Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Josh Shapiro has a short list of potential picks he might endorse as a running mate

A Democrat familiar with discussions under way say state Attorney General Josh Shapiro is looking for a running mate with “different life experiences.” Three members of the state House made the list.

Josh Shapiro during a rally at Penn State’s Abington campus after announcing his campaign on Wednesday.
Josh Shapiro during a rally at Penn State’s Abington campus after announcing his campaign on Wednesday.Read moreELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Pennsylvania’s Republican and Democratic Parties have long taken different approaches to the position of lieutenant governor.

The Republicans focused early on building a ticket, with an emphasis on regional diversity. If the party’s favorite for governor was from Western Pennsylvania, its pick for lieutenant governor was likely to hail from the eastern end of the state.

The Democrats went through cycles of messy, free-for-all primaries, pairing nominees who didn’t always look like teammates. What, you thought Tom Wolf picked Mike Stack III in 2014?

Clout hears Josh Shapiro is mulling a different approach. The state attorney general, who officially launched his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor this week, has a short list of potential running mates and is considering an early endorsement.

A Democrat familiar with those discussions listed three possible picks, all from the state House: Brian Sims of Philadelphia, Patty Kim of Harrisburg, and Austin Davis of Allegheny County.

Since Shapiro has effectively cleared the Democratic field, his endorsement for a running mate would have a lot of sway.

Clout’s source said Shapiro, who lives in Abington, has not decided if one of them will get his nod but is interested in a running mate “who brings a different life experience.”

Davis, in the House since 2018, is the first Black representative in his district’s history. Kim, a former television news anchor first elected in 2012, was the first Asian American woman in the House. Sims, in his fifth term, was the chamber’s first openly gay member.

The three expressed excitement about Shapiro’s candidacy when Clout reached out. Davis and Kim said they’re mulling runs for lieutenant governor. Sims had already entered the race, back in February.

Davis noted that Shapiro opened his campaign with a stump speech in Pittsburgh, a nod to the need for geographic balance. He said racial diversity on the ticket would make sense, too.

Sims said he is “grateful” that Shapiro and his campaign think “I’m the kind of person who can add to their effort and can represent the state.”

Steve Irwin, a Pittsburgh attorney who served in former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration, is also exploring a Democratic primary bid.

Two Republicans are seeking the post — former State Rep. Rick Saccone of Allegheny County and James Jones, a two-time congressional candidate from Montgomery County. The party’s primary for governor is a crowded affair so far.

Johnny Doc touts his charitable ways

John Dougherty wanted it both ways.

The electricians union leader known as Johnny Doc, with a day off Monday from his federal trial, called a news conference to donate $20,000 to a charity that helps people with autism.

“Just so you know, this has nothing to do with last week’s activities or tomorrow’s activities,” Dougherty said outside of the headquarters for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, referring to Tuesday’s resumption of testimony in the case accusing him of using a union salary to bribe City Councilmember Bobby Henon.

“But I also knew I would get your attention today,” Dougherty said to the reporters who showed up. “I used this week’s environment to get your attention.”

The $20,000 went to Autism REC, a group founded by Jamila Tucker-Mulero two years ago that she said now serves 154 families.

The donation — with about half coming from union members and half from the union — grew from conversations with families seeking support for children with autism, Dougherty said.

Dougherty used a substantial part of his time at the microphone Monday to focus on his past charitable work in the city and efforts on behalf of the union. The federal jury hearing his case has been advised to avoid any media mention of Dougherty.

“I could hold press conferences about that every day and people would come,” Dougherty said. “But I don’t, because that’s what we do every day.”

Accused Jan. 6 rioter hasn’t voted since 2017

A Philadelphia man identified as an alleged participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has not voted in four years, according to public records.

Michael Dickinson, 30, changed his voter registration from Republican to independent two weeks after the deadly riot, those records show.

He appeared by video Thursday in a hearing at which a judge allowed him to remain free on bail but ordered regular drug testing because he tested positive for marijuana two days after his arrest last week.

U.S. District Magistrate G. Michael Harvey, noting that “a number of firearms were found” in Dickinson’s house in the city’s Schuylkill neighborhood, ordered that any weapons be removed from the home.

Dickinson was identified in part by the light-gray hoodie he wore on Jan. 6, with the words Grays Ferry, Devil’s Pocket, and Schuylkill each written in the leaf of a green shamrock, authorities say.

He is charged with assaulting a police officer, civil disorder, committing an act of violence on Capitol grounds and other offenses. Prosecutors said he threw a coffee tumbler at police, hitting an officer in the face and chest and dumped water on other officers.