Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democrat first elected in 2004, is about to take a star turn on the fundraising circuit for her party.
On July 19, Vice President Biden and House Speaker Pelosi will travel to Philadelphia for a fundraiser Schwartz is hosting for state Rep. Bryan Lentz, the Democrat seeking to replace Rep. Joe Sestak in the House. Lentz is in a very competitive race against Republican former U.S. attorney Pat Meehan.
The next day, Schwartz and Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore are hosting a high-dollar dinner fundraiser Pelosi will headline at the W Hotel in Washington for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee group Women LEAD.
Already this cycle, Schwartz has surpassed her dues commitments to the DCCC, chipping in $220,000. And she was one of the first members to meet her goal for the cycle, having reached that a year ago.
On top of that, chief of staff Rachel Magnuson noted, "Allyson has given or raised in excess of $1 million for members of the House Democratic Caucus and Democratic candidates for Congress nationally." As co-chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, she's raised more than $648,000 for the committee and another $678,000 for members in the Frontline program. She also has given more than $140,000 through her We the People PAC.
Schwartz's rise has been low-key, but she also serves as a vice-chair of the New Democrat Coalition and was tapped to head Women LEAD.
What's more, Schwartz already has spots on two powerful committees: Budget, and Ways and Means. Magnuson noted that Schwartz was appointed to her Ways and Means post as a sophomore, which, she said, "was a testament to what her colleagues see as her legislative abilities."
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tory Mazzola said, "With voters out of work and demanding a focus on the economy from their leaders, Allyson Schwartz is only thinking about her own job. The trouble is that she's hoping for a promotion when she should be worried about being fired by voters this November."
Schwartz's seat was considered competitive in years past, but as Republicans look for seats in the Keystone State, it is no longer on the target list.
"It's hardly on our radar," a House Republican strategist said of Schwartz's seat. The strategist added that Dee Adcock, a GOP businessman running against her, is not among the party's stronger candidates this cycle. (As of late April, he had just $53,000 in his war chest.) In addition, Democratic registration in that district has rocketed in recent years, and the Republican said it's a low priority, even among Pennsylvania races.
Without serious competition in a difficult year for Democratic incumbents, Schwartz has developed a healthy kitty to use in the next few cycles as her influence grows. At the end of April, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Schwartz's campaign had $3.1 million in cash on hand, putting her fourth on the list of members with the most cash on hand, behind only Democratic Reps. Frank Pallone of New Jersey ($4 million), Edward Markey of Massachusetts ($3.2 million) and Lloyd Doggett of Texas ($3.2 million.)