Scott Perry’s dropped lawsuit against his phone’s seizure could mean more momentum for Shamaine Daniels
No reasoning was offered by the Republican Representative nor his legal team. Will this hurt him in the midterm?
Lawyers for the GOP’s Rep. Scott Perry filed a motion to dismiss their lawsuit this week against the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the FBI’s seizure of his phone data, further raising questions about his involvement in the shambles of the 2020 presidential election and alienating Hispanic voters.
Perry, an incumbent, will face Democrat Shamaine Daniels, a Venezuelan migrant, immigration attorney, and former Harrisburg City Council Representative.
A longtime ally of former president Donald Trump, Perry’s association with Trump’s persistent questioning of the election results, raised concerns regarding his proximity to efforts that sought to overturn them.
In early August, the DOJ authorized a seizure of Perry’s phone data just hours after the FBI executed a search warrant in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort over allegations of highly protected documentation belonging to the government’s National Archives. Perry was on a family vacation at the time of the seizure.
Weeks after the incident, Perry’s legal team sued the DOJ and said his “phone contains info about my legislative and political activities, and personal/private discussions with my wife, family, constituents, and friends. None of this is the government’s business.”
This week, Perry’s legal team dropped the lawsuit without explanation, raising more questions about the extent of his involvement. Lawyers of Perry long maintain that he is “not a target of [the DOJ’s] investigation.”
Ahead of the midterm vote
The seat for PA House District 10 is up for a contested battle ahead of Election Day. The last round of polling showed a dead heat, minimal gap between both nominees, giving Daniels an edge. Latest surveys position Daniels ahead by a 49 - 45 margin.
Polls indicated that Daniels remained mostly unknown among voters, but Perry’s continued presence in the Jan. 6 sphere, in addition to allegedly contesting the results of the 2020 elections, has voters looking for alternatives.
Daniels rode that wave and has continually brought forth Perry’s record.
In a statement following polls that showed Daniels on the lead, she said that “Voters in PA-10 are sick and tired of extremist, violent rhetoric and the politics of division represented by Scott Perry.”
“My opponent doesn’t even respect their vote, much less their voice. He is more concerned with Donald Trump’s needs than those of the people he was elected to represent, and they have had enough,” she continued.
Consistent messaging may serve Daniels well for voters unaware of her platform. Data on Pa. Hispanic electorate shows that Latinos have distanced themselves from election fraud and any involvement on Jan. 6.
In fact, any proximity to the events of Jan. 6 is a dealbreaker for likely Hispanic voters.
“My team and I are encouraged by the results of our recent poll. While many will find this result surprising, they shouldn’t. Whether Scott Perry betrayed our country is up to authorities to decide, but he has betrayed his constituents and they know it,” Daniels added in her reaction to the Public Policy Polling’s results.
Perry and Daniels had it out in a televised debate on ABC27, and the Democratic candidate slammed Perry on the Jan. 6 record. For undecided voters, this may be the pull Daniels needs to move away from the toss-up.
Perry has been consistent in his disapproval of the Trump administration. He said, during the debate, that his seat doesn’t need a “Biden/Pelosi rubber stamp in Congress,” adding that his fighting status is enough for voters.
But beyond the horse race, Daniels’s candidacy represents a stamp for the Latino community. In electing Daniels, PA House District 10 is poised to elect the state’s first Latina to Congress.
“Shamaine Daniels’s historic race would strengthen the Latina bench in Congress and break a glass ceiling in Congress for Venezuelan-Americans,” said Latino Victory President and CEO Nathalie Rayes, who endorsed Daniels ahead of the elections in an AL DÍA exclusive announcement.
AL DÍA has reached out to Daniels for comment, but has yet to receive a response.