States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Pennsylvania 2020

Goal

Flip a chamber

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

21 Democrats

28 Republicans

1 Independents

State House

93 Democrats

110 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

Pennsylvania is one of the three states that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. But we can stop looking to 2016 to predict what will happen in 2020; we can look at special elections at the state legislative level. And all indications point to mounting political momentum in Pennsylvania: Since January 2019, Democrats have won two critical special elections. Special elections like these suggest that Democrats are well positioned to win one or both chambers of the legislature in 2020.

The Stakes

Pennsylvania used to be a state that championed a decent quality of life for middle-class families, ensuring everyone had a fair chance at work, at home and at school. The Republican majority in the legislature has done everything it can to unravel that proud history.

  • Worked to undermine education from top to bottom: targeting K-12 public education, rejecting pre-k initiatives, and blocking efforts to make college more affordable.
  • Insulated themselves from political accountability, obstructing bills expanding voting rights and implementing one of the country’s most extreme gerrymanders that was ultimately found in violation of the state’s constitution.
  • Systematically unwound the state’s historic commitment to workers’ rights, blocking bills for livable wages, equal pay for equal work, and paid leave.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire Pennsylvania House is up for election, and Democrats need to net nine of 110 Republican-held seats to flip the chamber.
  • Democrats only need to win Republican-held seats won by either Clinton or Obama to flip the chamber.
  • In a March 2019 special election, Democrats won a Pennsylvania House special election by 25% in a seat that Trump won by 8%—a 33-point swing.
  • In 2018:
    • Democrats netted 13 seats, the first step in a two-cycle lift to win the chamber.
    • Democratic Governor Tom Wolf won 41 Republican-held districts, many by double digits.

Meet the candidates

  • Howie Hayes
    HD-18

    Howie has worked as a plumber for the past 22 years, and as an active union member he's seen the challenges that everyday Pennsylvanians face. He is up against a political dynasty to be a voice for change for working families.

  • Brittney Rodas
    HD-105

    Brittney’s passion for public service is informed by the year she spent fighting to help her father get affordable healthcare before he passed away. She is running for the state House to ensure everyone has access to healthcare & mental health resources.

  • Gary Spillane
    HD-144

    Gary is a small business owner who cares deeply for decency and fairness. Tired of watching his community suffer from the opioid crisis and financial mismanagement, he is running for the State House to make a difference.

  • Jonathan Kassa
    HD-151

    From improving education programs at a non-profit to strengthening school safety while serving on the school board, Jonathan has dedicated his life to improving young people’s lives. He is running to take this fight for Pennsylvania children to Harrisburg.

  • Nancy Guenst
    HD-152

    Nancy served in the Army as an intel analyst before coming home and being elected to the Borough Council and then Mayor of Hatboro. A champion of equality and human rights initiatives, she is running to make progress on these fights for all Pennsylvanians.

  • Anton Andrew
    HD-160

    Anton fought for poor and working class families as a public defender. Now, he is running for office to advocate for a sustainable environment, and to help all families realize the American Dream.

  • Deb Ciamacca
    HD-168

    A Marine Corps Veteran, businesswoman, and teacher, Deb has served her community for decades. She fought to keep guns out of our schools and to have fair representation through non-gerrymandered districts, and she wants to take those fights to Harrisburg.

  • Claudette Williams
    HD-176

    After thirty years in the military, Claudette is running to ensure access to healthcare and strong education for all Pennsylvanians. She became the first African American woman elected President of Council for the borough of Mount Pocono.