Third-party: Pa. House District 23: Dan Frankel vs. Jay Ting Walker | Pittsburgh City Paper

Third-party: Pa. House District 23: Dan Frankel vs. Jay Ting Walker

click to enlarge Third-party: Pa. House District 23: Dan Frankel vs. Jay Ting Walker
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen

Long held by Democratic incumbent Dan Frankel, the district is considered safe territory for his party. It spans several eastern city neighborhoods, including sections of Squirrel Hill, Shadyside and Oakland. Green Party candidate Jay Ting Walker also sought the seat in 2018 and 2020, securing 9% and 14% of the vote respectively.

Dan Frankel

Bio: 24-year incumbent. Chairs House health committee. Former insurance agent. Claims to have made his political debut by giving a speech for the 1968 Democratic presidential nominee at age 12. Holds leadership positions in LGBT Equality Caucus, PA SAFE Caucus, and the PA Women’s Health Caucus.

Abortion: Describes himself as “one of the fiercest champions” of women’s reproductive rights. Former co-chair of Women’s Health Caucus, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers pursuing policy that “protects and respects women’s health, including the right to make private, personal medical decisions.”

Energy: Describes hydraulic fracturing as a “risky process” that should be discouraged. Calls reliance on fossil fuels “unsustainable” and pushes for green energy investments. Has introduced bills calling for greater state oversight of fracking harms and for closing loopholes in oil and gas industry regulations.

Gun law: Gun reform advocate. Calls for universal background checks, raising minimum firearms purchasing age to 21 and banning assault-style weapons. “Any rational person can see that deadly weapons should be regulated at least as much as, say, swimming pools or lawnmowers.”

Reported fundraising since January 2021: $41,600

Jay Ting Walker

Bio: Community organizer and activist. Co-chair, Green Party of Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh Democratic Socialists member. Previous state House candidate. Transit advocate with BikePGH.

Abortion: Identifies as “pro-choice” on his campaign website. Stated in a 2020 platform questionnaire abortions should be allowed under “all circumstances” and indicated support for taxpayer and government funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Energy: Calls hydraulic fracturing an “immediate danger to local air and water quality” and supports a total ban on the practice. Supports funding for renewable energy, investments in a “green economy” and retraining fossil fuel industry workers for new jobs in wind and solar energy.

Gun law: Supports a ban on “military-style assault weapons” and large magazines, and universal background check requirements. Notes gun deaths disproportionately impact neighborhoods of color and advocates for policies that address underlying conditions of inequality and poverty.

Reported fundraising since January 2021: None reported