NORTH HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) — When former House Speaker Mike Turzai resigned from the state House of Representatives last month, he left behind an open seat in the North Hills.
Both the Democrats and Republicans think they have a shot at winning the seat.READ MORE: Man In Critical Condition After Jumping Over Hillside During Police Chase In Brighton Heights
It’s hot, summertime, vacation time and nobody really thinks politics. But don’t tell that to Democrat Emily Skopov or Republican Rob Mercuri.
Their battle to replace Mike Turazai is both hot and ugly, and there’s still 100 days to go.
A political mailer sent out to North Hills voters purports to quote Democrat Skopov, saying “putting Pennsylvania back to work is bad for Pennsylvanians.”
But she says she never said that.
“What offended me about the mailer is that it not only misquoted, it was not a quote of mine, and it’s about an issue I care about very, very deeply and seriously,” Skopov told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.READ MORE: Police: Man Killed 94-Year-Old Grandfather And Made Video Of Slaying To Send To Family Members
Turns out the quote was taken from a Pennsylvania Capital-Star headline that was not written by Skopov and leaves out the first three words: “This Turzai bill putting Pennsylvania back to work is bad for Pennsylvanians,” the headline for an op-ed article written by Skopov.
WATCH: More With Emily Skopov And Rob Mercuri
The mailer, which endorses Republican Mercuri, was sent by the Commonwealth Leaders Fund that supports conservatives.
“It was a disingenuous piece of mail. It was a flat out, as I call it, a straight-up lie,” says Skopov.
“Candidates don’t often get to direct the exact verbiage that goes on those mail pieces or ads, and that was the case in this,” says Mercuri.
Mercuri says he didn’t write the mailer but won’t disavow the Commonwealth Leaders Fund because their views align.MORE NEWS: Experts Say Incentives To Vaccinate Work On Some But Not Everyone
Still, he says, “It bothers me that there would be a distortion, and so I would call for both sides, myself included, to make sure that we’re committing to being as accurate as possible and as truthful as possible.”