“ChangePA was the game-changer for my campaign.” 

— Rep. Joe Webster

Hear Lisa Borowski, winning candidate for House District 168, Delaware County, thank ChangePA for its support.

ChangePA

TIME FOR CHANGE

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Hear Rep. Jennifer O’Mara explain how she flipped a traditionally GOP seat.

“ChangePA’s support gave me the financial boost I needed—to spend my time at the doors, listening and speaking with people, instead of having to ask for money.” 

— Rep. Melissa Shusterman

Thank you for helping Democrats win a majority in the Pennsylvania State House!!!

 
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Who We Are

Time for Change

We are a Political Action Committee dedicated to winning a Democratic majority in the Pennsylvania State House.

ChangePA actively raises money year round because we believe early money is critical. We find and support strong candidates in Republican-held districts that have the potential to be flipped. Using a rigorous candidate selection process, ChangePA is able to contribute where funds will make the biggest difference and at the time the candidates most need help.​ We have no paid staff, so every dollar we raise above expenses goes to candidates.​

ChangePA focuses on State House races because they receive less public attention and less funding than elections to the U.S. Congress—so ChangePA’s contributions have a big impact.

 

In the 2022 elections, eight ChangePA-supported challengers were elected along with all seven of the incumbents ChangePA supported.

 

Democrats won a majority of the seats in the State House for the first time in over a decade. This will ensure that Democrat Josh Shapiro, the Governor-elect, will be able to stop the Republicans’ extremist legislation.

Throw Pennsylvania Republicans Out of Office

As Pennsylvanians, our job in defending American democracy against the radical Republican agenda starts in our backyard:

  • Republicans have controlled the Pennsylvania Senate for the last thirty years, the State House for twenty-six of those thirty years, and both houses for the last ten years.

  • Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom on multiple social and economic indicators ranging from education funding and clean water to infrastructure and public health.

  • Pennsylvania Republican legislators are enthusiastic soldiers in a national assault on truth and democratic values.

  • Pennsylvania Republicans rigged the system with gerrymandered districts and continue efforts to unfairly limit access to voting.

Republican control of the Pennsylvania legislature has meant:

  • Women’s health care is under attack.

  • We cannot pass responsible gun control.

  • We cannot change our inequitable taxing system.

  • We are the only state that doesn’t tax fracking.

  • We underfund public education.

  • We are hostile to the environment.

  • Gerrymandering is a way of life.

Thank you for your support! You made the difference!!!

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Hon. Mark Bernstein (Ret.)

Laslo Boyd, Ph.D.

Anne Hagele

Margaret Harris

Peshe Kuriloff

Kim Oxholm

Hon. Flora Wolf (Ret.)

“ChangePA helped us to level the playing field. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

 

— Rep. Danielle Friel Otten

Donations by check should be made out to ChangePA and mailed to

ChangePA, 3006 Foxx Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

 
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Candidates

We are pleased to announce that eight of the challengers ChangePA supported in the 2022 elections were victorious, as were all seven of the ChangePA-supported incumbents.

Through a rigorous evaluation process conducted by our Selection Committee and ratified by our Steering Committee, we identified districts that, by the data, appeared to be competitive and good candidates who fit their districts and had strong strategies for winning.

 

Following the conclusion reached in our post-2020 Election Report, these distributions came much earlier than in previous elections. We started contributing to candidates in June 2022 by supporting five challengers and the six incumbents we supported in previous elections. We thereafter contributed to an additional six candidates, for a total of seventeen.

We raised over $300,000 for this cycle, and our contributions made a big impact in each race. 

