The LuLac Edition #1098, Feb. 16th, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: AUDITOR GENERAL JACK WAGNER, REPRESENTATIVE JOHN YUDICHAK AND WILKES BARRE MAYOR TOM LEIGHTON.
LEIGHTON VS. YUDICHAK
It seems as if the race for Ray Musto’s seat. This afternoon Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom Leighton announced his seat to succeed Musto. The other day State Representative John Yudichak announced for the office. This match will pit two incumbents on two different levels, Leighton on the city side and Yudichak at the State House level. You might say this race is dead even from the start. Both men have won multiple terms, both are strong in their home areas and both have the backing of certain party insiders. Here’s a capsule version of both candidates.
1.He is young, articulate, photogenic and has a body of work at the State Level that will serve him well. He can make the argument that he knows Harrisburg and can hit the ground running.
2.Yudichak is a tireless campaigner and uses media sparingly but well targeted. In this type of campaign look for the Representative’s credentials to be bandied about in all media.
3.Yudichak has contacts in the Wilkes Barre business community. The Mayor is not the favorite of everyone in the city and Yudichak has built a strong network of associates from his days as a corporate fundraiser for the Osterhout Library in town.
1.In the year of the incumbent, Yudichak can be painted with the broad brush of Legislative inaction. Even though he has done good things, it might be easy to hang the budget debacle on him.
2. Leighton can come out of the city of Wilkes Barre strong like Bill Amesbury did. This will force Yudichak to play “catch up” in a few districts just to break even.
1.Name recognition as the head of the district’s largest city. Leighton can point to many downtown improvements as well as his relationship with Ed Rendell as a benefactor of state funds.
2.Leighton has been a winner in five straight elections. He can build an organization, raise money and when he has to can be very charming on the campaign trail.
3.Leighton’s media will have to portray the Mayor as wanting to bring home the bacon for the 14th district. His best course is to say he will be a new voice to follow in the old tradition of Senate Musto’s tenure.
1.Leighton, while pointing to many downtown accomplishments has his share of detractors. Looking at the Times Leader comments after his announcement story tells a tale of people not happy with the Leighton administration. Many charged he has paid more attention to the city and the real estate interests of others than to the neighborhoods. Leighton also is not one to take any guff from anyone whether they be a TV news reporter or anyone else. That might be endearing to some but some say it is a YOU TUBE moment waiting to happen.
2. Leighton’s political strength in the city might be diluted by the Courthouse scandals. While the Mayor has never been connected with any of the wrong doing, a few of his political benefactors from years past will be concentrating on other matters this spring and not necessarily the elevation of Leighton to the Senate.
Right now the race is too close to call.
KANJO UP AND RUNNING
Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski has announced via his campaign's Twitter account that he's seeking a 13th term in Washington. The Nanticoke Democrat will face Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien, of Moosic, in the May primary election. The winner will battle the Republican nominee in November. Right now Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and Sky Top hedge fund manager Chris Paige are the two declared Republicans in the race. Today on kanjo4congress, the campaign's Twitter account, the campaign tweeted "Congressman Paul Kanjorski's volunteers in PA-11 are circulating his nominating petitions. He's running for reelecton."
Auditor General Jack Wagner announced an endorsement in his campaign for the Democratic primary for Governor. The Pennsylvania Restaurant Association endorsed Wagner, saying he "has a well established record in public service and what it takes to navigate our state through the difficult waters ahead." "I am honored to have earned the restaurant industry's support and endorsement for the Democratic primary for Governor," Wagner said. "As Auditor General, I consistently have advocated for reforming the operations of state government and promoted competition, transparency, performance, and accountability. I will continue to fight for Pennsylvania families, taxpayers, and businesses."