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WESA Voter Guide

Pennsylvania State House 24th District: A guide to the 2022 primary and candidates

State House 24th District WESA Voter Guide.png
90.5 WESA

What's at stake: Ed Gainey held this seat prior to being elected Pittsburgh's first Black mayor. The 24th is a majority-Black district newly expanded to join Homewood and other mostly Black East End communities to the Hill District by way of Garfield, Friendship, and Highland Park. Gainey’s departure created a special-election opportunity for Martell Covington to fill the remainder of the term, but a crowded field has lined up to seek a full term that will start next year.

Note: Campaign finance fundraising totals include contributions raised in 2021 and 2022. Data updated 5/12/22.


Martell Covington

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Courtesy the Covington campaign
Martell Covington

Covington garnered the nomination of Democratic Party leaders, making him the only candidate to run as a Democrat in the special election in early April — a decisive advantage in the city’s East End neighborhoods. He is now running to represent the 24th district for a full term. Covington previously worked as an aide to state Senator Jay Costa, the legislature’s top Democrat, but he has been active for years in a number of Democratic causes and community efforts.

Party: Democrat  
Experience: Pennsylvania State House, 24th District (2022 – present)
Legislative aide to state Sen. Jay Costa (2018 – 2022)
Education: Howard University (B.B.A.)
Links: Website | YouTube | LinkedIn
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee; Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
Fundraising Total: $64,436
Worth reading: "Martell Covington enters race to fill Gainey's state House seat" (Chris Potter, WESA)

La'Tasha Mayes

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Courtesy the Mayes campaign
La'Tasha Mayes

A longtime activist for reproductive rights and racial equity, Mayes co-founded and long led New Voices for Reproductive Justice, which advocates for women and LGBT people of color. The Morningside resident has pledged to bring her focus on those causes, as well as such issues as police accountability, to Harrisburg at a time when abortion rights hang in the balance.

Party: Democrat  
Experience: President/CEO, New Voices for Reproductive Justice (2004 – present)
Education: University of Pittsburgh (B.S.); Carnegie Mellon (M.S.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Sunrise Movement Pittsburgh; Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates; Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers; more here.
Fundraising Total: $62,744

Randall Taylor

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Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA
Randall Taylor

Taylor is a former member of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Public Education, and he has long been active in calling for police reform and creating affordable housing. Now a Homewood resident, he formerly lived in — and became an active voice for — East Liberty’s Penn Plaza apartments, an affordable-housing complex whose demolition crystalized concerns about gentrification in the area.

Party: Democrat  
Organizer, Penn Plaza Support and Action Coalition (2017 – present)
Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Public Education (1998 – 2009)
Education: University of Pittsburgh (B.A.)
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Former school board members.
Fundraising Total: Not yet announced

Withdrew from race: William Anderson, Pearlina Story

What's at stake and candidate profiles for statewide races and competitive primaries in Allegheny County.