In one of the few competitive races in the recent primary, East Norriton Supervisor Amanda Cappelletti defeated incumbent State Senator Daylin Leach in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 17th Senatorial District (which includes West Conshohocken and Plymouth Township). Cappelletti will now face Republican Ellen Fisher in the general election,
The results of the Democratic primary were not close. Cappelletti won 21,464 to 12,39 with 98% of the polls reporting.
Cappelletti and Leach are both progressives and agree on almost everything, The driving issue was whether you believed Leach in relation to the accusations made against him that ranged from inappropriate office humor and rape. Cappelletti’s campaign message focused on the message that Leach was unfit for office.
Cappelletti released the below video after her victory:
Below is a portion of Leach post-election message from Facebook (full message here):
It’s now clear we won’t be winning the senate race. In fact, it won’t even be a tie. I just wanted to say a few words about the campaign and what the future holds.
First, I will miss having my amazing staff, working with them in common purpose and seeing them every day. Jen and I consider our staff to be family and we feel that not only the Leaches, but the Commonwealth will be poorer for the scattering that a loss such as this leads to.
I will also miss the opportunity to speak publicly on important issues. Anyone who knows me for 5 minutes knows that I have virtually no skills or talents. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t run fast, or relate to basic human emotions or even understand the concept of “table manners”.
However, I am a damn fine public speaker, and I hope that whatever I do next will involve at least some opportunity to bask in the sound of my voice, at least occasionally.
That said, I had not originally planned to run. Sometime a few years ago, after the signing into law of two signature pieces of legislation I had been working on, I came to feel that Harrisburg was not the best place for me to make a difference going forward. We rarely solve or even address the big problems. Almost every bill of consequence passes on a strict party-line vote. There is no meaningful debate and little camaraderie or joy.
When I speak to young people about politics, I say that when they stop being excited to go to work every morning, it’s time to find something else to do. And I knew I had reached that point. On election night of 2016. I was re-elected but it was the night Hillary lost. I knew that politics was about to take a very ugly turn (look how prescient I am!).
I told Jen that night that I thought this would be my last term. Then the Inquirer started attacking me, and I felt compelled to run again, in part for self-vindication, and in part to vindicate verities like due process, the importance of truth and basic fairness, and in defiance of the prevailing cancel-culture and weaponization of issues that I felt was poisoning not only politics, but society writ large.
I am proud of myself, my family and my staff for enduring far more than most people could in the fight for the progressive values that have always animated us.
I’m looking forward to using whatever small modicum of ability I may have to work for progress in a forum that I enjoy more day-to-day. I don’t know what form that will take yet. Maybe I’ll write for a while, or work in the cannabis industry, or win Wimbledon. I’m going to take some time and think about it.
I am also going to focus on helping my staff land in good, satisfying jobs. They are an exceptionally talented group of people, and if anyone knows of an opportunity in or out of politics that they might be suited for, please let me know.
Photos: Daylin Leach and Amanda Cappelletti