Kitchen endorses Margolies in PA 13

Former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies (left) may seek to fill the vacancy left in her old 13th Congressional District seat after Allyson Schwartz vacates the position during her bid, announced Monday, in the governor's race. (Photo: Left, J. Elberson Photography / Associated Press)

Former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies Wednesday picked up her second big Philadelphia endorsement in the 13th congressional district Democratic primary, from state Sen. Shirley Kitchen, who represents the Olney section.

Kitchen, the second black woman ever elected to the Pennsylvania Senate, cited as examples of Margolies’ values her efforts to fund women’s health clinics in Conshohocken and to lower infant mortality in Norristown. When she was in Congress from 1993-1995, Margolies won federal budget earmarks for those projects; Republicans took control of the House in 1994 and cut the authorized spending.

“I am confident that Marjorie, with her experience in Congress and the relationships she has forged and maintained over the past two decades, will hit the ground running when she returns to Washington,” Kitchen said in a statement. “The neighborhoods I represent cannot afford to lose one day in the fight for resources to feed our hungry, educate our children and secure our streets.”

Margolies represented the district but lost her seat in the 1994 GOP wave after she provided the decisive vote for President Bill Clinton’s tax-raising budget in 1993, despite having promised to oppose new taxes. She and her allies describe the switch as an act of courage that stabilized the Clinton presidency at a fragile moment and helped lead to the prosperity of the latter 1990s.

Several weeks ago, she received the endorsement of another Philadelphia leader, state Sen. LeAnna Washington, whose district covers about a fifth of the city portion of the 13th congressional. The U.S. House district is split between Montgomery County and Philadelphia.

The seat is coming open in 2014 because incumbent U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democrat, is running for governor. Winning the primary is considered tantamount to election, since the Democrats dominate the 13th district in registration and vote performance.

Three other Democrats are seeking the nomination: Dr. Valerie Arkoosh of Montgomery County, an activist who campaigned for Obamacare; state Sen. Daylin Leach, also of Montgomery County, a leading liberal in Harrisburg; and state Rep. Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philadelphia, who boasts strong backing from organized labor..