On Friday, Federal Agents raided both the home and office of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Bob Mellow.
Mellow’s spokeswoman, Lisa Scullin, stated that she did not know what the focus of the raid was. Scullin also stated that she was sure that Mellow did nothing wrong.
Perhaps Mellow could release a copy of the search warrant to the media so that any confusion as to what the investigators were looking for could be dispelled.
Mellow announced earlier that he would not seek re-election.
John Blake is the Democratic nominee for the spot, Frank Scavo is the Republican.
Blake was unavailable for comment.
Scavo issued the following statement in a release:
“The raid on both Senator Bob Mellow’s home and office is yet another black eye for Northeastern Pennsylvania . Once again, a negative light is cast upon our area. Obviously, this investigation has to run its course and I have the full faith and confidence in our law enforcement professionals to see that this is done properly and without bias.
“However, John Blake was hand-picked by Senator Mellow himself to replace him in the Senate. I think the voters of the 22nd District demand and deserve to know the extent of Mr. Blake’s relationship with Senator Mellow and whether or not Mr. Blake still proudly accepts Mr. Mellow’s endorsement.”
Scavo is correct in the assertions of this statement. It is widely known that Blake received the full support of Mellow in his bid to replace him. The Scranton Times ran a photo of the two in an embrace in their post election coverage which was pretty hard to miss (front page above the fold.) If you look at the election results in the Mellow strongholds, it is evident that Mellow’s influence is impressive and wide-spread. This is particularly true in the Mid-Valley and Valley View sections of Lackawanna County.
Additionally, according to Campaign Finance Records, Blake was the recipient of:
$10,000 on 4/21/2010 from the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee
$25,000 on 5/5/2010 from the Democratic State Senate Campaign
$11,000 on 5/13/2010 from the Democratic State Senate Campaign
$2,200 on 5/21/2010 from the Democratic State Senate Campaign
Blake clearly has the financial support of the Senate Democrats, of which Mellow is the Leader.
So, the question remains, what is Blake to do?
Blake’s friendship with Mellow is well known. He cannot deny their friendship and close association.
Mellow played a part in his electoral victory over some rather serious political players in Lackawanna County which is also widely known.
Blake’s campaign was also strongly supported financially by the Democratic State Senate Campaign. Will that support dry up if Blake turns his back on the Democrat in charge of the Democratic Senators?
Blake is not in a good position. The Feds just hit his political mentor’s home and office and all he has been able to do so far is avoid the media. That isn’t going to be an option for much longer. Especially since Scavo certainly will not avoid the media.
Blake’s decisions in the coming days will shape the dynamic of this race. If Blake fumbles, look for Scavo’s campaign to get a whole new lease on life.
Lastly, don’t be surprised if that photo mentioned earlier appears a few more times in this campaign. It will probably be the flag Scavo waves from here on out.