Daily Kos is proud to announce our primary endorsement of Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin for Congress in the state's 13th District. This seat is going to stay safely blue (it was 66-33 Obama in 2012), but this primary gives us the chance to bring one more stalwart progressive to Capitol Hill—a true leader.
Leach has a strong and lengthy track record of not just supporting progressive principles but leading the fight for change. He's someone who truly speaks our language, and does so with a really engaging sense of humor. Just watch the biography video from his campaign that starts this post off, or check out the highlights of his tenure in the legislature:
- He's fighting to raise the state's minimum wage: "The point of a job is to lift people out of poverty and allow them to provide for themselves and their families. If a job doesn't pay a sufficient wage to provide even the basics of life, and it has no health care or other benefits, it is not worth having."
- He's also pushing to legalize medicinal marijuana: "Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) and a coalition of families will stage a sit-in at Gov. Tom Corbett's (R) office if the governor does not agree to meet with them to discuss a medical marijuana legalization bill that could help children with debilitating seizures."
- His legislation ended the horrific practice of shackling pregnant prisoners during childbirth.
- On the state's onerous voter ID law: "[Leach] noted voter fraud is virtually nonexistent in Pennsylvania and the United States and ended his opening statements with this burn: “If you have to stop people voting to win elections, your ideas suck.”
- He introduced a marriage equality bill in 2009: "Leach, motivated by recent passage of same-sex marriage bills in New Hampshire and Maine, said he believes it is time to start the debate here. 'The alternative ... is retaining our current, archaic protocol which treats an entire group of citizens as second-class,' he said."
He also has a terrific wit that reflects his progressive values. Take this exchange from a recent debate with one of his primary opponents, physician Valerie Arkoosh, who set herself up by proclaiming her outsider status: "I would like to point out that Congress is full of career politicians and I don't think they're getting a lot done down there."
Leach turned that back on Arkoosh with cutting humor about her work in anesthesiology.This four-way primary also includes state Rep. Brendan Boyle (the only anti-choice candidate in the primary) and former Rep. Marjorie Margolies. who's described herself as a "centrist." In contrast, Leach wants nothing to do with the Third Way, putting himself squarely in the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party.
"When I go into an operating room, I don't want a career anesthesiologist," Leach joked, drawing laughter from the crowd. "I want someone who dabbles in it from time to time."
The primary is less than a month away, on May 20. Let's help get Daylin Leach over the top and into Congress in January, 2015.
You can read Sen. Leach's responses to the Daily Kos candidate questionnaire here. Suffice it to say, he hits it out of the park.