Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Incumbent State Rep Warren Kampf (R) has Democrat challenger(s) for PA 157 race!

Democrat Jed Grobstein of Paoli released the following press release today officially throwing his hat in the ring in the PA State House 157 race. Conestoga High School grad and former high school teacher in South Bronx, NY, Grobstein believes that he can make a difference in Harrisburg. According to the press release, Grobstein will focus his campaign on Gov. Corbett’s educational budget cuts and State Rep Warren Kampf’s voting record on the transportation bill.

Things may get interesting for the PA State House 157 race because Grobstein may not be the only Democrat looking to unseat the Republican incumbent. I have also been told by several people in the last couple of days that Democrat Marian Moskowitz, a real estate attorney from Malvern has also decided to enter the 157 race. This could be an interesting local campaign season!

PRESS RELEASE: Teacher Announces Campaign for PA 157th with $51,000 on Hand, Takes Kampf to Task for $1 billion in Cuts to Education

Jed Grobstein today announced his bid for the Democratic nomination to the State House in the Pennsylvania 157th, saying “Warren Kampf has taken our residents for granted for far too long. Pennsylvania needs smart, proactive leadership in Harrisburg, and not just a gaggle of Corbett yes-men. As a teacher in the South Bronx, I learned how to listen, how to be a problem-solver, and how to bring people together, and I think we need more of that in Harrisburg.”

Grobstein’s campaign, Jed for PA House, filed its 2013 annual report showing that it had raised more than $40,000 in just eight weeks. The campaign also reported having more than $51,000 on hand.

Grobstein noted that Warren Kampf “has worked with Gov. Corbett to cut $1 billion from education, and to make it more difficult for mothers to receive the health care they need. He unconditionally refused to support a bipartisan transportation bill and attempted to deny funding to critical transportation infrastructure, bridges, highways and our own Paoli Transportation Center.”

Grobstein served as a math teacher and a Democratic organizer, and he is proud to be running for office less than a mile from his childhood home. While teaching math in the South Bronx, Grobstein worked as the chairman of his department and founded the advocacy organization ‘Keep Our Schools Alive’ to encourage parents, students and teachers to participate in their school’s governance.

A graduate of Conestoga High School in Berwyn and Pomona College in Los Angeles, Grobstein received his Masters in Education from City College in New York. Teaching in the South Bronx, Grobstein served as chair of his Math Department and worked to develop new curriculum for the classroom while integrating assessment and instruction.

When New York City began closing high schools in 2009, Grobstein organized and founded ‘Keep Our Schools Alive’ (KOSA) to encourage stakeholders, parents, students and teachers, to participate in the city’s decision-making process. KOSA argued that the school closings were arbitrary and that the city had failed to engage essential stakeholders. The State Supreme Court agreed, and in 2010 it reversed the city’s decision, saying that the Department of Education had failed to gather sufficient community input.

Grobstein returned to Pennsylvania at the end of 2010 to pursue a career in the United States Marine Corps. When a shoulder injury prevented him from enlisting, Jed accepted a staff position with Organizing for America on President Obama’s re-election campaign. Following that election Jed served as campaign manager for Delaware County’s Democratic slate and produced historic gains in a county long known for its Republican dominance.

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    Apparently Kampf is a total Corbett yes man who also voted no to Corbett’s transportation package. That’s a neat trick: being both a yes and no man.

    This is a kid who quit teaching to go be a partisan political hack and in his first public comment contradicts himself.

    Maybe if this guy had been around here for a while he would know we are all tired of all partisan attacks, all the time. Of course, he hasn’t been so maybe he’s to be excused.

  2. I’ve been reading your comments over the years, FTW. They’ve often had a partisan slant and defended Warren Kampf.

    I think you likely work for Kampf or are a Republican Party apparatchik.

    Either way, cheap shot. Jed is a very fine, young man.

    1. Long-time,

      Would have responded earlier, but I didn’t have power (like so many of us.)

      I have answered this question before: I am not a Republican apparatchik. In fact, I am a registered Independent.

      I have leaned to “defending” Kampf a lot for a simple reason: I have tried to act like a bit of an honest broker to ‘level” the comments which have tended to be extremely anti-Kampf.

      I would point you to the recent debate over the transportation bill/gas tax increase. I support PTC but the information I tried to provide (including responding to requests about where a 28 cent increase was derived) was to show both sides of the argument when the debate here was very one-sided.

  3. Let’s not lose sight, in being flippant about moving away and coming back, of the value of perspective.
    Yes, of course there is value in spending long uninterrupted years in the area you wish to serve.
    But there is also value in growing up there, traveling to learn about how problems have arisen and been handled in other places, and returning to share those lessons in your home town.
    Welcome home, Jed.

  4. I think it would be exciting for Marian Moskowitz to run for this seat. Her success in her career, and her involvement in our area and her fresh perspective, would be very welcome in the 157th District.

    1. I have heard from Ms. Moskowitz directly — she confirmed that she has entered the 157th District race. Currently, her house (like so many others) is without power — once the power is restored next, she indicated she will send me an official statement.

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