Campaign '14
By John Guerriero, Kevin Flowers Erie Times-News staff bloggers
John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers have joined forces for Campaign ’14, a blog about the 2014 races for governor and U.S. House, among others. And you'll read about President Barack Obama, Congress and what's going on in Harrisburg. Check it out and you’ll be a lot more informed before voting in the May 21 primary and the Nov. 5 election.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1690
Posts tagged ‘Ryan Bizzarro’
Posted: June 16th, 2014


State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro/ETN file photo

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro/ETN file photo

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., and another lawmaker will announce a bill that would establish veterans courts across Pennsylvania.

Bizzarro and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, of Daphin and York counties, D-15th Dist., will hold a news conference Tuesday morning in the Capitol Rotunda.

They will will be joined by state Reps. Marty Flynn and Kevin Schreiber; Senior Airman Mark Kephart, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran; Barre Shepp, mentor coordinator of the York County Veterans Treatment Court; and Terry Stokes, veterans court advocate, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Pennsylvania.

Veterans courts help veterans charged with nonviolent crimes who are struggling with addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Participants in the program are supervised by specialized probation officers and may receive guidance from veteran mentors.

Veterans courts exist in only 18 Pennsylvania counties, including Erie County.

House Bill 2180 and S.B. 1411 would require veterans courts to be established statewide.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 20th, 2013

State Treasurer Rob McCord, who’s running for governor,  today announced a list of supporters.

Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Rob McCord/ETN file photo

They are nine county commissioners and five chairpersons of county parties, though none in the Erie region.

However, the endorsement list calls to mind a previous press release that the McCord campaign sent out about one month ago.

That press statement touted support from 23 senators and House members, including three from Erie County: state Sen. Sean Wiley, of Millcreek, D-49th Dist., Rep. Flo Fabrizio, of Erie, D-2nd Dist., and Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist.

McCord is one of eight candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. The winner will face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

It will be interesting to see how other lawmakers and officials line up with the candidates in the months ahead.

– John Guerriero



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 20th, 2013

Gov. Tom Corbett got a much needed win when the state House of Representatives finally approved a transportation funding bill.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Corbett, with sagging poll numbers as he readies a run for re-election in 2014, soon will be able to claim a victory from one of his key legislative agenda items. The others, a much harder sell before the election, are privatizing state liquor sales and reforming the state’s public pensions.

The $2.3 billion annual transportation funding bill for roads, bridges and mass transit is expected to win approval in the Senate because that chamber approved a similar bill back in June. It passed the House on Tuesday night.

It will be interesting to see the political ramifications of the plan, which is being funded largely by removing the cap on the oil company franchise tax rate. Critics such as state Reps. Patrick Harkins, of Erie, D-1st Dist., and Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., say the oil companies will pass along that increase to consumers at the gas pumps, an increase that could amount to 28.5 cents per gallon.

But state Rep. Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist., said the oil companies could absorb some of the increase, which he said would be phased in over five years. Lucas noted that gas wars have led to fluctuating prices at the pumps.

The state’s gas tax is now 50.7 cents per gallon.

The transportation plan also would be funded by an increase in driver’s licenses, car registrations and some traffic violations.

In a statement, Corbett said the House “made a dramatic choice to invest in the future of Pennsylvania. In doing so, they have set the stage for the safety of our children and the economic prosperity for Pennsylvania.

“Voting for a comprehensive transportation plan will keep our transportation system safe and efficient, improve the state’s economy, and improve the quality of life for our 12 million-plus residents,” he said.

For more information on transportation funding, visit

– John  Guerriero




Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 15th, 2013

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., could find himself in the middle of an interesting re-election bid in 2014.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro/File photo

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro/File photo


He could be forced to run against fellow state lawmaker Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist., in the wake of a court ruling that upholds a plan to remap both the state House and Senate districts starting with the 2014 elections.

I got reactions from both Bizzarro and Lucas the day that the court’s decision came out.

And like Lucas before him, Bizzarro has elaborated on the issue with a statement.

Here it is:

The news of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to uphold redistricting plan seems to leave some confusion within our region.

Here in our office, we have been fielding many questions about what the new maps mean—and how it will affect residents’ voices in Harrisburg—and at home in Erie County.

