Forward Party endorses first GOP candidate in Pennsylvania legislature

(The Center Square) – As the November election nears, the Forward Party continues to make inroads in Pennsylvania with another affiliated candidate – the first Republican legislator and member of the House of Representatives to do so. 

The party revealed its endorsement of State Rep. Valerie Gaydos, R-Moon Township, at a press conference on Monday in Leetsdale. Gaydos is running for reelection for the seat she has held since 2018. 

Citing Forward’s core values for her decision, Gaydos said she was intrigued by former Republican New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman’s willingness to form an organization that includes both Republicans and Democrats “to combat extremism and to work for the people.” Whitman is one of three Forward co-chairs. 

“I believe in a republican form of government in which political authority comes from the people, not from politicians,” she said.

Gaydos added that Forward’s focus on reducing toxicity in politics, opposing extremism and seeking common ground – regardless of party affiliation – appealed to her own approach to governance. She said she was honored to be identified by Andrew Yang as an elected official who lives up to those values. 

In a press release, Forward’s founding co-chair and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said, “Pennsylvania played a key role in both the formation and preservation of the Union. This history leads to fantastic public servants arising from the state, and Representative Gaydos is no exception.”

He added that Gaydos’ tireless fight for her constituents and her desire to work with anyone who is willing to solve problems for Pennsylvanians “is just one reason we’re proud to support her for re-election and as a Forward Party affiliate.”

Gaydos joins two Democratic legislators who affiliated last year – Senators Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia and Lisa Boscola, D-Bethlehem – giving Forward a bipartisan and bicameral presence. 

Forward also endorses Republican Sen. Doug Mastriano’s Democratic challenger Cameron Schroy, as well as Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein, Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala and County Executive Candidate Joe Rockey – all Republicans.

Forward affiliates are elected officials who retain their party registration as Democrat or Republican but pledge to govern according to the party’s value-based platform. 

Additionally, two statewide candidates are running under the Forward banner – Eric Settle, former Republican for Attorney General, and Chris Foster for Treasurer. 

Attending the press conference was Forward Party CEO Lindsey Drath, who said she never gets tired of heading to Pennsylvania, “which is great, because of how often new candidates are affiliating with us.” 

She praised Gaydos for having a long history of fighting for a more efficient and transparent government, and to make representatives more accountable to their constituents.

Her role in the state’s business community, Drath said, embodies the entrepreneurship they prioritize in our elected officials.

“And her history of working towards bipartisan, common ground solutions to the problems facing her community means we couldn’t be more proud that she has signed our pledge and accepted our endorsement,” she said.

Forward’s Pennsylvania Political Director Craig Snyder told The Center Square, “Both through electing its own candidates, and through affiliating with like-minded Republicans and Democrats, they intend to “create a fulcrum force aimed at actually solving problems, rather than throwing more gas on the fires of partisan conflict.”

He added that Gaydos’ affiliation “builds towards that cross-partisan and bicameral caucus in the Pennsylvania legislature.”

This article was republished with permission from The Center Square.

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