Political Notes- 03/09/06



Fringe Player Could Sway Vote

In an interesting twist to Pennsylvania politics, it appears that if pro-choice activist Kate Michelman runs as a third-party candidate to challenge Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in November, she might deliver a victory to the staunchly pro-life two-term senator in his re-election fight against Democratic state Treasurer Bob Casey.

Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced last week that she was considering running as an independent in this year's senate race.

She told The Nation that she's appalled that both major parties are backing candidates who are both opposed to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican who currently trails Casey by more than 10 percentage points in the polls, stands to actually gain from a Michelman candidacy.

Hoeffel Looks to Enter the Fray

Former Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, the Montgomery County lawmaker who left Congress after losing to Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004, is trying his hand at another statewide race.

The Democrat announced that he will challenge Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for their party's nomination to the No. 2 seat in the state Capitol.

Whoever wins the May 16 primary will run alongside Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in his fight against Republican Lynn Swann.

Swann's running mate is Jim Matthews.



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