It’s hard not to think of the decision as politicking prevailing over need—but regardless of the motive—now is the time to work together to ensure we’re in the best position for when the decision takes effect after the November 2014 election.

State reapportionment, along with congressional redistricting, is required every 10 years after the U.S Census to try to maintain equal representation based on population changes.

Our population loss is Berks County’s gain, or so that’s the way it was drawn. The 5th Legislative District now represented by my colleague and neighboring State Representative Greg Lucas will be moved eastward, and Erie County will have one less voice representing it in Harrisburg.

It’s easy for both Republicans and Democrats to criticize the redistricting plan. The process has been mired in politics, and the first redistricting plan, which also moved the 5th Legislative District to Berks County, was thrown out by the court because of its blatantly partisan design.

We need jobs. We need to rebuild a deteriorating economic infrastructure that has led to the population losses. We need effective leadership to respond to crises like the possible layoffs of nearly 1,000 local workers at the GE locomotive plant in Lawrence Park and the devastating effect this will have on other local manufacturing and freight companies.

We need to return the Erie region to its glory days. We must continue to grow together, doing all that we can to ensure our region thrives as an economic powerhouse.

But, beginning in the next election cycle, we’ll be doing it with one less voice in Harrisburg. That’s why I will make sure the needs of the third legislative district continue to be heard louder and clearer than ever, as I continue my first term.

I can’t help but note the irony of the situation. At a time when Erie needs strong, effective leadership the most, it is stripped of a member. It makes a tough climb just a bit steeper.

Rep. Lucas and I hold the region’s best interests at heart and share a commitment to work on its behalf. That won’t change with the redistricting decision.

You will be hearing more from me about the new districts in the coming months. But the most important thing to remember for now is that the new boundaries are not in effect until after the November 2014 election. I continue to keep your best interests in mind while I serve as your state representative.

I have no doubts that the region will not only endure but prosper in the long run. We have the resources, the skilled workers, the know-how and the heart to do this! If you have any questions or concerns about the new district maps, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’re located in the Peninsula Plaza at 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209 in Millcreek Township—and our phone number is 814-835-2880.

We’re here to make sure you have the loudest voices possible—representing you here at home, and in Harrisburg.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 9th, 2013

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the newly drawn boundaries for state House and Senate seats, starting with the 2014 election cycle.

One consequence of the ruling is that it will move the 5th House seat, now held by Greg Lucas, R-Edinboro, across the state into Berks County.

State Rep. Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist.

State Rep. Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist.

I talked to Lucas about the ruling yesterday. But in a statement released this afternoon, he goes into more detail about the redistricting plan.

Here are his written comments:

“I currently represent the 5th Legislative District covering parts of Erie and Crawford counties.  As a result of the redrawn district lines, I will now live in the 3rd Legislative District currently served by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Millcreek).

“Because of the change, I may lose my job.  But to be honest, that’s not what’s important here.

“While the redrawn maps and my future as a legislator have gained media attention, the real story is the underlying reason behind the shuffle of legislative districts.

“The 5th District is moving from northwestern Pennsylvania to the eastern part of the state because our region has seen a population decrease during the past decade, while other parts of the Commonwealth are growing.

“When a state legislator could potentially lose his job, it’s front-page news and a top story on TV and radio. When a few factory workers are laid off or a small business shuts down,  few people outside their immediate friends and families take notice.

“The two instances are directly linked. The loss of a legislative district will reduce our region’s clout in the state Capitol. There’s nothing we can do about that right now. The deal is done and the ink is dry.

“But these maps are redrawn every 10 years. If we’re going to get that legislative seat back in the future, we need to do something more important: Bring jobs and the residents they attract back to northwestern Pennsylvania.

 “My job is just the latest victim in a decades-old tragedy that has affected too many local families. When jobs leave our region, families usually aren’t too far behind.  They search elsewhere for their slice of the American Dream.  If opportunity doesn’t knock locally, our residents are willing and able to track it down wherever it may be.

 “I sought my current position knowing that there was a good chance the district would be moved when the lines were redrawn.  People have asked me what I intend to do in the future and whether or not I will run against Bizzarro. There’s plenty of time to figure that out.  My current term doesn’t run out – and the lines won’t move – until after the November 2014 general election.

 “I’m focused on doing the job I was hired by my constituents to do – serve them locally and represent them in Harrisburg.

