Friday, August 29, 2014
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Montco doctor seeking 13th Congressional seat raises $218K in a month

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, a professor of clinical anesthesiology and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, just announced that she has raised $218,000 since filing paperwork on March 5 to run in the 2014 Democratic primary election for the 13th Congressional District.

Montco doctor seeking 13th Congressional seat raises $218K in a month

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh addresses a 2009 rally for insurance reform at U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz´s office in Montgomery County.
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh addresses a 2009 rally for insurance reform at U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz's office in Montgomery County.

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, a professor of clinical anesthesiology and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, just announced that she has raised $218,000 since filing paperwork on March 5 to run in the 2014 Democratic primary election for the 13th Congressional District.

Arkoosh, who lives in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, issued her statement to the Daily News five days in advance of the April 15 federal deadline for quarterly campaign finance reports.  A spokeswoman for Arkoosh said the $218,000 does not include any loans from the candidate. Arkoosh's husband, Jeff Harbison, gave the maximum allowable federal donation to the campaign, the spokeswoman said.

There's a curious back-story to Arkoosh's campaign -- Harbison has served for years as treasurer for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz's congressional campaign committee.  He was last listed in that role in Schwartz's 2012 annual report, filed on Jan. 31.  The 13th District seat is opening because Schwartz on Monday said she will run for governor next year.

So Arkoosh should have the inside track for Schwartz's support, right?  But former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel filed federal paperwork on March 21 to run for the 13th District seat. And Saidel is chairman of the new political action committee Schwartz announced this week to run for governor.

Also filed to run in the 13th District, which covers parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, are state Rep. Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philly and state Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County.  The Daily News first reported Tuesday that former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies is thinking about a run for the seat she held from 1993-1995.  Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro is also considering a campaign.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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