ABC Keystone Merit Shop Advocacy Blog

By: David G. Greineder, IOM, ABC Pennsylvania Director of Government Affairs

The new year began with the continued debate and drama of re-districting plans. The legislature has been moving legislation establishing new boundaries of the 17 congressional districts. Not surprisingly, the governor and Democrats have opposed the plan. On the other hand, state House and Senate district boundaries are decided by a five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which is controlled by Democrats. The maps released by the commission, particularly the House map, are opposed by Republicans. There is still a long way to go, and legal challenges will likely be filed by both sides, which will cause delays. Adding to the confusion, according to the current timeline, candidates seeking office are to circulate petitions starting on February 15 and ending on March 8, unless the legislature moves the primary timeline – which would be a political challenge in and of itself.

The open governor’s office and U.S. Senate seat are popular among candidates, and the list grows on a weekly basis. As of mid-January, 15 Republicans are seeking the governor’s office. Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the lone Democrat vying for that seat. For Lt. Governor, there are two Republicans and two Democrats who have officially entered the race. For U.S. Senate, there are 13 Republicans and 14 Democrats running. ABC of Pennsylvania will keep members aware of who’s in and who’s out as we draw closer to the May 17 primary.

Along with re-districting and the race to fill open seats, as is typical at the start of an election year, legislators have started to announce their intentions not to seek re-election. Other lawmakers have announced their interest in seeking other offices. At the time of this writing, there are a total of seven legislators not seeking re-election, six Republicans and one Democrat, and 11 that are seeking other offices, five Republicans and six Democrats.

What does this mean? Well, for the rest of this year, ABC of Pennsylvania advocacy programming in support of our legislative agenda will continue. We will also focus a lot of our attention on political fundraisers to support candidates that align with free enterprise and the merit shop philosophy. In addition, chapter leaders and the ABC of Pennsylvania board will begin to prepare a game plan for 2023 and beyond.

No matter what happens, majorities are likely to shrink, which makes our current agenda more difficult. In that regard, I will be asking chapter legislative committees and the state board to think about what issues ABC can engage in that are impactful AND have the votes to pass the legislature. If you have ideas, please pass them along to your chapter’s legislative committee chair or representative on the ABC of Pennsylvania board.

I am excited for another fun-filled year and look forward to adding to our list of accomplishments and progress.

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Posted February 8, 2022