Breaking News: The DLCC has announced Jim Wertz is a spotlight candidate

Jim Wertz Stepping Down as Chair of Erie Dems, May Run for PA Senate

Professor of broadcast journalism and digital media at PennWest Edinboro, Jim Wertz has been leading the Erie Dems since 2018.  He was reelected unanimously in 2022.  But now he’s stepping down from that position, because he’s considering a run for PA Senate in the 49th District, the seat currently held by republican Dan Laughlin.

If there’s a legacy for his tenure, Wertz believes it’s that he reengaged rural democrats by opening regional office in places like Union City and North East. “Everywhere we went, people greeted us with open arms and said it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the democratic party, we’re glad you’re here,” Wertz said. 

And he worked to draw in young democrats, encouraging and preparing many to run for public office. “I think having younger folks not only as a part of the committee but also involved in a way to run for public office is incredibly important,” the outgoing party chair said.

Now Wertz is taking a slice of his own advice, and considering a challenge to two-term republican Senator Dan Laughlin, and he didn’t mince words about why. “He has showed the people of Erie County that he doesn’t always have their best interest. As someone said to me – “he’s lost his way” – and I feel strongly, not just from a party perspective or a partisan perspective, but from a community perspective, that he needs to be held accountable,” Wertz said.

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As a long-time union member himself, Jim Wertz stood proudly with the union members of Iron Workers Local 851 on the picket line when we were striking for fair labor practices. We are confident that Jim Wertz will be a strong advocate for the needs of working families.

Mike Baumann
President, Iron Workers Local 851

Jim Wertz is the only candidate in this race who will actually stand up for expanding access to abortion health care and your reproductive freedom.

Adam Hosey
Political Director of PPPA PAC

Jim is clear in his dedication as an educator, his work in the field over the past several years as party chair bringing folks together, increasing the number of folks participating. We are three seats short of a majority, and we have a tremendous opportunity in Erie.

Sen. Jay Costa
Minority Leader, PA State Senate

The men and women of NABET-CWA Local 58028 proudly endorse Jim Wertz for Pennsylvania State Senate – His unwavering commitment to working people and collective bargaining rights is outstanding and is badly needed in the state senate. We will do what it takes to see that his campaign is successful.

Mike Prince
President, NABET-CWA Local 58028

Erie County needs an aggressive State Senator, someone who’ll fight for Millcreek and all of Erie County, not blindly follow political party directives. We can count on Jim Wertz to do what’s right and protect our rights. From voting rights to reproductive rights to workers rights, we need Jim Wertz.

Brian McGrath
Fmr. Millcreek Township Supervisor

I fully support Jim’s candidacy because as an educator at a public institution, he understands the challenges parents and children face looking for greater opportunities through education. He is a strong supporter of unions and voter participation and will fight for working Americans and the future of our children.

Amanda M. Frantz-Mamani
Edinboro Borough Councilmember

I support Jim Wertz to flip this senate seat because he has deep roots in our community and throughout Erie County. Jim is the people’s candidate who has been doing the work on the ground helping others get elected to office for years. He helped me and so many others get elected it’s only right we support him in his efforts to be our next Senator. Jim has my support 100% and I hope my community support will support him as well.

Jasmine Flores
Member of Erie City Council

I am standing behind Jim Wertz as he has shown time and time again that he believes in people over profit, that Unions strengthen communities, that every child deserves access to quality public education, and that our democracy is not for sale. Jim will fight for all of us in Harrisburg.

Tyler Titus
Member of Erie City Council

My relationship with Jim primarily revolves around having daughters the same age, something our conversations reflect. In our years of friendship, we have had many conversations about values and the future we want to leave our children. That is why I confidently endorse Jim Wertz for State Senate.

Chuck Nelson
Member of Erie City Council

I wholeheartedly endorse Jim Wertz for Pennsylvania State Senate. I have known Jim for 25+ years and with his dedicated leadership in the Democratic Party in Erie, he has proven his commitment to advancing democratic values. His experience and accomplishments make him the right choice to defend and strengthen our democracy.

Chris Drexel
Member of County Council

Jim’s enduring leadership and commitment to a brighter future have inspired so many people like me to step forward and lead. I’m looking forward to the entire commonwealth getting to experience the impact of Jim’s leadership, which has meant so much to me.

Rock Copeland
Member of County Council

I happily endorse Jim Wertz for State Senate. His unwavering toughness, tireless work ethic, and authentic personality shine through in his dedication to our community’s needs. He’s the ideal choice to represent us at the state level.

Terry Scutella
Member of County Council

As a Marine and as Sheriff, I’ve always valued leaders with a strong sense of duty. Jim has led with a sense of duty, and I am confident that his commitment to our community will make him an effective leader in the State Senate. That’s why I ask for your vote for Jim Wertz this year.

Chris Campanelli
Erie County Sheriff

Elections, leadership, words, and laws matter. I ask for your vote for Jim Wertz. He will fight for quality education and protection of women and voter rights. Your vote counts and will be counted.

Joyce Savocchio
Fmr. Mayor of the City of Erie

Jim and I come from similar backgrounds: parents who juggled to raise families while putting food on the table, being the first in our family to go to college, and a passion for public service that started at a young age. In the time I’ve known Jim, I’ve been impressed by his work ethic and dedication to doing what’s right even if it’s not the most popular. As President of the State Senate, I know how important it is that we have state senators who are dedicated to delivering for all Pennsylvanians, and I know Jim Wertz will be a leader who delivers in the State Senate.

Austin Davis
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor