Campaigns & Elections

Forward Party announces candidates for state attorney general, treasurer in 2024

Bryn Mawr-based attorney Eric Settle will run for attorney general, while Chris Foster will run for treasurer.

Forward Party attorney general candidate Eric Settle speaks in the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

Forward Party attorney general candidate Eric Settle speaks in the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Justin Sweitzer

National leaders from the centrist Forward Party appeared at events across Pennsylvania on Tuesday to introduce two of its candidates running this year. 

The party, founded in 2021 by former Democratic presidential candidate and current party co-chair Andrew Yang, will have candidates running for attorney general and state treasurer in 2024 as it looks to gain a greater foothold in U.S. politics. 

Eric Settle, a Bryn Mawr-based attorney who is senior counsel at AmeriHealth Caritas and previously served as deputy general counsel to then-Gov. Tom Ridge, will be the party’s candidate for attorney general. A former Republican, Settle touted his experience as a lawyer in both the public and private sectors, and said he would not be beholden to the Democratic or Republican parties. 

“I truly believe that the Forward Party is focused on solving our greatest problems and in the best position to be the fulcrum for change,” Settle said Tuesday, adding that as a Forward Party candidate, he seeks to “use this office not as a stepping stone for higher office, but as a platform to use the laws and the constitution of Pennsylvania to make our commonwealth a safer, cleaner, healthier and fairer place for us, our children and grandchildren.”

Settle also served on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Health and Human Services Advisory Committee following Shapiro’s win in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general race has attracted candidates from across the political spectrum. The Democratic primary currently includes five contenders: state Rep. Jared Solomon, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey, former state auditor general Eugene DePasquale and former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan. 

On the Republican side, York County District Attorney Dave Sunday and state Rep. Craig Williams are vying for the GOP nomination.

The race for treasurer is a smaller affair, with Democrats Ryan Bizzarro and Erin McClelland running for the Democratic nomination, and incumbent Treasurer Stacy Garrity, a Republican, looking to convince voters to elect her to another term in office. 

Chris Foster, a Pittsburgh-based real estate sales associate and entrepreneur, will be running for treasurer as a Forward Party candidate.

“I’m running because I believe in the power of pragmatic, results-driven leadership that is unencumbered by rigid party ideologies,” Foster, a former Democrat, said at Tuesday’s press conference. “As a seasoned business professional, I’ve come to understand that fiscal responsibility is the cornerstone of stability and the bedrock upon which prosperity flourishes.”

“If elected as your state treasurer, I promise to provide a transparent, efficient and current accounting of our state’s financial assets and obligations,” Foster added.

Speaking Tuesday, Yang praised Foster for being a “person of character” with a desire to serve the public.

This isn’t the party’s first venture into Pennsylvania politics. In June 2023, Yang announced that two Democrats in the Pennsylvania Senate had affiliated with the Forward Party, but would remain registered Democrats. 

The party also endorsed several candidates ahead of the 2023 municipal elections, including Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein, a Republican who serves on the three-member board that runs that city’s elections, and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. – both of whom won their respective bids for reelection.

Chris Woodward, a Forward Party candidate in Berks County, won a local election for Lower Heidelberg Auditor last year, as well, according to county election returns.

Speaking to City & State following the event, Yang said fielding statewide candidates during a major presidential election year is an indicator of progress for the Forward Party. 

“The fact that Forward has these two statewide candidates is an awesome benchmark for us, and we think it’s going to set the stage for big things,” he said.