State & Federal Political Recap

Barletta Launches Gubernatorial Campaign
Former Congressman Lou Barletta, R-Luzerne, has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 2022 gubernatorial race.  His announcement came via a video posted to Twitter, in which he critiqued Gov. Tom Wolf’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “But here in Pennsylvania, it (the pandemic) was made so much worse by politicians,” Barletta said in the video. “These politicians, and I’m talking about Gov. Wolf and the Harrisburg insiders, they had a disastrous response to the pandemic.  That’s why I’m running for governor. We need to take back our Commonwealth.” He brings with him a wealth of elected experience on both the federal and local levels – he served 8 years in the U.S. House representing Pennsylvania’s old 11th District and also was the mayor of Hazleton for a decade.  He also previously attempted to unseat incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, in 2018.


Primary Election Upset Sets Path for New Leadership in Pittsburgh
There will be a new mayor in the City of Steel next year.  After serving eight years as Pittsburgh’s mayor, incumbent Bill Peduto was defeated in the Democratic Primary Election by state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny. Gainey’s entry into the race highlighted a divide between Pittsburgh Democrats.  He gained the endorsement of more progressive members of the party – including state Reps. Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee.  Peduto, meanwhile, was supported by Congressman Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa.  With no Republican running in the race, his victory in the General Election is all but a given.  Gainey will make history as Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor.


General Assembly Make-Up Remains the Same After Special Elections
The political make-up of the General Assembly saw no change following the four Special Elections to fill vacancies in each chamber last week.  Republicans will maintain a 28-21 majority in the State Senate, with one Independent member who caucuses with Senate Republicans.  ChamberPAC endorsed candidate Chris Gebhard was victorious in his bid for the 48th Senatorial District seat.  Democrats will maintain control of the 22nd Senatorial District, with state Rep. Mary Flynn, D-Lackawanna, winning that race.

In the House, both Republican candidates sailed to easy victories, receiving well above 50 percent of the votes in each race.  ChamberPAC endorsed Abby Major will be the next representative of the 60th House District and Leslie Baum Rossi will represent the 59th House District.  Both seats were previously held by Republicans.  Republicans now hold a 113 to 90 majority in the House.  However, the chamber will soon have one vacancy when Rep. Flynn steps down to take on his new position in the Senate.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.