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WESA Voter Guide

Pennsylvania State House 34th District: A guide to the 2022 primary and candidates

State House 34th District WESA Voter Guide.png
90.5 WESA

What's at stake: Incumbent state Rep. Summer Lee’s bid for Congress has gotten more attention, but she is running to hold onto her state House seat as well this spring in a district that comprises a number of suburbs east of Pittsburgh: Wilkinsburg, Edgewood, Swissvale, Churchill, and North Braddock. It’s heavily Democratic and one of the most racially balanced districts in the region: slightly more than half of its residents are white, while more than 40 percent are Black.

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


Summer Lee

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Summer Lee campaign
Summer Lee

Summer Lee’s 2018 election to the state House over veteran legislator Paul Costa has had a galvanizing effect on the region’s politics. It helped chart a course for progressive challengers and diversified a county delegation that had never before included a Black woman. In Harrisburg, Lee has been an unapologetic champion of criminal-justice reform and environmental justice in a region where industry still shapes — and sometimes pollutes — the landscape.

Party: Democrat  
Experience: Pennsylvania House of Representatives – 34th District (2019 – present)
Education: Penn State University (B.A.); Howard University (J.D.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major Endorsements: 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club
Fundraising Total: $5,184
Worth reading: "'We don’t have time anymore to wait': Summer Lee announces Congressional bid" (Chris Potter, WESA)

Abigail Salisbury

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Courtesy the Salisbury campaign
Abigail Salisbury

Attorney and Swissvale Borough council member Abigail Salisbury hopes to replace Lee in Harrisburg regardless of how the Congressional race plays out. Salisbury says she’s supported Lee in the past, but that she is more focused on infrastructure needs and aiding the district’s resource-strapped municipalities like the one she serves. And Salisbury says environmental principles are important, but leaders have to consider the economic and health costs of lost jobs on communities.

Party: Democrat  
Experience: Salisbury Legal (2015 – present)
Education: Case Western Reserve University (B.A.); University of Pittsburgh (J.D.); University of Pittsburgh (M.P.P.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee
Fundraising Total: $25,827

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

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