PITTSBURGH — Jerry Dickinson isn’t just the Democrats’ perfect House candidate on paper. Yes, he’s young, accomplished, academic, a charismatic liberal outsider who supports the ideals of the Green New Deal, the impeachment of the president, and can self-raise an impressive amount of cash for his candidacy. He is all of those things and then more.
His only handicap is that he’s running against a Democratic incumbent. That, however, is far less of an obstacle in this new era, when incumbency may not hold the weight among Democratic primary voters that it used to. Once Rep. Joe Crowley fell to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, primary season became incumbent-hunting season for eager liberals who had enough ambition and confidence and who could run in safe Democratic districts.
Dickinson is that guy. Mike Doyle, the veteran congressman from Pittsburgh, is his target.
“Twenty-plus years is a long time in office,” Dickinson says. “Look at the record. Is Doyle liberal enough to lead what is a safe, strongly Democratic district? The answer is no.”