Dauphin County Democratic Committee chose not to endorse State Representative Patty Kim for reelection. The decision will leave the primary an open race, and one challenger comes from within Kim's camp.
"It was a trip of a lifetime," said Kim. The first-term Democratic State Representative said she was on a family trip to Belize. Besides relaxing, Kim said she also went snorkeling with sharks. Little did the Harrisburg resident know when she returned late Sunday night, there was blood in the water from her own party.
Over the weekend, Dauphin County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Marilyn Levin told media outlets the party chose not to endorse Kim, who is running for reelection of the 103rd District. Levin was unavailable for comment on Monday.
During the last 15 months, Kim said she has been successful in securing infrastructure repair funding for Harrisburg, helping people get jobs by passing legislation that allowed nonviolent offenses expunged after seven years, and continues to fight to raise Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. In short, Kim said she felt she has served the people of Dauphin County and not the establishment.
"I'm not an insider party politics," Kim said. "Maybe that was to my detriment. I'm focused on the streets."
When Kim was snubbed by her own party, she was not overly shocked.
"[I] wasn't too surprised," she said. "Within our own party there's so much inside baseball."
The move by the party is seen by many in politics as a high fastball intentionally thrown at the batter. Typically, the party will endorse an incumbent. That's not the case in 2014, as the vote was for an open primary.
"I can't lie to you, it hurts not to be picked to be endorsed," Kim said.
Kim has been successful without an endorsement. In 2012 Kim, a Harrisburg City Councilwoman, then faced a hotly contested primary race against Roy Christ, Karl Singleton, and Gloria Martin-Roberts. Kim beat out Christ by 45 votes.
According to our abc27 video records, celebrating that night with Kim inside her 2nd Street home was campaign supporter Gina Johnson Robeson.
"She was one of my biggest supporters on my campaign," said Kim.
Robeson, who Kim considers a friend, was taken back when she learned of her intent to run. Kim said she welcomes to race along Robeson.
As the saying goes, "Politics make strange bedfellows." It is also apparent they make familiar foes. The Harrisburg Authority chairmen Bill Cluck attempted a write-in campaign to challenge Kim, but he was unsuccessful. On Monday, Cluck took to Twitter to publicly state he will vote for Kim.
She, in turn, looks at the negative as a positive, hoping voters will see the reason why she was not endorsed by her own party is because she is an independent thinker who relies on her gut than a specific party agenda.
Kim said if she has learned anything during her political career, it's to wear a helmet.
"Politics is a contact sport," she said. "I expect this...it hurts. You brush yourself off and you move on."