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Shamaine Daniels
Shamaine Daniels put up a valiant effort — and even led until around 65% of the vote was counted — but eventually fell to Scott Perry in PA's 10th Congressional District race. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.

Shamaine Daniels defeated in Congressional race against Scott Perry

Daniels ran a challenging operation, having entered the fray at the eleventh hour and building a grassroots campaign during the primaries.

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After a long-fought battle to unseat incumbent Republican Representative Scott Perry, Shamaine Daniels was defeated in the race for PA House District 10, following six grueling months of building a grassroots campaign.

The recent midterm results put Perry as the projected winner, effectively making him a three-time victor for PA in the House. Perry has repeatedly won the midterm elections by comfortable margins.

Despite a last-minute induction into the midterm race, Daniels proved herself a worthy opponent to Perry. Polls held Daniels in close margins to the incumbent, following reports of his proximity to former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election results were certified. 

In a survey run by Public Policy Polling, voters expressed discomfort toward Perry’s bid, explicitly pointing to his involvement on Jan. 6. 

Daniels, a career immigration attorney and Harrisburg city councilmember, leveraged her record in local politics, presenting a viable opponent to Perry, the likes of which he hadn’t seen in a few races. 

Shamaine Daniels
Daniels' track record in politics includes eight races, seven of which she has won, with much lower resource powers. Photo by Carlos Nogueras / AL DÍA News

With much lower name recognition, Daniels faced impossible outcomes, but held through campaigning with some support from establishment Democrats. 

“Stressful” is how Jared Eckert, Daniels’ field director, recounted the campaign trail. “It’s as stressful as it is rewarding,” he said. 

Eckert noted unique challenges in York, where he spoke to folks “who had no idea who Scott Perry is, what he’s done, the reasons why I don’t particularly think he’s the best person for office,” he said. 

But for Daniels, the effort was good enough. 

“I’m feeling satisfied. We did a good campaign, given the timeframe we had, [and] the resources we had. I feel good with the campaign regardless,” she said.

She entered the race as a last-minute primary sign-up after Eugene DePasquale, the former Pennsylvania Auditor General, dropped off from the race after being deterred by redistricting, a constituency he said he could not represent. 

And in addition to a seemingly last-minute bid, Daniels combated perceptions that stained her campaign’s image. 

“I haven’t been the underdog, I’ve been perceived as the underdog,” she continued, and likened that perception to her viability as a candidate, an issue that has trailed Daniels throughout her political career. 

“I’ve been in politics a long time,” noted Daniels, whose campaign has been tagged as an underdog effort. 

“For my city council race, all of the institutional folks said I was not viable. And then, not only did I win, but I received more votes than the person who won the mayoral race (...) After that, I thought, people aren’t going to be questioning my viability anymore, but it has always dogged me,” she continued. 

But she told AL DÍA she “couldn’t let Scott Perry run unopposed.” 

No stranger to controversy, Perry himself experienced a waning reputation for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. According to documents obtained by the House Select Jan. 6 committee, he attempted to overturn the election.

And most recently, Perry’s phone was seized by the FBI and recently returned, as investigations conducted by the Jan. 6 committee closed in. It remains to be seen whether the PA incumbent had an active role in the events that led up to Trump supporters storming the nation’s Capitol.

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