Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aurand Announces State Senate Campaign From Nazareth

Mark Aurand
From tiny Nazareth, Mark Aurand kicked off his state senate campaign today in the newly formed 40th senatorial district. This seat includes nearly all of Monroe County, as well as much of the northern portion of Northampton County. (interactive map here). His kickoff was attended by a small group of supporters who braved the cold. Aurand is running against two other Democrats, Northampton County Council member Scott Parsons and Bangor Mayor Joe Capozzolo. Unlike his opponents, Aurand is the only one to announce officially that he's in the hunt. He's also the only one who's never held office.

Aurand, a soft-spoken attorney with Allentown law firm Davison and McCarthy, claims he's running because our state government is broken.

That's what Aurand told me when I met him last week. "Regular folks are not being listened to," he said, as I prevented him from eating breakfast at Nazareth Diner with incessant questions.

Mark Aurand
This son of a Lutheran preacher, himself a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Allentown, is unlike many other politicians in that he has spent years committed to service organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, and his Church's makeshift homeless shelter.

Working there last year, he met a New York bus driver who lost his job and ended on the streets with 4-5 mouths to feed. Through LCCC, he was able to get trained as a truck driver, but still was having trouble making ends meet.

"That tells you we're not paying people," said this advocate of a higher minimum wage, a position shared by opponent Scott Parsons.  

Aurand first became seriously interested in politics as a result of the Obama campaign, and got heavily involved in the Organizing for America movement. He believes that this experience will give him an edge in a state senate race, and that he will be able to attract progressive voices to his banner.

His primary emphasis, if elected, will be to invest more money in public education.

His kickoff was attended by State rep. candidate Leslie Altieri, her husband, Charles "don't call me Charlie" Dertinger and state committee candidate Rich Wilkins.

The victorious Democrat will face Republican Mario Scavello in the Fall. He's unopposed.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr Aurand, here's a heads up: The many haters of Ohare now hate you. Prepare for the backlash of treating Bernie like this. The haterade will be flowin. Good luck with that!

Anonymous said...

We certainly do have a paucity of lawyers in government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have not endorsed the guy. I just covered his campaign kickoff and told my readers who he is.

Anonymous said...

Dertinger? Kiss of death.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but this guy has no shot. He will not garner 5% of the vote. Scott has too much visability in local politics and a track record. Never held office before? And he wants to be a state Senator? Good luck buddy.

Gene said...

This new district covers mostly Monroe County. Aurand lives in Northampton and practices in Allentown. Kind of a stretch.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He will be hit on that, to be sure. He's lived in the Nazareth area for some time. I would consider Scott the frontrunner, but Capozzolo is drawing votes from the same base. Aurand would appeal to younger Dems who otherwise might not vote at all. In a three-way, he definitely has a shot.

Anonymous said...

Parsons is an ego whore. Joe Cap is the best known and most qualified of the three. He has the best chance in the general.

Cap first, Parsons second and this guy third.

I will give credit to this new guy, he is probably smarter than the other two put together.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'd consider Capozzolo the least qualified. He won Bangor by 1 vote, was clobbered by Emrick 2 years ago, and does not even have a web page for his campaign. His nomination petitions were a joke, and Parsons should have challenged them. These attacks at Parsons are ridiculous. I have watched him for two years on Council, and he is very quiet and more than willing to out the spotlight on others. Since you don't identify yourself, you're unwilling to stand behind your words. I'll stand behind mine. Joe Cap is the least qualified of the three, has no prayer, and should withdraw.

Anonymous said...

Raise the minimum wage, throw more taxpayer money at education, and an Obama supporter to boot. This left wing progressive will go far.

Anonymous said...

You are correct Bernie. Scott could have challenged Joe Cap's petitions and instead took the high road. Joe should step aside but he won't and Bangor suffers for lack of mayoral leadership once again. Scott has a legit chance against the Republican up north and all Democrats need to form ranks and get to work. Pen Argyl kids just try harder..at everything.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Raise the minimum wage, throw more taxpayer money at education, and an Obama supporter to boot. This left wing progressive will go far."

Maybe not, but he could win the primary bc Parsons and Capozzolo will divide votes from the same base. But as I am often reminded, my predictions have a pretty high degree of uncertainty.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Scott could have challenged Joe Cap's petitions and instead took the high road"

... and then is called an ego whore. And we all know who called him that, too.

Anonymous said...

" Scott could have challenged Joe Cap's petitions and instead took the high road"

So? He could have and he would have lost the challenge. Wow, what a great guy. He decided not to do a dumb thing. I guess that makes him a great candidate.

Whomever the Dem is they will suffer a humiliating defeat by the Republican

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this the same Joe Cap that served on County Council. If I remember correctly, he was an embarrassment then and was known for not being able to make up his mind on issues. You're right, he will run last in a field of three candidates.

