GOP's Hillman backs Democrat Wagner
A long-time Republican philanthropist is endorsing a Beechview Democrat's bid to win election to the state House.
Former GOP national committeewoman Elsie Hillman has sent letters to Republicans in the 22nd Legislative District urging them to write in Chelsa Wagner for the party nomination in Tuesday's primary.
Incumbent Michael Diven, R-Beechview, is running a write-in campaign for the GOP nomination. He was forced earlier this year to withdraw his name from the primary ballot because his nominating petition included the names of deceased voters.
A win by Wagner on the Republican and Democratic tickets would virtually guarantee her victory in November.
Hillman said her endorsement of Wagner is part of the "Run, Baby, Run" campaign, an effort to get more women elected to the state Legislature. Hillman also noted that there is no Republican candidate on the primary ballot.
"'Run, Baby, Run' is trying to get competent women elected to the Legislature," Hillman said Thursday. "(Wagner) is a young, spirited, very bright gal."
Wagner's decision to seek the 22nd District seat continues a political firefight that has raged between Wagner family allies and Diven. A Democrat turned Republican, Diven unsuccessfully sought the state Senate seat previously held by state Auditor General Jack Wagner, Chelsa's uncle. Her father is Pete Wagner, Democratic chairman of the city's 18th Ward.
Diven said he's being targeted because he's against abortion rights and opposed allowing the annual EMS tax to be increased beyond $52 to bail out the City of Pittsburgh.
"Obviously, Elsie Hillman can do and say whatever she likes," Diven, 36, said. "I am the Republican incumbent. It's a little shocking for her to take a public stand (against a Republican) as a Republican committeewoman."
Wagner said she has been running a door-to-door write-in campaign since April 17.
"I certainly don't hide the fact that I'm a Democrat," Wagner, 28, said.
She met Hillman during a seminar at Chatham College last year to encourage women to get involved in politics. Shortly after Wagner shared her plan to seek the GOP nomination as a write-in, Hillman offered to write the letter to Republicans endorsing Wagner.
"I was very honored for her to make the offer," Wagner said
The 22nd Legislative District includes the South Hills suburbs of Whitehall, Baldwin Township, Castle Shannon and the city neighborhoods of Brookline, Overbrook, Beechview and Mt. Washington and parts of Banksville, Esplen, Sheraden and Manchester.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Distracted Steelers show nothing in loss to Eagles
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- NFL could delay punishment
- Steelers notebook: Keisel dresses, but doesn’t play
- Youngwood shelter removes 44 dogs, 9 cats from shuttered Fayette SPCA
- Will soft foes mean fast start to the season for Pitt football team?
- Pittsburgh city vehicle repair delays elicit gripes about Cincinnati company
- LaBar: Hulk Hogan wants to fight Brock Lesnar?
- New Kensington slaying victims identified
- Pirates’ Axford overcame long odds to reach majors
- 6 arrested after brief SWAT standoff in Fineview