News & Brews April 4, 2022

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GOP Gov., Senate hopefuls meet at PA Leadership Conference

PennLive covered the forums of PA’s Republican gubernatorial candidates and Senatecandidates that took place this past Friday and Saturday at the conservative Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. Questions on the gubernatorial front ranged from mail-in voting and the death penalty to why each candidate thinks he or she can beat Josh Shapiro. PoliticsPA has more.

Here’s who’s running for Lt. Gov.

As the gubernatorial and Senate races garner most of the political attention, the races for each party’s nomination for lieutenant governor are also contested. Spotlight PA gives a rundown of who’s running (scroll down for the list).

Empty podium takes center stage at Dem. Senate debate

John Fetterman’s absence—his place held by an empty podium—garnered much of the attention at yesterday’s Democrat U.S. Senate debate. The Inquirer reports that the “focus on Fetterman … overshadowed a debate that was at times substantive and nuanced, on issues including natural gas drilling. But the candidates themselves kept the focus on that empty podium, in ways big and small.” Read more here.

Special elections tomorrow

Tomorrow, voters in Allegheny County will choose two new state lawmakers to complete the terms of former Reps. Ed Gainey and Jake Wheatley. Gainey was sworn in as the mayor of Pittsburgh earlier this year, and Wheatley became his chief of staff. The Post-Gazette has the story. Across the state in Luzerne County, voters will choose a successor to former Rep. Tarah Toohil, who was elected a Luzerne County judge.

Allegheny County Dems pass on endorsing progressive incumbents

Members of the Allegheny County Democrat Committee voted against endorsing incumbent Reps. Summer Lee, Jessica Benham, and Emily Kinkead for re-election, instead backing other Democrats in primary challenges against these lawmakers. Lee and Benham ran for election as Democrat Socialists, and all three are avowed progressives. Read the Tribune-Review story here.

Judge reinstates ChesCo school board members he previously tossed

After previously ousting five West Chester school board members over not responding by the court’s deadline in a case challenging the district’s school mask mandate, a judge reinstated the members after their lawyer told the judge they thought they had more time to respond. The case challenging the mask mandate remains ongoing.

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