Laurie MacDonald withdraws from 12th Congressional District Democrat primary race
ElectionMacDonald plans to run as write-in Republican candidate

Laurie MacDonald withdraws from 12th Congressional District Democrat primary race

Laurie MacDonald (Photo by Maureen Kelly Busis)
Laurie MacDonald (Photo by Maureen Kelly Busis)

The race for the Democrat nomination Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional House District just got a little less crowded.

Laurie MacDonald withdrew from the race on March 4 during a court challenge filed by four Democratic voters that alleged “defects, other irregularities and [an] outright pattern of impropriety” in her nomination petitions.

As reported by WESA, MacDonald, who is the executive director of the Center for Victims, told Commonwealth Court Judge Michael Wojick that she was withdrawing during an exchange that included the candidate saying, “I got my smackdown, didn’t I?”

MacDonald told the judge that she was both disheartened and dismayed that “there are so many dishonest people in the world.”

She made the remarks after an attorney for those challenging her petitions successfully argued that more than 700 signatures should be disqualified because a circulator hadn’t properly signed the petition pages.

The MacDonald campaign originally submitted 2,327 signatures.

The decision comes less than two weeks after MacDonald told the Chronicle that she was confident she had at least 1,000 good signatures, the minimum required to be on the ballot for the April 23 primary.

“It’s just busy work,” she said of the challenges at the time. “But we will get it done and we will be on the ballot.”

Attorneys for the objectors had said that if proceedings continued MacDonald would have had less than the minimum required.

And while MacDonald is barred from entering the race as an independent under Pennsylvania’s “sore loser” law it doesn’t mean her political ambitions are over.

By the end of the day, MacDonald announced that she would be running as a write-in candidate as a Republican.

“It became clear to me this morning that the Democrats here in Pittsburgh are deeply afraid of me as they have desperately kicked me off of the ballot,” MacDonald said. “After facing the extreme corruption from the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, I’ve decided to withdraw from the race for the 12th Congressional District as a Democrat and re-ignite my candidacy as a write-in option within the Republican Party. I look forward to working with voters to present moderate voices to our community. We must present voters with alternatives to the corrupt politicians like Summer Lee and Bhavini Patel.”

MacDonald’s reemergence as a Republican candidate means that incumbent Summer Lee and challenger Bhavini Patel are the remaining candidates in the Democratic primary. The two are involved in a contentious race where issues of campaign financing and, most recently, Lee’s scheduled engagement at a CAIR Philadelphia event with three speakers who have made antisemitic comments. She withdrew from the event after pressure from several prominent Democrats.PJC

–David Rullo

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