 

Here are the candidates who received new donations from ChangePA and won:

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Lisa Borowski, HD 168, Delaware County

  • She has been a Commissioner in Radnor for four years

  • Previously on the School Board

  • The House Democratic Campaign Committee calls this a "Red to Blue" district (their highest recommendation)

  • Attorney General Josh Shapiro won 56% of the vote in this district the last time he ran

  • President Biden won 61% of the vote in this district in 2020

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Tim Brennan, HD 29, Bucks County

  • Doylestown Borough Council member

  • Represents injured workers as specialist in workers’ compensation law

  • “Red to Blue” district

  • Shapiro 55%

  • Biden 58%

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Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, HD 129, Berks County

  • President of Reading City Council

  • Entrepreneur running Mi Casa Su Casa Café in multiple locations

  • “Red to Blue” district

  • Shapiro 62%

  • Biden 60%

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Melissa Cerrato, HD 151, Montgomery County

  • District Director under State Representative Liz Hanbidge

  • “Red to Blue” district

  • Shapiro 62%

  • Biden 62%

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Paul Friel, HD 26, Chester and Delaware Counties

  • Second time running

  • President of local school board

  • “Red to Blue” district

  • Shapiro 53%

  • Biden 56%

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Joe Hohenstein, HD 177, Philadelphia County

  • Incumbent first elected in 2018

  • Immigration attorney who developed first immigration law clinic at Temple law school

  • 15 years service on board of Frankford Friends School

  • Shapiro 65%

  • Biden 64%

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Christopher Pielli, HD 156, Chester County

  • Democratic State Committee member

  • West Goshen Township Supervisor

  • First Democrat elected as Chester County Recorder of Deeds

  • The incumbent Democrat has retired so this is a district we need to hold

  • Shapiro 57%

  • Biden 61%

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Tarah Probst, HD 189, Monroe and Pike Counties

  • Three term Mayor of Stroudsburg

  • “Red to Blue” district

  • Shapiro 56%

  • Biden 61%

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Paul Takac, HD 82, Centre County

  • Member of College Township Council

  • Vice-Chair of both the Spring Creek Watershed Commission and the Public Safety Committee of the Centre Region Council of Government

  • No incumbent

  • Shapiro 51%

  • Biden 52%

And, of course, each of the incumbents we helped to flip Republican seats in previous elections:

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Nancy Guenst, HD 152, Montgomery County

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Liz Hanbidge, HD 61, Montgomery County

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Jennifer O’Mara, HD 165, Delaware County

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Danielle Friel Otten, HD 155, Chester County

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Melissa Shusterman, HD 157, Chester County

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Joe Webster, HD 150, Montgomery County

Want to learn more about what we’re doing at ChangePA? Subscribe to our email updates!
 
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Events & News

ChangePA in Final Push for 2022 Election

Hear the response of Melissa Cerrato, Democratic candidate for House District 151, respond to her opponents attempt to silence her.

Hear Paul Friel, Democratic candidate for House District 26, thank ChangePA for its support.

ChangePA is in the final push for the November 2022 election.

We have contributed to eleven strong Democratic candidates and to the six Democratic incumbents we have previously helped to elect. Read about them in the “Candidates” section above!

 

With your help, we have a chance to flip the Pennsylvania State House from Republican to Democrat.

At the bare minimum, we have to ensure that there are enough Democrats in the State House to sustain a new Democratic governor’s veto of radical Republican legislation.

The State House is our last line of defense against Republican attempts to, among other things, destroy a woman’s right to choose, eliminate government regulation of environmental safety, and perpetuate a gun culture gone mad.

Democrats now have a chance to succeed not only nationally but in state races too. In Pennsylvania, both Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman are polling ahead of their MAGA-picked opponents for the governorship of the state and representation in the U.S. Senate.

But the tailwinds created by statewide candidates won’t matter if people don’t vote for Democrats down the ballot. As we learned from the 2020 election, some people are content to be fooled that their Republican State House representatives aren’t involved in Donald Trump’s takedown of our constitutional norms.

 

The idea that Republican State Representatives aren’t in the same party as Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz is wrong. If you follow the proceedings of the State House closely, you will see that the Republican State Representatives vote in lock step with the MAGA leadership.

 

These Republican State Representatives might talk about how they don’t always vote the Republican party line. They are being duplicitous. They are scared of Donald Trump. When it comes time to walk the walk, they stride down the aisle to cast their votes for extremist Republican legislation that will directly affect your rights and safety.

