News & Brews May 18, 2021

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Races to watch today

In addition to the judicial primary races (check out our endorsements hereand the constitutional amendments on the ballot, here are some other races we’re watching today.

  1. Philadelphia District Attorney Democrat Primary, where incumbent Larry Krasner is facing challenger Carlos Vega;  
  2. Special legislative elections to fill vacant seats: In these elections, we’ve endorsed Chris Chermak for Senate in District 22 (Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Monroe counties), Chris Gebhard for Senate in District 48 (Lebanon, York, and Dauphin counties), and Abby Major for House in District 60 (Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties); There is also a special election in House District 59 (Somerset and Westmoreland counties), where Republican Leslie Baum Rossi, Democrat Mariah Fisher, and Libertarian Robb Luther are running;
  3. Mayoral primaries in six of the state’s largest cities. City and State PA gives a rundown of these.

Mail-in voting could (again) delay some results

More than 800,000 mail-in ballots were requested for today’s primary election, and as of yesterday, almost 500,000 had been returned. Although these numbers are far lower than last November’s General Election, it’s still possible we may not know some results for a few days as mail-in ballots are counted. Capitol reporter John Finnerty has more.

In-person learning PAC endorses nearly 90 school board candidates

Keeping Kids in School PAC, the political action committee formed by parents who want an in-person learning option for their children, has endorsed nearly 90 candidates for school board elections, the Delaware Valley Journal (DVJ) reports. The DVJ also relates that one group apparently none too happy with the new PAC’s efforts is the teachers’ union.

State troopers assoc. president demands apology from Wolf

Yesterday, Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President David Kennedy released a statement demanding Gov. Wolf apologize for what Kennedy called “a false narrative that police are racist murderers.” The demand came after Wolf released a letter last week, which was National Police Week, highlighting the upcoming Juneteenth celebration and noting, “Sadly, the continued deaths of African Americans at the hands of police…are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are still with us today.” Kennedy emphasized, “Let me be clear: Pennsylvania state troopers support the Juneteenth holiday. But for Gov. Wolf to use his platform to further push a false narrative that police are racist murderers is nothing less than the worst kind of political pandering. It only serves to further divide our nation at the expense of officers who already work incredibly dangerous jobs.”

Dueling Op-Eds: Yes/No on emergency powers

With primary election day here, Broad + Liberty published an op-ed from House and Senate Republican leadership urging a “yes” vote on the proposed constitutional amendments to rein in a governor’s emergency powers, alongside an op-ed by Democrat Sen. Sharif Street encouraging Pennsylvanians to leave unchecked powers in the hands of Gov. Wolf.

On May 18, VoteYesPA to save lives and livelihoods

On May 18, voters can approve two proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on Gov. Wolf’s (and any future governor’s) emergency powers. Check out for resources including a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.

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