Anonymous said...

You are playing into his hands. Underestimate Joe at your own risk.

And you dont remember correctly. Please mention one time, just one.

Anonymous said...

Scavello has no support among middle class voters and Monroe County will be the battlefield in this one. He has unlimited cash but that is not what always wins races..sound ideas do.

Anonymous said...

From: A hired hand.

We have done an in-depth review of the 3 candidates petitions.

All 3 gathered more than the required 500 signatures. Aurand and Parsons' total was approx 850 and Capozzolo was 700. Capozzolo collected the most personally with 480, Parsons had 220 and Aurand had 150. Parsons had the most circulators, but also the most mistakes. You can tell Mike Fleck was in charge. The mistakes include: Incorrect address on circulator affidavit, signers from outside district (At least 50 from Easton alone), multiple signers signed twice (Fruanfelters), some signers had already signed other candidates, non consecutive dates, etc. At least 200 could be thrown out. So Parsons has 650.

Aurand had very neat petitions with a few mistakes, as did Capozzolo. These 2 also did most of the work themselves.

The real reason Fleck didnt challenge is, he had no case. His candidate had more mistakes. This is not an endorsement of anyone, just the facts about thier petitions.

L.O.

Anonymous said...

LO Dont forget that scott parsons girlfriend (A life long republican) collected the most. M Mullen switched parties in february. Its legal but how many democrats were mis-led?

c said...

He seems like a really good guy. This time I support Scott.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Heh, heh.

Cap has started the usual anonymous sleaze, but it seems to have backfired with "c".

Anonymous said...

Whatsa matter Ohare? Did your boyfriend Joecap dump you? You 2 were buttbuddies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Looks like you got that wrong.

Anonymous said...

The key to this race is whether the senate democratic committee gets involved with money and ground troops. Otherwise Scavello will walk but he does have baggage in Monroe County and if Joe Battisto is well enough to work this race for the dems any of the 3 has an outside chance.

Anonymous said...

Scavello will beat anyone including Barney Rubble by at least 5%.

Anonymous said...

The State is offering no money to these guys. They are on their own.

Anonymous said...

we'll see. Depends on the polling after the primary. If any of the dems is close Scavello will have a race. Scavello made a bad vote on the transportation bill and can be hammered on it. But anon 403 may be right

Bernie O'Hare said...

" If any of the dems is close Scavello will have a race."

D'you think?

Anonymous said...

The state went down a list of possible candidates, even the top names were told money was dependent on "their" ability to raise money. Capo and Rubble were not near the top. So money will not be there except for some crumbs.

Scavello by 5%.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wins the Democratic primary will have to run hard against Scavello in full-time attack mode and point all the broken promises on School Property Tax reform and an equitable statewide school funding formula plus Scavello's votes for funding cuts to public schools, colleges and universities in everyone of Corbett's budgets. Education funding cuts and school property taxes are the top issues in Monroe.
Run Mario hard so he does not have time to meddle in the Monroe State House Races (176,115, 189) or dole out large sums to the Republican candidates. Worse thing for Scavello (other than losing the Senate race) is to win the 40th but then have the Democrats win the House seats and rebut every word he says at every public meeting and in the local press.

Anonymous said...

Parsons should expect a bare knuckle fist fight of a race. Scavello is not shy of intimidation and threats to business owners showing support for his opponents. Scavello has baggage. Voted for the Pay Raise, bought a house in Harrisburg with his Per Diems, Voted to increase his medical and dental coverage while voting to cut CHIP and health funding for women and the poor. Passed a bill to allow ex-mayors to continue to officiate at weddings (he's an ex-mayor) delivered WAM funding for road repair in the private community he's the HOA Chair of, passed legislation on real-estate transaction to benefit members of his family in the real-estate business.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Interesting bio.

Unknown said...

Don't forget his enormous ego that constantly get him into hot water.
http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131212/NEWS/312120305

Anonymous said...

and he's now owned by Sheldon Adelson, judging by his recently owned legislation to fine and jail online poker players (which runs counter to the GOP position in the Senate who are considering expanding gaming to online games).

Bernie O'Hare said...

If 1/3 of what you say is true, he is not the moderate I thought he was. He voted against CHIP?

Anonymous said...

wow some interesting background on Scavello if true the senate dem committee may get involved. Scavello by 5% who were the dems recruited who couldn't raise money?

Snowden said...

Parsons has Fleckster running his show. And Capo is not the only one who trolls with anon comments. So does Scavello. From the Pocono Record page with alias, to here. Just challenge Scavello at debates Bernie. He will have no answers, and get angry if you push for an actual one.

Bernie O'Hare said...

We shall see. In case you haven't noticed, 90% of the world is always angry at me.