From School Board to State Representative, Jonathan Kassa hopes to win a seat in Harrisburg this fall


Julia Nardone

North Penn School Board member, Jonathan Kassa (Center), and Pennsylvania State Representative, Madeleine Dean (Far Left) talk to a group of literature droppers about their campaigns for the upcoming election, hosted by Montogmery Township Supervisor, Beth Staab (Far Right).

Julia Nardone, Staff Writer

LANSDALE – North Penn School Board member, challenger to Todd Stephens’ seat in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, and candidate endorsed by Barack Obama, Jonathan Kassa is hoping to win the title of Pennsylvania’s State Representative of the 151st district. 

“Todd Stephens has been selling us out for the last 10 years,” Kassa said at a local literature drop event about the current Republican seat holder. “It’s not just about Todd…this is about backbone, core principles, and accountability.”

Kassa’s focus revolves around public health, environmental safety, and education. As the chair of the facilities & operations and safe school committee for the North Penn School Board, he has been pushing for school safety reforms and public education funding during his years as chairman. 

“I’ve learned inside and out how terrible Pennsylvania’s funding of public education is—that has really driven me to run. When you learn that Pennsylvania is 44th in the country in public education funding, all I want to do is fix that,” Kassa explained.

When you learn that Pennsylvania is 44th in the country in public education funding, all I want to do is fix that.

— Jonathan Kassa

“Safe schools means more…it’s very important having an inclusive environment in which students, no matter their background or how they identify, have the ability to have more discussions,” he continued.

Not only was Kassa at the literature drop, but Congresswoman Madeleine Dean showed up to support him and his campaign. As the State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district, she gave her encouragement to him and his fellow Democrats.

“I will do everything I can to continue supporting [Kassa], and contributing to candidates like [him]. I have seen such a group of terrific candidates, and [he’s] among the best,” Dean said. 

“There are two kinds of politicians that get to Harrisburg: there are those who get there because they really get comfortable in the trappings of it, and there are those who are just workers, and they care about the issues and have values you will be happy they served you on,” she said.

Dean also explained how this upcoming election could flip the house from a Republican majority to a Democratic majority. The Republicans have held the house for 26 years since 1994 and currently, the number of seats needed to flip the house is 9, one of those being Todd Stephens’.

“We need nine. Nine seats. So this seat, Stephens seat, will be no longer,” Dean said, “In the majority, the world of difference is you’ll have some control over the calendar… and the Democrats will have control.”

Kassa and Dean then discussed the federal government’s handle on national problems.

“One of the worst parts is what [President Trump] is doing in terms of our vote and the seeds of doubt that he is trying to sow every single day in the security of our vote; it is nothing short of historic voter suppression,” Dean said.

“When the books are written this will be like poll taxes, this will be like ‘count the beans in a jar’, this is active voter suppression and the scariest part is, it is coming from the president of the United States, aided and abetted by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Barr,” she added.

For ten years, both Democrats and Republicans alike have voted for Todd Stephens, and Kassa hopes to convince his party to reconsider voting for another Republican Representative.

We flip the state house, we win the White House.

— Jonathan Kassa

“The issues we face are bipartisan. We need to get our priorities straight because the Republicans haven’t and they don’t deserve another ten years. This isn’t political when we’re talking about public health, the environment, public safety, gun safety,” Kassa said.

“This is how we win from the grassroots up,” Kassa said, “We flip the state house, we win the White House.”