Clinton In-Law Marjorie Margolies Toppled in Pennsylvania Race

May 20, 2014 9:49pm
AP Marjorie Margolies MF20140124 16x9 608 Clinton In Law Marjorie Margolies Toppled in Pennsylvania Race

Sue Rubel/AP Photo

Despite the support of both former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Marjorie Margolies, Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law, has lost her Democratic primary bid for the Congress.

The Associated Press called the race for her opponent, Brendan Boyle.

At 37, Boyle, a state legislator, is 15 years younger than his next-youngest opponent. His campaign raised the least amount of money. He lacked his opponents’ powerful connections to the Philadelphia political establishment.

And yet, he just beat the Clinton family at its own game, winning the race for Pennsylvania’s 13th district.

With 56.6 percent of precincts reporting, Boyle leads Marjorie Margolies 58.5 percent to 22.4 percent, per AP projections. Valerie Arkoosh has 10.7 percent of the vote, and Daylin Leach came in at 8.4 percent of the vote.

“They say money always wins,” Boyle told ABC News in a recent interview. “If we win, we show that’s not true.”

Margolies, 71, had a significant boost from the Clinton machine throughout the race. Margolies’ son Marc Mezvinsky married Chelsea Clinton in July 2010 and they are expecting a baby this fall.

Bill Clinton hasn’t campaigned for any candidate as much as he has for Margolies, with a fundraiser, an ad, and a robo-call on her behalf. While serving Congress in 1993, Margolies famously cast a controversial vote in favor of the Clinton budget.  The fallout from the vote cost her the seat, and hers’ became the textbook case of a career-ending vote. ABC News called her favor to Clinton “the most celebrated political debt of the year.”

While Hillary Clinton has shied away from 2014 campaign events, she made an exception for a fundraiser on Margolies’ behalf, which the former congresswoman did not attend.

Margolies, however, struggled to connect to voters and while her fundraising numbers were strong, the campaign had trouble maintaining cash-on-hand throughout the race. To make matters worse, a March report asserted that Margolies “doubled her own salary as head of a small, largely taxpayer-funded charity [Women's Campaign International] into the six figures” as her now-ex-husband Ed Mezvinsky was facing charges of fraud.

Boyle emerged as Margolies’ lead contender in early May, when all three of his opponents, alongside women’s groups EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America, mounted attacks on Boyle’s anti-abortion record. Boyle maintained that he is pro-life.

Arkoosh, 53, a practicing obstetric anesthesiologist, campaigned on healthcare reform and her experience lobbying on Obamacare while president of the National Physicians Alliance, landing the Philadelphia Inquirer’s endorsement.

Leach, 52, a state senator, gained a following for his pro-recreational marijuana platform and unorthodox sense of humor. “If we win, we’ll have large seafood towers and fine scotch,” Leach said of his election night party. “If we lose, it’s licorice and Muscatel.”

Boyle will face Republican opponent Dee Adcock in the safe-Democratic district this November.

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