May 18, 2022
Reflecting on the 2022 Primary Elections, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA—"Yesterday was exhilarating--to relish in so many hard-fought victories for progressive champions in Philadelphia and beyond was a reminder of both the progress we have made and the work ahead:
"In the state legislature, our message and our fight clearly resonate with voters. The victories of our strong allies Representatives Elizabeth Fiedler (HD184), Rick Krajewski (HD188), and Chris Rabb (HD200) are a testament to not only the power of organizing, but to a round rejection of sinister attempts to buy elections and reject the will of the people. Despite the rejection of these three champions by the Democratic party and despite last-ditch efforts to sully their names and their work, including tens of thousands of dollars poured in by nefarious right-wing organizations, Representatives Fiedler, Krajewski, and Rabb were able to run and win on unapologetic platforms rooted in fighting tirelessly for the communities they represent. We were also pleased to support the reelection campaign of Representative Stephen Kinsey (HD201) and look forward to our continued partnership.
"Further, we were delighted to support public education champions Tarik Khan (HD194) and Anthony Bellmon (HD203) in their election bids. Both Tarik and Anthony will be invaluable partners in the State Legislature, and I am thrilled to have worked tirelessly to ensure their victories. And in State Senate, we were so pleased to support the campaign of Jimmy Dillon in the special election for SD5--our team was impressed by his candidacy and looks forward to a strong relationship.
"Over the course of this primary, we have been tireless in our commitment to advocating for our endorsed candidates. We have connected all of the dots between the attacks on public education and the urgency behind supporting our candidates. Our members received countless communications from us sharing the ins and outs of the legislative races. Further, members across the city and commonwealth were instrumental in volunteering throughout the primary. With hundreds and hundreds of members in many of the legislative districts, our collective efforts made all the difference.
"In several of the races, our endorsed candidates came up short, despite strong campaigns and powerful messages. I am so proud of our endorsed candidate for US Senate, Malcolm Kenyatta. Malcolm is a generational talent, an aspirational visionary, and a relentless fighter. Malcolm's historic campaign is only the beginning for him. I offer my sincere congratulations to John Fetterman on his win, and wish him the speediest of recoveries. This fall, we look forward to a robust effort to flip the open PA senate seat. No matter who the Republican nominee, whether Dr. Oz or Dave McCormick, we know that their values are anathema to the values of this union.
"I am also proud to have endorsed progressive champion Paul Prescod (SD8). While Paul came up short, he ran a terrific campaign rooted in a deep commitment to equity and justice. Paul, a former PFT member, ran a campaign that resonated and one that presented the first serious challenge to a decades-long incumbent. And I was also proud to have endorsed Cass Green for the newly-drawn HD10, whose election remains too close to call. Cass ran a strong campaign and would be a public education champion.
"And finally--and certainly not least--while many of the state legislative contests are effectively decided in the primary, the race for the Governor and Lt. Governor begins in earnest now. Our union was proud to endorse Josh Shapiro's candidacy for Governor and we are all in to ensure victory for both Shapiro and Austin Davis in November. Let's be very clear: the very existence of public education is on the ballot in November.
"The Republican nominee for Governor took to the stage yesterday evening and engaged in disgraceful attacks on the core values of our union--maligning public education, unions, and basic COVID protections as well as the leadership of Dr. Levine.
"We are so grateful to each of our members who turned out to volunteer, who turned out to vote, and who turned out to fight for a better tomorrow. Our collective work is impactful, and together, we will remain deeply committed to pursuing equity and justice."