Surrounded by some 50 of her family, friends and supporters, PA Rep. Martina White took to the podium at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 in Northeast Philadelphia to acknowledge what 54 percent of voters in her district already knew: She was their choice to go back for another two-year term in Harrisburg.
White, who beat Matt Darragh, an auditor general who secured high-profile endorsements from Democrats like President Barack Obama and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, kept her victory speech short. Despite clocking in at under two minutes in length, she managed to thank everyone from her chief of staff, Will Patterson, to the unions like the FOP that supported her, to her loved ones and the voters of the 170th District.
Gary Grisafi, ward leader in the 53rd Ward, is one of those supporters. When asked what led him to support White, he replied: "She has guts, OK? With the sanctuary city" issue – White's major policy initiative during her first term – "it takes guts. She supports the police. And you have to stand up to the socialist politicians in Philadelphia, guys like Jim Kenney."
During an interview after her speech, White never mentioned her sanctuary city legislation. Instead, she declared, "Now that I’m re-elected, I’m going to maintain my focus on the key issues in my district. We still need to bring better-paying jobs back to our area, and to make sure our students have a quality education they deserve. We also need to keep our neighborhoods safe, because the opioid epidemic has really impacted our neighborhoods."
When it was pointed out that fighting the opioid crisis has been a hallmark of Gov. Tom Wolf's first term as well, White said she welcomed the chance to work on the issue in a bipartisan manner,
"That’s the type of legislator I am," she declared