 “At the same time, I am hopeful that my potential job loss will serve as a wakeup call instead of a metaphorical kiss goodnight. The fight for northwestern Pennsylvania’s future is far from over.

“We have some of the best-trained, hardest-working employees in the nation.  We have some of the most innovative employers on the planet. Neither group should be ready or willing to throw in the towel.

“During the next year and a half – and any time I may be privileged to serve in the General Assembly beyond that – my focus will remain on growing existing businesses, bringing jobs to our area and reversing the trend of population loss in our region.

 My job may be leaving, but there are too many jobs left to fight for to give up now.  My greatest hope is that this becomes the moment when our region turned the tides and began its triumphant return to greatness. Our residents deserve nothing less.”

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 28th, 2013

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., will host Miss Pennsylvania, Jordyn Colao, at his Millcreek office this afternoon.

Bizzarro will present Colao, 23, a Millcreek native, with a state House of Representatives award for her achievements.

Colao competed at the Miss America pageant in mid-January. Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan, was crowned Miss America.

Bizzarro will greet Colao and present the award at 1:30 p.m.

The office is in the Peninsula Plaza, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 23rd, 2013

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro got some serious — or not so serious – publicity in columnist John Baer’s recent piece.

Here’s a link to the column, which plays off Bizzarro’s name in the world of Harrisburg politics.

Bizzarro world, get it?

Bizzarro, of Millcreek, represents the 3rd District in Erie County. He was elected on Nov. 6.

– John Guerriero


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 22nd, 2013

It’s meet and greet time for one of the area’s newest state legislators.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro will hold an open house Friday at the lawmaker’s office.

The office is in the Peninsula Plaza, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209. The open house will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Bizzarro and his staff will welcome constituents to the new space, give them a behind-the-scenes look at how everything works, and share an announcement on community resources.

Bizzarro, of Millcreek, is a Democrat representing the 3rd District. He won election in November after former state Rep. John Hornaman, of Millcreek, decided not to seek a fourth term.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 17th, 2013

More Pennsylvania House committee assignments are being finalized.

State Rep. Flo Fabrizio, of Erie, D-2nd Dist., is the Democratic chairman of the Health Committee. He is also Democratic chairman of the Joint State Government Commission and Democratic deputy whip of the House.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek, D-3rd Dist., has been appointed to three committees: Aging and Older Adult Services, Gaming Oversight, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.

State Rep. Greg Lucas, of Edinboro, R-5th Dist., will serve on the following four committees: Game and Fisheries, Local Government, Labor and Industry, and Aging and Older Adult Services.

State Rep. Curt Sonney, of Harborcreek, R-4th Dist., will serve on these four committees: Appropriations, Professional Licensure, Liquor Control and Insurance.

State. Rep. Patrick Harkins, of Erie, D-1st Dist., is assigned to these committees: Education, Labor and Industry, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 14th, 2012

Opening the notebook from the campaign trail:

Ryan Bizzarro, Democratic candidate for state House in the 3rd District, will hold a fundraiser tonight at the Erie Elks Lodge No. 67, 2409 Peninsula Drive, Millcreek.

The cocktail reception is from 5 to 7 p.m.

The costs are $35 for an individual, $150 for a sponsor and $250 for a host. No corporate checks will be accepted.

The campaign says to send checks to 2653 W. 25th St., Erie, PA 16506; or contribute online at

Bizzarro is running against Republican Jason Owen. Both candidates are from Millcreek.


The campaign for Fairview resident Janet Anderson, Republican candidate for state Senate in the 49th District, is offering free T-shirts for supporters to wear this summer.

The T-shirts feature Anderson’s campaign slogan, “Sowing the Seeds of Progress,” and her website,

Call Michelle Underhill, executive assistant for the campaign, at 882-9300, or e-mail her at, to get a T-shirt or a free yard sign.

Anderson is running against Democrat Sean Wiley, of Erie.


The Erie County Democratic Party will hold its summer family picnic on June 21, from 5 to 9 p.m., at Shade’s Beach, 7000 E. Lake Road, Harborcreek.

Reservations by Sunday are preferred. The cost is $12 per person and payment can be made at the door. Children 12 and under are free.

Checks should be written out to the Erie County Democratic Party.

Call John Morgan, second vice chairman of the party, at 864-5732 or e-mail him at

– John Guerriero


Posted in: Uncategorized