Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Margo Davidson survives the challenge

Primary Day proved to be an interesting day for women in Pennsylvania.

Here in Delaware County, embattled incumbent state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, beat back a primary challenge from two foes within her own party.

Davidson had come under fire for her support of school choice and restrictions on abortion clinics. You'd almost get the feeling that she was targeted by her own party for not being 'liberal' enough.

It didn't work. But it wasn't easy.

Davidson, who made history when she succeeded longtime Rep. Mario Civera by being the first woman and first African-American sent to Harrisburg from the 164th, edged attorney Billy Smith and Dafan Zhang in a bit of a nail-biter.

Davidson racked up 2,675 votes to 2,143, according to unofficial results. Zhang trailed with just 241 votes.

For Allyson Schwartz, the news was not nearly as good. She gave up her 13th District seat in Congress to run against what everyone considered to be a very vulnerable Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett. She didn't count on being taken out by a lone Wolf.

York businessman Tom Wolf sank $10 million of his own money into an avalanche of TV ads in the dead of winter and never looked back.

Just before Christmas, Schwartz was the clear front-runner in the race, with the little-known Wolf bringing up the rear. Amazing what $10 million buys these days. After the torrent of TV ads, that picture was flipped, with Wolf holding a commanding lead he never gave up.

In her concession speech, Schwartz lamented that some day a woman will lead Pennsylvania. Not this year.

Back in her old stomping ground, Marjorie Margolies got trounced, despite the backing of the Clinton clan. Her son is married to Chelsea Clinton. And remember it was her crucial vote for then-President Bill Clinton that paved the way for passage of his budget - and her ticket out of Congress.

She fell to the organization of Northeast Philly state Rep. Brendan Boyle. He had 41 precent of the vote, to just 27 percent for Magolies.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, the "liberal lion" of Harrisburg, was a distant third with just 17 percent of the vote.

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