Erie state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro launches campaign for treasurer
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) announced his candidacy for state treasurer on Tuesday, blasting incumbent Republican Stacy Garrity for “extremist” views and saying he would “fight like hell” to defeat her.
Bizzarro, who is serving his sixth term in the state House, serves as chairperson of the House Democratic Policy Committee. As treasurer, Bizzarro said he would strengthen programs to protect seniors, help families save for college and provide low-interest loans for farmers, nonprofits and local governments.
But his announcement that he is running to manage the state’s finances focused mainly on Garrity’s alignment with former President Donald Trump, her views on the 2020 election and the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the right to abortion.
“This is more than a campaign for state treasurer,” Bizzarro said. “It’s a battle to stop the spread of extremism here in Pennsylvania.”
Garrity, a businesswoman from Bradford County, campaigned with Trump in 2020, speaking at a rally in Lancaster County where she decried the loss of American jobs to China.
But Bizzarro in his announcement linked Garrity with the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, claiming that on Jan. 5, 2021, the day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., she told a crowd on the state Capitol steps in Harrisburg to “question the integrity of the election.”
He also noted that when the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, Garrity wrote in a May 2022 Facebook post, “What’s really dangerous to families and freedom is aborting babies and packing the Supreme Court.”
“Stacy Garrity supports the criminalization of a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices, and she celebrated the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade,” said Bizzarro. “I will always be an advocate for women to make their own healthcare choices and to have access to the medical services they need.”
Bizzarro’s announcement also highlighted reporting showing that a senior staffer in Garrity’s office coordinated with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation to support a private school tuition voucher program that Democrats have opposed as a threat to public education.
Bizzarro, who has worked in criminal justice and behavioral health before joining the state Legislature in 2012, must secure the Democratic nomination to run for state treasurer next year. So far, only one other Democrat is running.
Former 12th District congressional nominee Erin McClelland has quietly launched a campaign for treasurer, according to her website. McClelland is from Westmoreland County and has a background in behavioral health and worked for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.