Ruscitto, who is running in Senate District 37, and Hadley Haas, running in House District 44. 

Ruscitto is a public school teacher in the South Park School District and has also served as a Jefferson Hills council member.

Hass is running against a staunchly anti-abortion Republican, incumbent Rep. Valerie Gaydos, who voted in favor of an effort to exclude the right to abortion from the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Hosey also mentioned Eleanor Breslin, a lawyer and Tinicum Township supervisor running for House District 143 in Bucks County, and Anna Thomas, a former Bethlehem Area School Board member running for House District 137 in the Lehigh Valley.

“We just love seeing this new generation of elected politicians that are energized and excited and got mobilized because of the Dobbs decision,” Hosey said.

Planned Parenthood PAC also endorsed Pennsylvania Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, who is running for state auditor general. Human Rights Campaign PAC joined Planned Parenthood’s PAC in endorsing Kenyatta.

Kenyatta was the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the General Assembly in 2018 and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to run for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Kenyatta is running against incumbent Republican Auditor General Tim DeFoor.

The job of the auditor general is to audit government spending to ensure tax revenue is properly and legally spent.

“What’s interesting about the auditor general role is that it’s the one role in state government that’s about keeping people from getting screwed,” Kenyatta told the Pennsylvania Independent. “It’s that role in government that not only is a fiscal watchdog but is the public advocate.”

Kenyatta said it wasn’t his dream growing up to someday become an auditor general. 

“This is one of those elections where you can’t just vote at the top of the ticket, leave, and say, Hey, I did my part,” Kenyatta said. “Pennsylvania was the one state in the country where we had an elected judge say, Hey, Donald Trump, maybe there’s something to your election lies, and imagine it, the sitting auditor general was like, Hey, maybe you’re right, maybe we shouldn’t certify the election.”

The full list of Planned Parenthood Action PAC’s endorsed legislative candidates can be found on its website.

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