UE Ally Summer Lee Defeats Billionaire-Backed Primary Challenge

April 24, 2024

Congresswoman Summer Lee, a regular fixture at UE picketlines and rallies in southwest Pennsylvania since she was first elected to the state legislature in 2018, easily fended off a primary challenge on April 23, winning just over 60 percent of the vote.

“Our Congresswoman Summer Lee fights tirelessly for … the working class people and their families in our district, in our state and in our country,” said Local 610 President Antwon Gibson. “UE Local 610 is proud to once again endorse the People’s Champion, Summer Lee, for Congress.” The UE Eastern Region also endorsed Lee’s re-election campaign.

Lee’s opponent, local councilor Bhavini Patel, criticized Lee for not being supportive enough of President Biden, and for her outspoken opposition to Israel’s war on Gaza. Right-wing billionaire Jeffrey Yass spent over $600,000 supporting Patel and attacking Lee.

In contrast, Lee’s campaign “was built on a record of delivering for our democracy, defending our most fundamental rights, and expanding our vision for what is politically possible,” said Lee in a press release.

UE was the only union to endorse Lee in 2018, when she unseated an incumbent establishment Democrat to win a seat in the Pennsylvania house of representatives. She was elected to Congress in 2022, after a close primary in which right-wing donors spent millions of dollars supporting her opponent, a union-busting attorney.

Three UE members sitting on chairs, talking to each other, with Summer Lee literature
UE members preparing to canvass for Rep. Lee in March. Left to right: retired UE NEWS Editor Al Hart, Eastern Region President George Waksmunski, and Megan Moffitt, Local 667.