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Who is Ryan Bizzarro, a Democrat running for Pa. treasurer?

by Jannelle Andes, Genevieve Hartnett, Alaysia Lane, Bill Meincke, and DJ Waller for Spotlight PA |

Democratic treasurer candidate Ryan Bizzarro
Courtesy candidate Facebook page

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HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania voters will elect a treasurer this November, but Democrats and Republicans first must pick their candidates this spring.

Ryan Bizzarro is one of two Democrats running for his party’s nomination and will appear on the April 23 primary ballot.

The state treasurer is one of three elected row officers in the commonwealth, and plays a crucial role in managing state dollars. They can serve a maximum of two four-year terms.

Learn more about Bizzarro below:

Who is Ryan Bizzarro?


A lifelong resident of Erie County, Bizzarro graduated from Edinboro University (now known as PennWest Edinboro) and Gannon University.

Bizzarro was a behavioral health specialist for the Erie city school district and a victim/witness coordinator and advocate for the Office of the Erie County District Attorney.

He has served in the legislature since 2013, representing a swing district in the perennial bellwether county.

He’s been a reliable Democratic vote on top issues, particularly in recent years, although he has occasionally bucked party lines. He was one of dozens of state House Democrats to support a 2013 law that prohibits health care plans offered through the state exchange from covering abortion, except in the case of rape, incest, or the health of the pregnant person.

Bizzarro helped pass a 2017 law strengthening Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty provisions, including restrictions on exposing dogs to extreme temperatures. This session, he’s introduced bills that would require candidates to clean up yard signs within 10 days of an election, allow first-time homebuyers to open a tax-free savings account to pay for their purchase, and cut down on lawsuits aimed at silencing critics. The latter passed the state House unanimously last year and awaits action in the Senate.

A few months after launching his campaign, Bizzarro proposed a bill that would require the Treasury to automatically return any unclaimed property worth less than $10,000 to owners with verifiable contact information. However, with the state House Democratic majority, he also voted to amend a separate, GOP-authored bill to make that threshold $100, rather than $5,000 as originally proposed.

Unclaimed property includes forgotten savings bonds or money in old bank accounts, and has been a particular focus of Bizzarro’s campaign. Along with his bill, he has proposed allocating more staff to proactively track down people with unclaimed property, issuing annual reports about the amount of unclaimed property in the commonwealth, and raising more public awareness of the issue.

He also wants to launch new outreach initiatives to enroll more people in the PA ABLE and 529 savings programs and more thoroughly review state contracts to check for potential wage theft — efforts he called “central to the treasurer’s job” in an email to Spotlight PA.

Bizzarro has also focused a significant amount of his campaign on political issues that go beyond the Treasury.

In his campaign announcement video, Bizzarro said one of his top priorities is to protect Pennsylvanians from Republican incumbent Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who he said “uses Harrisburg as a platform, spreading lies and promoting extreme agendas.”

Garrity is a longtime supporter of former President Donald Trump and recently endorsed his 2024 campaign. She also spoke at a January 2021 rally in Harrisburg that was organized to encourage state lawmakers to decertify the 2020 election results. In a 2022 Facebook post, she celebrated the impending overturn of Roe v. Wade, which eliminated nationwide protection for abortion access.

Endorsements: Pennsylvania Democratic Party; Democratic politicians including state House Speaker Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania U.S. Reps. Matt Cartwright and Madeleine Dean; Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

>>READ MORE: A complete guide to the primary candidates for treasurer

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