May 15, 2018
The Morning Call
John Fetterman takes historic win over Pennsylvania lieutenant governor Mike Stack
In a historic win as unconventional as the candidate himself, the work-shirt wearing, small-town mayor John Fetterman defeated Lt. Gov. Michael Stack in the Democratic primary Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
Stack is the state’s first lieutenant governor to lose in a primary election.
Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Allegheny County, pulled in more than 40 percent of the vote with 84 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Department of State.
Fetterman, who ran a surprisingly strong U.S. Senate campaign in 2016, will fill Stack’s shoes to run alongside Gov. Tom Wolf in November.
But Fetterman will take his signature black T-shirt and jeans off his 6-foot-8 frame and trade them for a suit and tie if he wins in November.
“I’m just coming at this in a low-key, overwhelmed, humbled place,” Fetterman said in his acceptance speech. “I just want to take our message of ‘All places matter,’ and I’m so honored by the people of Pennsylvania to be the nominee for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.”
Then, he asked his wife, Giselle: “Honey, what did we promise the kids?”
His children yelled in the background, “Disney World!”
The lieutenant governor’s role is to act as the president of the state Senate (where suit and tie are required) and fill in for the governor if he can no longer hold the office. Although the role is less stressful than the governor’s position, Tuesday’s results prove it’s been a hot seat for Stack.
After a year of controversy that caused Wolf to ask his party to find a replacement, Stack will leave his state residence in January — no matter the outcome of the gubernatorial race in November.
Fetterman, pushing progressive ideals and a grassroots campaign, appealed to voters by promising to show Harrisburg elites what life is like in Pennsylvania’s “forgotten cities.” Fetterman focused especially on the opioid epidemic that ripped through his town.
Despite a low turnout, Fetterman led all candidates on social media with hundreds of tweets of support throughout the day.
Stack, who finished third among Democrats with about 17 percent of the vote, had to overcome a lot of opposition. In addition to Fetterman, Stack was up against three other Democrats and four Republicans in a usually uneventful race.
Jeff Bartos came out on top in the Republican field with about 47 percent of the vote to move into November’s general election. State law does not allow governors to choose their running mates, but GOP gubernatorial winner Scott Wagner and Bartos campaigned together and shared a campaign website.
Nina Ahmad, a former deputy mayor for public engagement in Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, garnered about 23 percent of the vote. Ahmad ran on a platform “ready to take on Donald Trump” and pushed her advocacy and research background as selling points. Her campaign spent the most out of Democratic candidates, more than $1.14 million with more than $500,000 from her own pocket.
Ahmad pulled votes from Stack in Philadelphia, his hometown.
Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone collected about 17 percent and private sector consultant Ray Sosa had about 3 percent.
Kathleen Coder had about 20.5 percent of the GOP vote followed by Diana Irey Vaughn with 17.5 percent and Peg Luksik at about 15 percent.
Wolf did not endorse any of the five Democratic candidates.
Stack’s past year in the lieutenant governor’s residence and in what’s known as the state’s “best job” was not all it was cracked up to be. Despite earning an annual salary of $163,692 and only responsible for filling in for the governor if he no longer can hold office, Stack has spent most of the year putting out public relations fires.
After his staff reported abuse and harassment by the Stack family, Wolf made an unprecedented move of stripping the family’s state police detail and restricted the lieutenant governor’s residence staff.
Shortly after, Stack’s wife received in-patient treatment for a mental health issue. Wolf declined to release a report by the inspector general’s office to protect the Stack family’s privacy due to her mental health treatment.
Stack spent more than $451,000 on his campaign and dipped into his own savings for a little more than $3,000. Fetterman spent about $170,000.
Before becoming the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor Tuesday, Bartos was the strongest opponent to U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in the Republican primary to face Sen. Bob Casey. Bartos was well-funded in the race, but stepped aside for Barletta, who was an early adopter of President Donald Trump’s message in the 2016 presidential election and had GOP backing.
Gillian McGoldrick is an intern with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association.
August 23, 2017
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s spending under scrutiny: See the database
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and his staff spent some $37,000 on groceries, $3,000 on beverages and — in the interest of full disclosure — $5,500 on newspaper subscriptions since taking office in 2015.
Expense receipts run the gamut from the indulgent (steak and crab meat) to the commonplace (coffee runs to Dunkin Donuts and Cafe Excellence inside the Capitol). For the record, receipts show Stack wasn’t actually buying beer at the beer distributors–just a lot of water and soda for events at the Fort Indiantown Gap residence. Patriot-News subscriptions accounted for $770 in spending. Read more
Lebanon Daily News
Investigation into Mike Stack raises questions, and conflicting answers
Why does the office exist in the first place?
Here’s the gist of Inspector General Bruce Beemer’s investigation of the man next-in-line to Gov. Tom Wolf: Sources told Lancaster Online that Stack and his wife, Tonya, allegedly routinely verbally abused their state police protection when the troopers refused the couple’s orders to use sirens and flashing lights to clear traffic for routine trips — such a move would be a violation of state policy.
The couple also allegedly berated five staff members who cook, clean and take care of the property at their taxpayer-funded mansion in Fort Indiantown Gap, the news outlet reported. Read more
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