Shamaine Daniels plots second challenge to incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Perry

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry's Democratic challenger from last year's election, Harrisburg City Councilwoman Shamaine Daniels, is gearing up for a second campaign against the incumbent Republican in 2024.

"Things have not gotten better," Daniels said in an interview with The York Dispatch. "Scott Perry continues to just devastate the country."

In November, Daniels lost to Perry by 24,000 votes in the central Pennsylvania congressional district that includes northern York County.

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Perry's actions during the beginning of Congress' term this year, Daniels said, put the country in danger. As head of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, he was a key figure in the struggle over the speaker of the House designation of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Shamaine Daniels, Congressional candidate in PA's 10th Districts, speaking at the rally for John Fetterman in York on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

"He doesn't seem to really stop. Come June, we're going to see him again acting irresponsibly in regard to our economy," Daniels said, referring to the current fight in Congress over the debt ceiling.

Last year's campaign was chaotic, Daniels said.

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She entered the race after former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced that he would not challenge Perry for a second time. The benefit of more time to prepare will be a big asset this time, she said.

"There were a lot of donors the last time around that were just very skeptical that someone could win with such a close window," Daniels said, "so donations were smaller than they would have normally been. After the fact I did receive a lot of apologies from people, especially from the donor community."

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., nominates Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Earlier this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, named Perry's seat as one of 33 districts in play for Democrats to win.

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Daniels said she's going to focus on voter turnout, particularly in York and Cumberland counties, where voters are less familiar with her.

"My performance from last year made this district very attractive, so I hope that voters will continue to support me and support the fact that after losing, I still went back to work and have been working hard for the residents in Harrisburg who are my constituents right now," Daniels said, "and that I would do the same for the residents of the district should I become the representative."

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.