The race in the 17th, covering parts Montgomery and Delaware Counties, is less about ideas and more about incumbent Senator Daylin Leach. This board has concerns about the results of an investigation commissioned by Senate Democrats into allegations of troubling behavior. The report from the investigation did not find any conduct that met the bar for legal workplace harassment, and Leach, 58, has claimed it exonerated him. But the report nonetheless found that Leach “engaged in joking and humor that was immature and unprofessional,” some of it “unquestionably sexual in nature," and that “jokes with a sexual context...have the potential to create a hostile work environment.” (Leach has sued this newspaper based upon its reporting related to the investigation. The editorial board operates independently from the newsroom and the suit has no bearing on our endorsement process.)
Following the report, Senate leadership called on him to resign.
Fortunately, his opponent, Amanda Cappelletti, brings a fresh view and an impressive resume to Harrisburg.
A graduate of Temple Law, Cappelletti, 33, has been a fellow at the ACLU-PA, worked at state government, and most recently was the policy director of Planned Parenthood PA. Cappelletti also has a master’s in public health. It’s hard to think of a more relevant credential to this moment.
Cappelletti is running on a progressive platform that includes a $15 minimum wage, gun control, addressing the gender pay gap, tighter regulation of charter schools, and environmental protections.
A number of high profile endorsements suggests that there are many experienced officials who would support Cappelletti as she learns the ropes.
The 2020 Pennsylvania primary was once one of the most anticipated, with high stakes in the presidential race. Now, due to COVID-19, an early end to the Democratic presidential primary, and a rescheduled date, it’s easy to forget that there is an election. This primary is still important, setting up the November matchups between Republicans and Democrats for critical positions in our state government. These include General Assembly seats and three statewide offices: Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer. There are also two city charter amendments on the ballot (our recommendations for these will appear this week.)
The key date in this primary, however, is not June 2. It’s Tuesday, May 26, at 5 p.m., the deadline for requests for mail-in ballots.