Daylin Leach

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Daylin Leach
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 17th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Connie Williams
Constituency Parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 149th district
In office
January 7, 2003[1] – November 30, 2008
Preceded by Wallis Brooks
Succeeded by Tim Briggs
Constituency Part of Montgomery County
Personal details
Born (1961-06-23) June 23, 1961 (age 55)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Anne Mirak
Children Brennan Alice, Justin Robert
Residence Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Temple University
University of Houston Law Center
Profession Attorney
Religion Reform Judaism

Daylin Leach (born June 23, 1961) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate who has represented the 17th senatorial district since 2009. He was previously a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 149th district from 2003 to 2009. On April 2, 2013, he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district.

Leach is a prominent voice for women's issues and liberal causes in the Pennsylvania legislature.[citation needed] He voted to end the practice of shackling women in the criminal justice system during childbirth, passed legislation to raise awareness of human trafficking and create a hotline for captive workers, and voted to reduce restrictions on abortion clinics. He has called for the acceptance of same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana.[citation needed]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Leach was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Parkland High School in 1979 in Allentown, PA. He received a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 1986.[citation needed]

He practiced law for 16 years, focusing on family and education law. He taught constitutional law, legal ethics and First Amendment law as an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College and Muhlenberg College. Leach served as president of the Pennsylvania Young Democrats in the early 1990s and on the Allentown Zoning Board from 1990 to 1994. He previously[when?] co-hosted a weekly political TV debate program entitled Lehigh Valley Firing Line.[citation needed]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit]



Leach first ran for the 149th legislative district in a special election on February 12, 2002 following the resignation of Democrat Connie Williams. Leach was the Democratic nominee and lost to Republican Wallis Brooks 48%-44%, a difference of 273 votes.[2][3]

In the November 2002 rematch of their February special election, the Brooks campaign sent dozens of direct mail advertisements, including one accusing Leach of defending child molesters as an attorney.[4] On the Saturday before the election, one was sent to voters accusing Leach of being anti-Semitic.[4] The mailer carried a headline of "Anti-Semitism, Neo-Nazism, Holocaust Denial. They are not 'a big joke.'"[4] The charges stemmed from Leach's 1999 defense of an in absentia client from Texas who was sued in Allentown, Pennsylvania for alleged comments in an Internet chat room.[4][5] Following the dismissal, the plaintiff posted on the Internet, denouncing Leach and the Texas man as anti-Semites. The posts were unearthed by a Brooks researcher and used in the mailer.[4] "She had to know I was Jewish, because it had come up in a debate. But since I have a non-Jewish surname, she apparently thought she could get away with this," Leach said.[4] The campaign immediately convinced a local Jewish newspaper to denounce the mailer and reproduced the article on a flyer with a profile of Leach, emphasizing his Jewish roots and activism, on the reverse.[4] By election day, 70 volunteers had hand-delivered the literature to most district households.[4] On November 5, 2002, Leach defeated Brooks 53%-47%, a difference of 1,170 votes.[6]


Leach won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican Brad Murphy 62%-38%.[7]


Leach won re-election to a third term, defeating Republican Monica Treichel 67%-33%.[8]


In 2003, the political website PoliticsPA named him to "The Best of the Freshman Class" list, saying that he "has all the ingredients of a rising star" and that he "makes the job look fun."[9]

In August 2005, Daylin Leach published an op-ed article in the Philadelphia Inquirer criticizing the paper's coverage of the 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy.[10] In what the Philadelphia City Paper called "the paper's first round against Leach," Inquirer columnist John Grogan responded by accusing Leach of "funny math."[11] In response, Leach "struck back" against the Inquirer with a satirical email to associates under the pseudonym "Dutch Larooo" criticizing Inquirer reporter Mario F. Cattabiani.[12][13]

On September 1, 2005, Mario F. Cattabiani published a front page article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that "exposed" Daylin Leach's long-standing and satirical blog ""[13][14] The Philadelphia City Paper criticized the Inquirer for allowing Cattabiani to "answer his attacker" through a news article, noting that "thousands of insiders have laughed at Leach's satire for years," but the Inquirer acted as though it had been "recently discovered."[13] The Philadelphia City Paper wrote that Cattabiani's article incorrectly characterized Leach's website as a "blog" rather than satire and had focused on Leach's pseudonym's "impure thoughts," while ignoring the "satirical attack" on his Cattabiani's reporting.[13] The next day, Leach removed his website.[13][15][16] John Grogan wrote that Leach had "dug his own political grave."[13][17] The Philadelphia City Paper criticized these negative articles about Leach by stating that "hidden behind the newspaper's florid obsession with Leach's naughty bits, is the state rep's pointed satire of their mediocre coverage — a criticism that the newspaper never addresses...The Inquirer savaged this young legislator because his satire was hitting its mark: Them."[13]

