Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

There’s always a little bit of madness in March, and this week was no exception. Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter added a twist to this year’s mayoral contest by endorsing one of the dozen candidates in the race, while in Happy Valley, there’s a little bit of discontent right now. 

Keep reading for more of this week’s Winners & Losers!


Rebecca Rhynhart -

One Philadelphia mayoral candidate has former mayors lining up to support her. Former Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart received an endorsement from former Mayor Michael Nutter, who became the second former chief executive to back her after former Mayor John Street endorsed her in January. Rhynhart served as city treasurer and budget director under Nutter, who said Rhynhart is the “most well-rounded” candidate in the race. 

Brian Burick -

Brian Burick will be returning to a familiar post after a judge chose him to fill a vacancy on the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners for the rest of the year. Burick, who previously served as a county commissioner from 1996 to 2004, most recently worked as an income maintenance caseworker for the state, and will not be seeking election this spring.

Temple Graduate Students -

After a tug-of-war with school officials, TUGSA came to an agreement on a union contract, ending the graduate students’ six-week strike. The Temple University Graduate Students Association agreed to a four-year contract with the university, ending disruption on the campus and ensuring grad students’ minimum pay will increase by about 30% over the life of the contract. Temple will also pay 25% toward health care insurance subsidies for graduate students’ dependents.


Neeli Bendapudi -

It’s not a Happy Valley right now for many in State College. Penn State University administrators from all departments were directed this week to submit the number of employees they plan to lay off by the end of June. President Neeli Bendapudi is trying to balance the school system’s budget by 2025 coming off a year where it operated with a budget deficit of $125 million. Despite a Bendapudi memo stating there could be “limited layoffs,” internal documents show some units will receive greater-than-expected budget cuts.

The Department of Environmental Protection -

Nobody likes being put on hold, especially when time is of the essence. According to Grid, U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio’s office had grown tired of “getting the run-around” when trying to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection about the East Palestine train derailment – and they relayed their concerns to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s similar to what residents expressed at a hearing on the train derailment, in which they described an inability to get information from the state’s emergency hotlines.

Joseph Leschinskie -

Unfortunately for former Shamokin City Councilman Joseph Leschinskie, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to seek a position on City Council in this spring’s election. That’s because Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz ordered Leschinskie to withdraw his candidacy within 10 days; the order follows a judge’s decision that past felony convictions bar him from holding office.