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WESA Voter Guide

Pennsylvania State House 30th District: A guide to the 2022 primary and candidates

State House 30th District WESA Voter Guide.png
90.5 WESA

What's at stake: This North Hills district may be among the most competitive races in the state come November. For one thing, it’s an open seat: First-term incumbent Republican Lori Mizgorski was drawn out of it in the state’s redistricting process. For another, it is almost perfectly balanced between Democratic and Republican voters. Two Republicans — both familiar to voters — seek to take on the lone Democrat, emergency physician Arvind Venkat, in a district that includes Franklin Park and McCandless, as well as Kilbuck, Emsworth, Ben Avon, and parts of Hampton Township.

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


Democrats

Arvind Venkat

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Courtesy Venkat campaign
Arvind Venkat

The lone Democrat in the race, Venkat is an emergency-room physician who says the coronavirus pandemic revealed the weakness of a number of government institutions. He would be the first Indian-American elected from the region, in a district where the demographics have been diversifying rapidly in places like his own Franklin Park. He adheres to the Democratic platform on a host of issues, including abortion, but unlike some Democrats, he says that natural-gas drilling can be done safely if properly regulated.

Party: Democrat  
Experience: Vice Chair for Research and Faculty Academic Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Allegheny Health Network (2013 – present)
National Director of Research, US Acute Care Solutions (2014 – present)
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine (2016 – present)
Education: Harvard University (A.B.); Yale University (M.D.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee; Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates; Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers
Fundraising Total: $460,080
Worth reading: "ER physician launches bid for swing-seat district in North Hills" (Chris Potter, WESA)


Republicans

Tom Fodi

tom fodi.jpeg
Courtesy the Fodi campaign
Tom Fodi

Tom Fodi has run for state representative before — in a failed bid to topple Democrat Adam Ravenstahl back in 2014 — and he’s served on Bellevue’s borough council. (He’s since moved to nearby Kilbuck.) He says he decided to run again after seeing a state pandemic response he calls a “human rights violation,” because as someone who works in hospice care, he saw how nursing home policies separated infected people from families. But he considers himself on the libertarian end of the spectrum, opposed to abortion rights but in favor of legalizing the medical use of marijuana. He’s been backed by Gun Owners of America, a group that stridently opposes firearms legislation. 

Party: Republican
Experience: Bellevue Borough Council (2016 – 2019)
Education: Johnson University (B.A.); Emmanuel Christian Seminary (M.Div.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube
Major endorsements: Gun Owners of America
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Fundraising Total: $2,600


Cindy Kirk

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Jared Murphy
/
90.5 WESA
Cindy Kirk

Until she stepped down to run for state House, Kirk was one of just two Republicans on Allegheny County Council, where she represented District 2 for more than half a decade. The McCandless resident, a nurse administrator at UPMC, chaired council’s health committee, where she first bottled up and then supported a paid-sick-leave bill after changes were made to it. She’s long been active in Republican politics, serving on the state and local party committees.

Party: Republican
Experience: Allegheny County Council (2016 – 2022)
Education: University of Pittsburgh (B.S.N., M.S.N.)
Links: Website | Facebook
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: None currently available
Fundraising Total: $27,087
Worth reading: "Key Republican flips on Allegheny County’s paid sick-time bill" (An-Li Herring, WESA)

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