Pennsylvania congressman warns of ‘radical’ and ‘socialist’ infiltration in fundraising pitch

    US Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-PA 11, used this image to appeal for campaign contributions over Facebook today. (

    He linked to his campaign’s donation page, telling followers, “We need your help to make sure socialism does not grow roots in our communities.”

    The incumbent Smucker defeated Democratic candidate Jess King in the November general election to secure his second term in Congress. His central Pennsylvania district includes Lancaster County and part of York County.

    During the campaign, Smucker and the state Republican Party regularly labeled King a socialist because of her support for Medicare-for-All.

    The state GOP also pulled out the s-word in a Tuesday press release about Marc Friedenberg, the Democratic party’s 12th Congressional District candidate. Like King, Friedenberg supports Medicare-for-All as well as the new Green Deal advanced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

    Neither Friedenberg nor King call themselves socialists.

    In January, three-DSA backed candidates were seated in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives.

    Democratic representatives Elizabeth Fiedler, of Philadelphia, and Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato, both of Pittsburgh, have spent their first days in office drafting legislation to improve labor practices, voting security, and augment municipal taxing powers.

    Public polling data show that “socialism” remains a dirty word among the American electorate, even though a growing number of voters support policies put forth by socialist candidates and elected officials.

    Most voters say they wouldn’t vote for a socialist candidate, even though the vast majority of those polled support socialist policies like nationalized healthcare.

    On the agenda for Pennsylvania’s DSA-backed freshmen: small steps toward a larger progressive vision

    Updated, 4 p.m.

    Elizabeth Hardison covers the state Senate, as well as education and criminal justice issues, for the Capital-Star. You can reach her at [email protected], on Twitter @ElizHardison, or by phone at 607-437-3548.

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