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WESA Voter Guide

Pennsylvania State House 39th District: A guide to the 2022 primary and candidates

State House 39th District WESA Voter Guide.png
90.5 WESA

What's at stake: The 39th was represented for a decade by Rick Saccone, a conservative firebrand, and it's the kind of white, working-class area where Republicans have a decided advantage. But that doesn't mean the primary is quiet: incumbent Rep. Michael Puskaric will defend his seat this May against lawyer Andrew Kuzma in a district that has a foot in both Allegheny and Washington counties. Communities that make up the district include Elizabeth Township, Jefferson Hills, Finleyville, Somerset Township, and portions of South Park. No Democrat will appear on the primary ballot — all but ensuring the winner of the GOP contest will hold the seat next year.

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


Republicans

Andrew Kuzma

Andrew Kuzma.jpeg
John Rossey/jorophoto
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Courtesy the Kuzma campaign
Andrew Kuzma

Local attorney and former Elizabeth Township commissioner Andrew Kuzma is a familiar foe to Puskaric: In 2018, Kuzma publicly supported Puskaric’s Democratic opponent, Rob Rhoderick, saying at the time that he valued Rhoderick’s responsible approach to budgeting. Now Kuzma hopes to earn the seat for himself. He's running on promises to prioritize police, school choice and election reform. But like Puskaric, he also is running on a slate of touchstone issues for conservatives, including opposition to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a partnership with 10 New England and Mid-Atlantic states designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Party: Republican
Experience:
Elizabeth Township Board of Commissioners (2015 – 2021)
Education: University of Pittsburgh; Duquesne University (J.D.)
Links: Website | Facebook | YouTube
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: None currently available
Fundraising Total: Not yet announced
Worth reading: "District 39 clash, Part II: It'll be Mike Puskaric vs. Andrew Kuzma in GOP state House primary" (Julian Routh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Mike Puskaric

Mike Puskaric.jpg
Courtesy the Puskaric campaign
Mike Puskaric

First elected in 2018, incumbent Michael Puskaric is seeking a third term. Like many other Republicans — and some Democrats — Puskaric has opposed Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI, and he has staked out a number of conservative issues. He joined a resolution disputing Pennslyvania's 2020 statewide election results, and he recently voted against a move to extend an emergency declaration that would expedite rebuilding Pittsburgh's Fern Hollow Bridge. He also supported a state house bill to ban transgender girls from competing in girls’ school sports. Before taking office, Puskaric was the director of settlement operations at Matrix Property Settlements.

Party: Republican
Experience:
Pennsylvania House of Representatives – 39th District (2018 – present)
Education: Seton Hill University (B.A.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Candidate Surveys: League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: None currently available
Fundraising total: $14,440
Worth reading: "District 39 clash, Part II: It'll be Mike Puskaric vs. Andrew Kuzma in GOP state House primary" (Julian Routh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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

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