Pittsburgh Courier: The Courier’s Endorsements for the May 15, 2018 Primary Election

By Pittsburgh Courier Editorial Board

On March 13, Republicans across the state and across the country watched what possibly could be the beginning of the end.

A bright-smiled, clean-cut moderate Democrat simply named Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone for the vacant U.S. House District 18 seat. Sure, the drama spilled into the night, with the race too close to call. But when it was all said and done, the Democrat pulled off the upset in a district that’s a Republican stronghold.

What did this mean? Many political experts said it signaled that many White voters had expressed their displeasure with the party and its leader, President Donald Trump. There was always a buzz that Republicans could be in trouble, but Lamb’s victory even had Fox News struggling to make sense of it.

The New Pittsburgh Courier is officially endorsing 10 candidates in the Pennsylvania Primary Election, May 15—and they’re all Democrats. The candidates, in our view, have shown a propensity to support laws and bills that place African Americans and other minority groups in a better position to succeed and thrive—without the “Mean Tweets” and claims of “Fake News.”

And here, it all starts at the top, with Gov. Tom Wolf. His platform, according to his website, centers around “jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works.” We believe he has delivered on his promises. The state’s uninsured rate has declined to the lowest on record, and more Pennsylvanians are going back to work—with a higher minimum wage in the works. He’s also leading the effort on fighting the opioid addiction crisis.

Braddock mayor John Fetterman is raising the stakes to become Lt. Governor. We’re very familiar with Fetterman, and his active presence in Braddock has been welcomed by all.

On April 19, Lamb took the August Wilson Center stage at the A. Phillip Randolph Institute’s 50th Anniversary Gala. He delighted the audience, and the audience seemed to enjoy him as well. Lamb, the Central Catholic graduate, speaks with a tough, firm tone. It’s that tone that will be needed to combat increased GOP opposition heading into a newly-drawn District (17). We believe Lamb is ready for yet another challenge.

As one of the oldest African American newspapers in the country, we always have our eyes on Pittsburgh’s Black community. In our March 14 edition, we spotlighted young African Americans who are making an impact on the area’s political scene. Marita Garrett is the current mayor of Wilkinsburg, and Austin Davis became the first Black man to represent a state House District outside city limits. The other young people we profiled, Summer Lee and Aerion Abney, are promising figures on the political landscape.

Lee is challenging incumbent Paul Costa for the District 34 seat. We are intrigued and impressed with Lee’s campaign. It’s been visible from its inception, and Lee, an attorney, doesn’t feel it’s beneath her to go door-to-door and garner support for better schools for Woodland Hills students. Many of the causes she’s fought for over the past years haven’t been about her. It’s been about the people of North Braddock, Braddock, Swissvale, etc. We believe she will be a welcome addition to the PA state House.

Abney is a very respected leader in his own right. The Manchester resident is working every day to better his community. However, now is not the time to discontinue the momentum that incumbent Jake Wheatley has mustered—helping Beltzhoover residents secure funding for fixing up neighborhood homes, playing a role in the upcoming Highline Pittsburgh project on E. Carson St., and other countless objectives. In a word, Wheatley is “connected.” We feel as though for Wheatley, all he has to do is make “one phone call” and action will be taken.

To our primarily African American readers, be sure to cast your vote, and let your voice be heard on May 15. It will be the most important thing you do on that day.

United States Senator

Bob Casey Jr.

Governor

Tom Wolf

Lt. Governor

John Fetterman

17th Congressional District

Conor Lamb

18th Congressional District

Mike Doyle

19th State Legislative District

Jake Wheatley

24th State Legislative District

Edward Gainey

34th State Legislative District

Summer Lee

35th State Legislative District

Austin Davis

46th State Legislative District

Rueben Brock