Notable work in the House includes proposed bills that would allow hybrid cars into the state fleet,[18] that give state funding for breast and ovarian cancer screening for low-income women, that would address redistricting reform, that would eliminate state's lethal use of paralytic drugs,[19] and that would require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault victims.[20]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • State Government[21]

Pennsylvania Senate[edit]



When Connie Williams of Pennsylvania's 17th senate district decided to retire, Leach decided to enter the election. He was the Democratic nominee and defeated Republican Lance Rogers, a Montgomery County Commissioner, 62%-38%.[22]


Leach won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican nominee Charles Gehret 63%-37%.[23]


Daylin was awarded the 2008 Humane Legislator Award by the Humane Society, the 2011 Legislative Leadership Award by GVF Transportation, and the 2011 Friend of Education Award by the Lower Merion Education Association.[20]

In January 2013, he proposed legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in Pennsylvania for people 21 years or older, called the "Regulate Marijuana Act."[24] The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would regulate marijuana.[25] In defending it, Leach argued “We would never, in a rational society, starting from scratch, have the policy we have now.”[26]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure
  • Education
  • Environmental Resources & Energy
  • Judiciary (Chair)
  • Policy[27]

2014 congressional election[edit]

On April 1, 2013, Main Line Times reported that Leach will run for the Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district, which is expected to be open as incumbent Democrat Allyson Schwartz is expected to run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. However, while the majority of Upper Merion Township is within the boundaries of the 13th Congressional district, Leach's home in Wayne, Upper Merion Township is within the state's 7th Congressional district.[28]


  1. ^ "SESSION OF 2003 - 187TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 2003-01-07. 
  2. ^ PA State House 149- Special Election
  3. ^ "2002 Special Election for the 149th Legislative District". Commonwealth of PA - Elections Information. Pennsylvania Department of State. 2004. Archived from the original on November 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Beiler, David; Joshua Runyan (May 1, 2006). "The mail-zilla: attack of the monster direct mail mistakes". Campaigns & Elections. [dead link]
  5. ^ Levy, Faygie; Joshua Runyan (October 2002). "When Even the Mudslinging Gets Dirty". The Jewish Exponent. Philadelphia. 
  6. ^ PA State House 149 March 15, 2013
  7. ^ PA State House 149 March 15, 2013
  8. ^ Bryan Schwartzman (November 22, 2006). "Dems in Harrisburg Gain Modest Success". Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Best of the Freshman Class". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on January 19, 2003. 
  10. ^ Leach, Daylin (August 15, 2005). "Pay raise issue treated unfairly; The vote wasn't nearly as nefarious as it's being painted by the media". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. 
  11. ^ John Grogan (August 23, 2005). "Keep shaming legislative greed". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. 
  12. ^ Emails archived at Bruce Schimmel's personal website
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Schimmel, Bruce (September 22–28, 2005). "You Need Daylin Leach". Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia: Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. 
  14. ^ Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Mario Cattabiani (September 2, 2005). "Off-color humor blog goes off-line;State Rep. Daylin Leach posted a note saying: "I was trying to make people laugh and think, not upset them."". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. 
  16. ^ Cattabiani, Mario (September 3, 2005). "Blog by legislator to remain off-line;State Rep. Daylin Leach said the Web site was being pulled "permanently." He had vowed Thursday to put it back online". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. 
  17. ^ Grogan, John (September 5, 2005). "This blogger dug his political grave". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. 
  18. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 18, 2004  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Death Penalty Opponents Challenge Lethal Injection". Fox News. September 17, 2004. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Daylin Leach". January 8, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  21. ^,4480863&dq=daylin+leach+committee&hl=en
  22. ^ PA State Senate 17 March 15, 2013
  23. ^ PA State Senate 17 March 15, 2013
  24. ^ Damon C. Williams (January 30, 2014). "Medical marijuana moves closer to legalization". Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved February 4, 2014. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Sen. Leach's bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania unveiled". King of Prussia Courier. Mainline Media News. February 21, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ Will Marble (February 1, 2013). "Bill legalizing marijuana to be introduced in Pa.". Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  27. ^ Committees March 15, 2013
  28. ^ "State Senator Daylin Leach plans to run for Congress". King of Prussia Courier. Mainline Media News. April 1, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Constance Williams
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 17th District
2009 – present
Succeeded by
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
Wallis Brooks
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 149th District
2003 – 2009
Succeeded by
Tim Briggs