Star Trek star Zachary Quinto canvasses with Democratic state Rep. candidate Emily Skopov | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Star Trek star Zachary Quinto canvasses with Democratic state Rep. candidate Emily Skopov

The Hollywood actor is a Green Tree native and has campaigned for Barack Obama in the past. Now he wants to bring attention to state politics.

Canvassers for state Rep. candidate Emily Skopov (D-Marshall) who showed up for the noon shift were in for a surprise.

Zachary Quinto, star of the new Star Trek films and TV show Heroes, was at Skopov’s campaign office to fire up volunteers. Quinto was raised in Green Tree and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been politically active in the past, campaigning for President Barack Obama and for congressional campaigns.

“We have a few reasons to be excited about today, the first one is Zack Quinto, right here in the house,” said Skopov to the crowd. “I had to run for office to get Zach Quinto here. I will go far for my love for all things Zack Quinto.”

Quinto and Skopov knew each other casually since Skopov was a former screenwriter, but he told the crowd that he was inspired to get involved with Skopov’s Pennsylvania state House campaign against state House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Marshall).

“I got to know her through [her] campaign and what she stands for and what drives her,” said Quinto. “I had the real pleasure of watching her debate against Turzai last week and I feel like her perspective was so clear. She was so informed, so articulate. And she represents someone who is standing up for what they believe in.”

Quinto says he was excited to get the word out, because it feels “possible” that Skopov can win. Last month, an internal poll showed that Skopov was within five points of Turzai, at 44-49.

He added that a focus on smaller-scale politics, like state and local races, is necessary to reform the system and to push progressive politics forward.

“State and local politics are the well spring for change and the bellwether for what is going to happen on a larger scale,” said Quinto.

Another issue that brought Quinto to through his weight behind Skopov was LGBTQ rights. Quinto is openly gay and has campaigned for LGBTQ rights. He said conservative politicians like Turzai want to “legislate against integration and legislate against some of the most vulnerable minority communities.”

In most of Pennsylvania, people can legally be fired, evicted or denied public accommodation if they identify has LGBTQ. Skopov has called on Turzai to remove anti-LGBTQ state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Cranberry) from his committee chair, so a bill to change that can advance.

“[Turzai] represents this old guard, this male-dominated white conservative point of view that is in the throes of a death knell,” said Quinto. “The last gasp at trying to preserve these values that are based in fear and restrictive thinking.”

Skopov said she hopes that voters heed Quinto’s sentiments and vote on Election Day.

“Every door, every phone call. We cannot rest,” said Skopov. “I don’t want to say that this is our race to lose, but it is truly our race.”

Polls open tomorrow, Tue., Nov. 6, at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.