... Or she would be, if she'd ever left.
Tonya Payne has just sent out a press release disclosing the entirely unsurprising fact that she is running for state Legislature -- or "spread[ing] her wings and fly[ing] to a higher branch of government" as her press release puts it. While her statement doesn't mention the incumbent by name, the state House seat she is seeking belongs to Jake Wheatley.
Wheatley has long been aligned with Sala Udin, Payne's nemesis. Payne beat Udin to win her council seat, but was defeated in her reelection bid this year by a Udin protege, Dan Lavelle. The possibility that she would run against Wheatley was first raised here a month ago, and has been talked about for much longer than that.
Payne's press release goes on to say -- well, let's just reprint it below. It's a remarkable document. Note how fellow outgoing city councilor Jim Motznik manages to take a swipe at Udin. This is gonna be one classy campaign!
Last night, City Councilwoman Tonya Payne made a formal announcement at the LeMont in Mt. Washington that she would spread her wings and fly to a higher branch of government as a contender in the race for the State House of Representative 19th Legislative District seat in the primary this coming May.
She was surrounded with over 200 attendees that included community constituents, government officials, Ward Chairs and Committee people of the Allegheny County Democratic Party, City Councilmembers, and friends and family. The entire night was filled with excitement and anticipation as guests speculated the outcome of the evenings' event. Opening guest speakers were City Councilman Jim Motznik and City Councilwoman Theresa Smith. Both speakers voiced that City Councilwoman Tonya Payne always voted and worked for what was best for her community and not what would benefit her. City Councilman Jim Motznik proudly stated that Tonya Payne accomplished more in her 4 years reign in office for her City Council District 6 than her last predecessor did over his entire 10 years on council. City Councilwoman Theresa Smith passionately spoke that Tonya's moto was always "community first." The room clapped excessively when City Councilwoman Tonya Payne took center stage. She uplifted her guests with her positive attitude, honor, drive, and integrity. She graciously thanked all the attendees for coming to tonight's special engagement and for their continued support throughout her political career.
She stated she wanted to share with them an important step in her next journey. Her motivational passage that she shared with her guests was "when one door closes, one must open, and in this case, the door that shall open shall be bigger and far better." At the end of City Councilwoman Tonya Payne's speech, she reached over to the front of her podium, and in a dramatic fashion she ripped down a white sheet of paper to unveil her navy blue and gold poster that proudly displayed TONYA PAYNE STATE REPRESENTATIVE. City Councilwoman
Tonya Payne then formally announced, "I, Tonya Payne, am officially running for the State House of Representatives, representing the 19th Legislative District, and I wanted to share this defining moment with my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and everyone who believes that I will represent the state & the district in the best capacity as what is best for my community." The guests cheered, clapped loudly, and gave her a well deserved standing ovation.
"Tonya has always been in support of the community," said Financial Planner and Political Consultant Bonnie DiCarlo, a longtime supporter. "We need someone in Harrisburg who will really work and continue to be in support of the community.
Payne has served on City Council for the past four years. Among her many accomplishments, Councilwoman Payne was the key negotiator in the Oak Hill agreements as well as the Hill District Community Benefits Agreement. Additionally, she has secured over $6 million of funding for community development projects in the past four years. Councilwoman Payne has over 20 years of experience working for her community, and is proud to be born and raised in Pittsburgh.