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Local News

PA-12 primary hits the airwaves, with Lee and Patel releasing first ads

U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (l) and Democratic challenger Bhavini Patel (Credit: Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
March 19, 2024

The Democratic Party race for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district between incumbent U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-Allegheny) and Edgewood Councilmember Bhavini Patel has hit the airwaves in western Pennsylvania.

Lee’s reelection campaign aired its first ad on Tuesday touting her record of bringing investments back to the district and not missing a vote during her first term in Congress.

“I didn’t come to Congress to listen to lobbyists or CEOs,” Lee said at the beginning of the 30 second spot. “I did it to give us a voice.” 

At the conclusion of the ad, it includes a graphic of endorsements from SEIU, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood, Allegheny County Democratic Committee, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

The ad will launch across TV, streaming, radio, and digital platforms, according to a release from the Lee campaign.

Last week, Patel released her first ad of the campaign, where she touts her “100% support” for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, criticizes Lee, referencing past comments from the incumbent Congresswoman on the Democratic Party and policing. 

“In the Trump-era, Democrats have to stick together,” Patel says at the conclusion of the 30 second ad.

Residents of the 12th district should expect to see outside organizations weigh in with ads of their own.

The Moderate PAC, a group opposing Lee’s candidacy, has released an ad attacking her for past comments on supporting the effort to “defund the police,” calling Biden a Republican and voting against raising the debt ceiling. The PAC has said it plans to spend in various congressional races to boost centrist Democrats

Lee’s campaign has fired back in response to this ad, specifically criticizing Jeffrey Yass, a Pennsylvania billionaire who is helping fund the group and claiming that the “Republican billionaire cavalry has finally arrived” with attack ads in the district.

The “Reject AIPAC” coalition, a group that is aiming to protect progressive lawmakers who support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, is supporting Lee’s candidacy and will launch ads in her defense.

Lee, a former member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, was elected to the U.S. House in 2022, winning the open seat that includes Pittsburgh. She defeated Steve Irwin by a slim margin to secure the Democratic Party nomination and won a full term by defeating Republican Mike Doyle by 12 points.

Lee will face Patel for the Democratic Party nomination for the seat, while James Hayes is the only Republican running for the seat.

Entering 2024, Lee’s campaign had $1,171,000 cash on hand, while Patel’s campaign had $238,112.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.