How First Time Candidate Sara Innamorato Surprised Her Opponent And The Country

Innamorato beat long time Pa Rep. Dom Costa by a large margin on Election Night

Andrew Limberg
May 17, 2018 - 2:04 pm
Sara Innamorato

Friends of Sara / Chris Ivey


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - On Election Night, first time Democratic candidates Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato surprised their opponents, cousins Paul and Dom Costa respectively and the country when they beat the incumbents by a large margin essentially became the next representatives for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in their respective districts with both will be running unopposed in November.

 Lee and Innamorato are progressive democrats and were both endorsed by  the local and national chapters of the Democratic Socialist of America.

So how did Innamorato go from non-profit worker to next Representative for PA’s 21st legislative district?

Innamorato tells KDKA Radio she while working in the non-profit sector and realized they were relying more and more on charities and philanthropy to solve issues like poverty and a clean environment, issues she believes are not privileges but rights.

Innamorato thought something needed to be done and the representation she had from Costa “wasn’t always aligned with Democratic party values.” so she tried to convince two other women to run and when they declined; she decided she could do it herself.

Innamorato earned 64 percent of the vote to beat Costa on Election Night and says it was done by focusing on issues and people. “Our campaign was people powered to the core. We had more than 500 volunteers in some capacity touch our campaign. We had individual donations from more than 800 people.”

Innamorato will represent the towns of Aspinwall, Millvale, Ross, O’Hara Township, East Pittsburgh

Innamorato identifies as a Democratic Socialist because “I believe in putting people first when crafting legislation . . . we did a really good job in the McCarthy area of scaring people with the word socialism but really when you look at the way that we’ve crafted our society there are a lot of socialist principles in action in our everyday lives,” said Innamorato. “When folks retired they get social Security.  We have Medicare and Medicaid which are very popular here in eh United States even your local fire department is there only to provide a public good and safety for neighborhoods, our military, those are all socialist entities.”

Innamorato says Democratic Socialists, “talk about where else government is not keeping their end of the deal and how are we making sure that we are building a solid foundation for people to achieve their best self. . . so how do we make sure that every single person has health care? How do we make sure that if you work 40 hours a week, you have a wage to support you and your family . . . how to we make sure that we get corporate dollars out of politics so that elected officials are true public servants and not in the back pocket of these corporate interests.”

Innamorato says she plans be transparent while in Harrisburg and because it was a “public campaign that is run by people, you’ve now built a network of accountability.”

Regular town hall meetings and encouraging people to engage in the civil process are a few of the ways Innamorato says she will remain transparent during her time in office.

Innamorato says her job as a state representative won’t be to come in and change the community herself. “There are amazing community leaders in each one of the municipalities, townships or neighborhoods that the 21st district is comprised of, so really from now till December it’s making sure I meet with each [leader] and find out where they are in their project and where the state could be playing a proactive role in achieving their vision.”


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