News & Brews November 3, 2021

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Brobson, Sullivan, Wallace win!

Last night marked a big victory for Republican judicial candidates. Judge Kevin Brobson bested Judge Maria McLaughlin to win a seat on the state Supreme Court. Megan Sullivan defeated Timika Lane for Superior Court, and Stacy Wallace won one of two seats on Commonwealth Court. The second Commonwealth Court race has not officially been called, but Republican Judge Drew Crompton is in the lead. Commonwealth Partners had endorsed all four of these candidates.

Some election results from around the state

In addition to judicial races, Pennsylvania saw a host of local elections yesterday. Here are a few notable results:

  • In Philadelphia, Democrat District Attorney Larry Krasner easily won re-electiondespite the city’s soaring murder rate.
  • In Pittsburgh, Democrat state Rep. Ed Gainey will succeed Bill Peduto as mayor, becoming the city’s first Black mayor.
  • Democrat Wanda Williams will be the next mayor of Harrisburg, after defeatinga write-in effort by incumbent Mayor Eric Papenfuse.
  • In Erie County, Republican Brenton Davis is leading Democrat Tyler Titus in the race for county executive. Davis is claiming victory, but as of early this morning, Titus declined to concede until all votes are counted.
  • And Democrats held on to two House seats in special elections in heavily Democrat districts. Thom Welby will succeed now-Senator Marty Flynn in House District 113 (Lackawanna County), and Gina Curry will fill the vacant seat in House District 164 (Delaware County), which was previously held by Rep. Margo Davidson.

Western PA business groups prepare for Biden vaccine mandate

The Post-Gazette looks at how several business advocacy groups are approaching President Biden’s vaccine mandate. “For many,” the story notes, “the arguments for and against the vaccine requirement fall along the same lines: the health risk, the financial impact and the government’s role.” Some view the vaccine mandate as protecting others, but of course it’s widely acknowledged that even vaccinated individuals can spread COVID. So it seems the real question is not one of public health but of government control. Still, business groups are split on whether they support or oppose the mandate. Meanwhile, outgoing Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced on Monday that he’s requiring all city employees to be vaccinated or potentially risk losing their jobs.

Defense begins in Johnny Doc trial

The Inquirer reports that yesterday, lawyers kicked off their defense in the trial of Philadelphia union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and city Councilman Bobby Henon. Attorneys for Dougherty focused on touting his leadership of IBEW 98, noting the union’s growth both in size and political clout—something the defense believes is necessary to “level the playing field with a Fortune 500 company.”

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