Take the race for State House District 151 in Montgomery County. The ChangePA-supported candidate, Melissa Cerrato, is challenging the Republican incumbent Todd Stephens. He casts himself as a Republican in name only. She hit him hard for voting against a woman's right to control her own body. What did he do? Rather than defend his record, he had a lawyer write Melissa a cease and desist letter in an attempt to silence her. Watch the video posted on this page to see Melissa’s response

ChangePA has raised over $300,000 in this election cycle for our mission to help Democratic candidates win State House seats. 

 

We have been honored to have many Democratic State Representatives and candidates for the State House as guests at our House Party fundraisers, as well as Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro. Each gave us a unique window into their knowledge and experiences.

 

Thank you so much to these wonderful guests and to all of our House Party co-hosts, who brought so many fine people together united in a common cause—to change the Pennsylvania State House for the better.

Hear Cathy Spahr, Democratic candidate for House District 160, thank ChangePA for its support.

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For this report, 3 leaders of ChangePA and the PA Blue Victory Fund interviewed 30 individuals involved in the 2020 elections, including 14 Democratic challengers and 5 incumbents.

State Representative Matt Bradford called the report, “about as thoughtful and high-level summary of what went on as I read from some of the best political strategists who would pretend to give advice to us as legislative leaders.” Here are some of the report’s highlights.

 

The election was dominated by the presence of Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket. Although all the candidates we interviewed achieved higher vote totals in their districts than ever beforerecord high Republican voter turnout, combined with gerrymandered districts, created a perfect storm for Democratic candidates for the Pennsylvania State House. Meanwhile, polling was generally way off the mark

 

Lessons for 2022 

 

  • Campaigning needs to start well before the year of the election.

  • Candidate messaging needs to incorporate on-the-ground and personal knowledge of the district.  

  • Early money is critical. Rather than holding most funds until the last months, candidates need resources early to define themselves to voters and to respond to attack ads. 

 

Next Steps for ChangePA

The mission of ChangePA remains unchanged: 

 

  • Win a Democratic State House majority

  • Commit to a year-round, cycle-to-cycle, two-year effort within target districts. 

  • Build and sustain citizen focus on Pennsylvania state government

  • Expand fundraising to include efforts that support election infrastructure, messaging, and strategy

 

Read the full report here.

Latest News

It’s up to Pa. Voters to Preserve Democracy in November

June 12, 2022 — Jan. 6 showed us that the American Experiment is fragile. There is no guarantee that it will prevail if a candidate who pledges to override election results takes office.

Ezra Klein Says That Steve Bannon Is Onto Something

January 10, 2022 —The right pays attention to where power lies in the American system. Bannon calls this “the precinct strategy,” and it’s working. To protect democracy, Democrats have to win more elections. To do that, they need to make sure the country’s local electoral machinery isn’t corrupted by the Trumpist right. 

What We Know About the High, Broad Turnout in the 2020 Election

 May 13, 2021 — 66.8% of eligible voters cast ballots in 2020, up from 60.1% in 2016 and the highest turnout rate since 1900. The boost was especially large among groups who have voted at lower rates. That suggests the 2020 election not only inspired high turnout overall, but also drew broader participation.

The Trump G.O.P.’s Plot Against Liz Cheney — and Our Democracy

May 11, 2021 — The GOP has declared that Trump’s ability to energize its base is so irreplaceable that it justifies accepting his Big Lie about the 2020 election and leveraging that lie to impose voter-suppression laws and changes in the rules of who can certify elections in order to lock in minority control for Republicans if need be. 

 
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Blog

by Laslo Boyd, Ph.D.

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November 1, 2022

Sore Losers, Delusional Malcontents, and Other Republicans

How we, as a country, handle the upheaval that is likely to result from this election will be a major test of our collective commitment to democracy.

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October 29, 2022

Republican Celebrity Senate Candidates

Republican Party Senate nominees in three elections bring as their only significant credential their celebrity status from fields other than politics.

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October 9, 2022

A Tale of Two Senate Elections

Pennsylvania and Georgia: more than Senate elections. What happens in these two states may foreshadow much of our collective future.