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Laurie MacDonald ends Democratic bid for PA12, launches GOP write-in campaign


Laurie MacDonald ends Democratic bid for PA12, launches GOP write-in campaign

Mar 04, 2024 | 7:07 pm ET
By John Cole
Laurie MacDonald ends Democratic bid for PA12, launches GOP write-in campaign
Laurie MacDonald participates in a Democratic candidates' forum in Pittsburgh Sunday Jan. 28, 2024 (screen capture)

Laurie MacDonald, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Center for Victims, has ended her campaign as a Democrat for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, but is launching a write-in effort as a Republican candidate. 

MacDonald, who originally announced her candidacy in January, was facing a challenge to the nomination petitions she filed that are required for a candidate to make the primary ballot. She was running to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Summer Lee for the Democratic nomination to run for the 12th District seat in November.

MacDonald’s campaign sent out a statement on Monday afternoon, following the scheduled hearing claiming that Democrats are “deeply afraid of me as they have desperately kicked me off of the ballot.”

“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,” MacDonald wrote in a press release. “I look forward to working with voters to present moderate voices to our community.”

As a result of MacDonald’s withdrawal from the Democratic race, Lee and Edgewood Councilmember Bhavini Patel will be the Democrats to appear on the primary ballot for the seat in western Pennsylvania. 

MacDonald described herself in a campaign TV ad as the “law and order” Democrat in the race. She faced pushback during a debate in late January when she said that residents of the district “live in squalor.”

James Hayes will be the lone Republican candidate to appear on the April primary ballot. 

MacDonald is one of four candidates for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania who have faced objections to their nomination petitions. 

Tim Kramer, a Republican who was seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) in the 16th Congressional District, withdrew from the primary ballot last week. Republican Dasha Pruett, who filed to run for the 5th Congressional District, was scheduled to have her petitions challenged last week, but it appears that case is unresolved. John Broadhurst, one of six Democrats seeking to challenge U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) in the 10th Congressional District, has a hearing scheduled for March 5.