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Endorsements from Allegheny County Democratic Committee sparks frustration from other candidates

Allegheny County Democratic Committee released its endorsements this weekend to strong criticism.

"Their frustration stems for the endorsement process by the Allegheny Co. Democratic Committee, specifically that several female candidates with progressive views were not endorsed. Some of them expressed their frustration on social media and to Channel 11 about the next steps they want to see."

On Monday, State House District 36 candidate Jessica Benham was hard at work in her Carrick headquarters.

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Her opponent previously posted support for President Donald Trump on social media.

"I never got into this to make folks who are party insiders doing back room deals happy with me,” Benham said.

Emily Kinkead, House District 20 candidate, is in Harrisburg turning in signatures so she can appear on the primary ballot in a separate House race.

"You always want to give people the opportunity to do the right thing. But I think that the committee is largely making itself irrelevant by not changing and evolving,” Kinkead said.

They're progressive women frustrated over the endorsement process by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

The endorsements also omitted Braddock Rep. Summer Lee, who tweeted her displeasure yesterday saying in part:

"...Now even as the incumbent, the Allegeny Dems have refused again to endorse the only Black woman to EVER be elected from this region. Seat at the table where?"

It's anger the committee is pushing back against.

In a phone interview this afternoon, Democratic Committee Chairwoman Eileen Kelly responded, saying, “Each candidate had two months to seek the endorsement. Often times losers complain. They had a fair shot just like everyone else.”

"This is just one more thing that we now have that bonds us together. The system doesn't necessarily want us but the system needs us,” Kinkead said.

Carrick is where one of those key races will take place with the retirement of Rep. Harry Readshaw.

This will all be sorted out when the primary happens in late April.