Down-Ballot: Focusing In On PA-16 And Christina Hartman

Dave Johnson

In September Campaign for America’s Future became a project of the new People’s Action. On October 18 People’s Action announced the People’s Action 22: Our slate of 2016 endorsed candidates.

The People’s Action 22

OurFuture’s October 18 post, Meet the “People’s Action 22”: Candidates Fighting For All Of Us by LeeAnn Hall and George Goehl, co-executive directors of People’s Action, explained,

In the final weeks of a dispiriting presidential election, hope is on the horizon – and it’s down-ballot. That’s where you will find more and more everyday people deciding to challenge neoliberal politics and build a bottom-up movement that fights for fairness in our economy and democracy for all people.

… The candidates who make up our “People’s Action 22” will help build on the progressive political revolution ignited by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. They are grassroots leaders committed to fighting for people instead of corporate profits. They have proven their commitment to racial justice, gender justice, climate justice and economic justice.

We know this because the “People’s Action 22” candidates come from out of the justice movement in America; many of them as leaders within our own organizations. They live in the real America, not in the corporate boardrooms.

Christina Hartman

One of those 22 is Christina Hartman, running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s District 16.

Interviewed for Daily Kos’ “Focus on the House” series, in Women to Watch: Christina Hartman, surging in Pennsylvania’s 16th District, Hartman said she was raised in Lancaster County,

My mother, Julia Hartman, is a first grade teacher at Sacred Heart School, and my dad, Bob Hartman, worked as a store manager. My grandparents were small business owners who taught me the value of hard work, volunteering, and the benefit that entrepreneurship brings to a community.

I credit the Manheim Township public schools and St. John Neumann Catholic Church for showing me firsthand the importance of helping neighbors, organizing fundraisers for those in need, and giving back to the community.

These lessons about community took hold, and I knew I wanted to make a career of sharing them around the world. Here at home, I have continued to focus on community development initiatives. I worked with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization pursuing justice for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Today, I bring my expertise to organizations in Lancaster such as Church World Service, the Non-Profit Resource Network at Millersville University, and the Parish Resource Center, providing leadership in strategic planning, fundraising, and communications to enhance the services that these organizations provide to the county and beyond.

… I have built a career negotiating and advocating for human rights around the globe often in politically toxic environments and across the table from people who often disagreed with me. I believe that experience makes me uniquely qualified to tackle the partisanship in Congress and to work with people from different perspectives to strengthen Social Security for future generations, expand access to affordable higher education and job training, and create tax breaks that help small businesses add local jobs.

The Daily Kos interview continues, talking about jobs, infrastructure, making higher education accessible, student loan debt and other issues.

Hartman is running against Republican State Senator Lloyd Smucker, a “doubled down” Trump supporter whose campaign website emphasizes that “that radical Islam must be destroyed.” National conservative groups are putting bigly money into Smucker’s campaign. According to LancasterOnline,

That level of spending by outside groups appears to be unprecedented for the 16th Congressional District, where Hartman is battling Republican state Sen. Lloyd Smucker for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts.

And it’s a sign that the race in what is traditionally considered a safe Republican district may be too close for comfort for the GOP.

[. . .] Nationwide, the American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund are targeting 32 Congressional districts in a campaign costing more than $40 million.

That’s more than twice what the two groups spent in 2014, according to the Washington, D.C., media outlet Roll Call.

Oh, one more thing, “The American Action Network is a 501(c)4, organization, which means it does not have to disclose its donors.”

Hartman makes note of her opponent’s support of Trump in this ad:

Hartman has also been endorsed by Barack Obama, who said,

“Hartman is a fighter for Pennsylvania’s working families, and will fight for a level playing field so that everyone has a shot at the American dream,” Obama said in a statement provided by Hartman’s campaign. “In Congress, I know that Hartman will stand up and fight to raise the minimum wage, end the influence of secret money in politics, and address the climate change crisis. All of Pennsylvania’s families can count on Christina Hartman to stand up for them, too.”

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