The Lead

Skopov announces second challenge to Turzai

By: - August 2, 2019 3:37 pm

Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny (“Friends of Mike Turzai” / WikiMedia Commons)

After falling short in 2018, Democrat Emily Skopov, a former screenwriter and nonprofit executive, is taking another run at toppling the state House’s highest ranking official, Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny.

Turzai, first elected in 2001, beat Skopov 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent last year. At the same time, Democrats dominated the district at the top of the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf did best, winning nearly 55 percent of the district’s voters in his successful reelection campaign.

The 28th House District, which Turzai currently holds, is in the affluent northern Pittsburgh suburbs, including McCandless, Franklin Park and Marshall townships.

President Donald Trump won the district by 52 percent in 2016, a full ten points less than 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, according to data collected by Daily Kos, a progressive blog.

Skopov announced the run in a press release Thursday. She told the Capital-Star that she thinks her race last year was a signal to both state politicos and the district’s voters.

“The people here are now realizing this is a race that can be won by a Democrat,” she said, adding that “no one really understood what that district was yet.”

A spokesperson for Turzai’s reelection campaign did not return a request for comment. In 2016, Turzai won 65-35 against a Democratic candidate. He was unopposed in the previous two races.


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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.