Jim Wertz and Selena King are PA State Senate candidates running for the democratic nomination for District 49. The winner will face incumbent republican Dan Laughlin in the fall.

King received campaign funding from Jeff Yass' Student First PAC. There's been talk that this donation comes from a big Trump supporter. A donation that Wertz said he would never take.

"What we see here is one of the largest Trump supporters trying to wade into Erie County, trying to influence the outcome. I'm probably the only person who wouldn't take money that supports the privatization of public education and supports the former president. So, we feel strongly about the allies we have in this race,” Wertz said. 

King saw no problem in accepting the campaign donation, since the Student First PAC is focused on providing educational choice and opportunity for students. She said it has nothing to do with former President Trump or supporting him.   

“At the end of the day, people need to know what that PAC was about, and it's for students -- to make sure they have equity. For that to be used to weaponize people, and the fact that there is not a lot of education awareness on it is not fair to voters, and it's really not fair to even use words like MAGA and Trump in the conversation,” King said. 

Wertz said education, democracy and reproductive rights are some of the key issues he's focused on for this campaign.

“Democracy is top of mind for everyone. We saw how the State Senate behaved in 2020. We wanna make sure that doesn't happen again here in 2024 and 25. Of course, protecting health care and womens' reproductive rights I think is top of mind for everyone right now with what's happening across the country,” Wertz said. 

King also is focusing on reproductive rights, along with raising minimum wage, and healthcare accessibility. 

“We want to ensure that health care is equitable for all, regardless of their ability to pay. We see rising healthcare premiums across the board, whether you are working as a CEO of a company or a blue-collar job,” King said.