Update on Campaign Q&A’s for 2023 Primary Election – Now With More Updates!

Update: as candidates/campaigns contact me, I’ll try to keep this table below current. I’m not going to revamp the math/data portion because it is intended to be a snapshot of where we were on the date of publication. Please go ahead and ask your candidates to join us!

On the heels of the Stonewall Steel City Democrat 2023 endorsement

In mid-January we began reaching out to candidates for the 2023 Pennsylvania Primary election with an invitation to participate in our campaign or political Q&A series. I create the questions, some universal and some tailored to the candidate, they answer and voila!

We’ve reached out to at least 27 campaigns so far. 23 of those campaigns agreed to participate and requested a Q&A. I’ve custom created and sent those 23 Q&A’s. One campaign is over (they won a special election) and I don’t know why I haven’t heard from the others. I do typically try email, Messenger, and Twitter of both the candidates and the campaign address. Things fall through the cracks so we’ll see if this post captures their attention.

One thing new this year – I allow each campaign to set their own deadline. Historically, I spent a lot of (too much) time chasing down the responses. The excuses are pretty standard – candidate really busy, candidate has 78 million Q&A’s to complete, personal crisis, or silence. My favorite is when they candidatesplain me how campaigns work, assuming that I’ve never been involved with a campaign or the Q&A/survey process of said campaigns. Ahem. Two of the three candidates for the US Senate race took the time to respond last year and I never asked Joe Biden so how busy are you really?

This year, I decided to give them the chance to allow for all of that and set a deadline. I am not posting the deadlines here because the table will be too wide and because all that matters is that they honor their commitment, not when.

Well, one time a candidate sent me a response on the Sunday before a Tuesday election – three months after I created it. That was not cute. I don’t work with people who show such disregard for the readers of this blog. Or me. So in that case, timing was a concern that I duly noted for future years. The door is rarely fully closed and secured, but genuine rapprochement starts with the candidate. I’m busy, yinz. I gotta keep up with Poker Face and rewatch Wednesday. Plus, cats … Did I mention that Natasha Lyonne and Luis Guzmán liked my tweet over the weekend? I’m going places, yinz. Try to keep up.

No one is forced to participate. I’ve had two people decline – one for undetermined reasons and one because they self-determined that they did not meet the criteria and I appreciated their respectful responses. I’ve had a lot of people just ignore my request or never return their Q&A. That’s not okay. Being a LGBTQ human in these times is exhausting and time consuming. I can’t chase allies to give them free exposure on my nationally renowned blog – I have my own busy schedule (see above.)

Sue Kerr is still giving headaches to the powers that be

Chris Potter, Pgh City Paper, January 2010

If you or your candidate meet the criteria and would like to participate, please email pghlesbian at gmail. I just created a Q&A for school board candidates in Warren County and I’m working on Bucks County School District as well. This is really good. There are 501 school districts in Pennsylvania and while I’d happily publish from all of them, I can’t possibly reach them myself. Can you? Ask them.

Keep in mind though, that if you’ve blown me off in previous years, I may not be willing to include you. I don’t have an obligation to include anyone. There are other avenues to connect with the LGBTQ community. You made it work then, you can make it work now. Just putting the cards on the table, so to speak.

Six candidates have returned their completed Q&A’s (links below table.) Who will be next?

CandidateOfficeDate ContactedDate RequestedDate SentStatus
Rachael HeislerCity Controller11 Jan 202312 Janu 202313 Jan 2023Published
Abigail SalisburyPA House 4411 Jan 202313 Jan 202315 Jan 2023Published
Bethany HallamCounty Council11 Jan 202311 Jan 202315 Jan 2023Published
Erica Rocchi BrusselarsCounty TreasurerN/A15 Jan 202316 Jan 2023Published
Joe McAndrewPA State House31 Jan 2023No Response
Bob CharlandCity Council18 Jan 202327 Jan 202321 January 2023Q&A Sent
Alexandra HuntCity Controller – PhillyNA23 Jan 202326 Jan 2023Q&A Sent
Todd HoffmanSD Mt LebanonNA17 Jan 202311 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Corey O’ConnorCounty Controller18 Jan 20233 Feb 20239 February 2023Q&A Sent
Olivia BennettCounty Chief31 Jan 202331 Jan 20236 February 2023Q&A Sent
Sara InnamoratoCounty Chief31 Jan 202331 Jan 20236 February 2023Q&A Sent
Matt DuganDA31 Jan 202331 Jan 20239 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Bobby WilsonCity Council31 Jan 20233 Feb 20236 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Deb GrossCity Council31 Jan 2023No Response
Khari MosleyCity Council31 Jan 202331 Jan 20231 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Lita BrillmanCity Council30 Jan 202331 Jan 20231 Feb 2023Published
Tracy RoystonCity Controllern/a31 January 20231 February 2023Published
Brooke WilliamsMagistrate7 February 202313 Feb 202314 February 2023Q&A Sent
Dan GrzybekCounty Counil – 57 Feb 202327 Feb 202328 Feb 2023No Response Q&A Sent
Weldianne ScalesMagistrate7 Feb 2023No Response
Deanne PhilpottsSD North Hills10 Feb10 Feb 202311 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Valerie FleischerSD Mt Lebo11 Feb 202311 Feb 202313 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Kate LovelaceMagistraten/a13 Feb 202314 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Giuseppe RosselliMagistraten/a14 Feb 202315 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Barb WarwickCity Council18 Feb 202318 Feb 202323 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Brenna Jones CrableSD Mt Lebon/a23 Feb 202323 Feb 2023Q&A Sent
Nerissa GaltPenncrest SD16 Feb 202316 Feb 202326 Feb 2023Q&A Sent

Here are the completed and published Q&A’s. First to return her response was Rachael Heisler, candidate for Pittsburgh City Controller.

Q&A’s in this election cycle series. You can read previous cycle Q&A’s here. 

  1. Q&A with Rachael Heisler, Candidate for Pittsburgh City Controller
  2. Q&A with Abigail Salisbury, Candidate for PA State House District 34
  3. Q&A with Erica Rocchi Brusselars, Candidate for Allegheny County Treasurer
  4. Q&A with Bethany Hallam, Incumbent Candidate for Allegheny County Council, At-Large
  5. Q&A with Tracy Royston, Candidate for Pittsburgh City Controller
  6. Q&A with Lita Brillman, Candidate for City Council, District 5

Also, before you jump on the “ah, but what about me …” bandwagon. I spent this morning with a room of queer and trans middle schoolers talking about trans safety and then this afternoon writing a memorial post for the most recent victim of anti-trans violence in our country (Cashay Henderson) so if you are a cisgender person, I have zero fucks to give about any whining. Return the Q&A or don’t.


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