News & Brews November 15, 2022

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Updates in too-close-to-call house races

Last week, Democrats won 101 state House seats to Republicans’ 100, leaving two races—and along with them majority control of the chamber—too close to call. In the 151st House District in Montgomery County, Republican Todd Stephens holds a slim, 12-vote lead over Democrat Melissa Cerrato. The Inquirer reports that county officials “plan to count the remaining mail ballots, including overseas and military ones, Wednesday. The elections board isn’t scheduled to meet until Friday to consider provisional ballots.” In the 142nd House District in Bucks County, Republican Joe Hogan leads Democrat Mark Moffa by 114 votes after additional votes were added to the count yesterday. Per the Inquirer, the Bucks “Board of Elections meets Tuesday morning to consider provisional ballots and mail ballots that were segregated.”

Shapiro claims ‘mandate’ from voters

The AP reports that Democrat Josh “Shapiro said he has a ‘mandate’ to bring people together and vowed to work with Republicans in the state Capitol.” Shapiro won a decisive 14-point victory over Republican Doug Mastriano last week, drawing not only “crossover support from Republican voters” but also strong support from independent voters. The story notes, “About 6 in 10 independents backed Shapiro in the election, compared with about 3 in 10 who supported Mastriano, according to AP VoteCast, an expansive survey of more than 3,100 voters in the state.”

Luzerne Co. elections board wants D.A. to investigate paper shortage

After a paper shortage caused an election day debacle in Luzerne County, the board of elections voted to have the county district attorney investigate the shortage. At an often-heated public meeting yesterday, voters expressed concerned over being turned away from the polls and/or potentially not having their votes count. The Citizens’ Voice reports (paywall) that “[s]ome called for the election board to refuse to certify the results of the Nov. 8 election and for a new election to be held.”

Analysis: ‘A suburban reckoning in Pennsylvania’

RealClearPennsylvania Editor Charles McElwee writes that Pa. Republicans’ mid-term losses point to “trouble” for the GOP among the state’s “growing ‘eds and meds’ demographic.” McElwee traces Republicans’ woes to several factors including former President Trump and the reality “that heated rhetoric and staunch conservatism on social issues is a losing statewide campaign strategy in Pennsylvania, where voters have a long tradition of rewarding centrists.” Check out Charles’ analysis here.

Op-Ed: Pa.’s corporate handouts are economic flop

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that while Pennsylvania leads the nation in corporate welfare, “these handouts have done little to improve the state’s economy or business climate.” In fact, “[d]espite spending billions of dollars in corporate welfare over the years, Pennsylvania continues to lag the nation in key economic indicators.” Real economic growth, Nate writes, will require cutting regulatory red tape and reducing business tax rates. Read his piece here.

House committee expected to vote this morning on Krasner impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet this morning at 9:30 to vote on articles of impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. The articles of impeachment, introduced late last month, accuse Krasner of mismanaging his office and negatively impacting crime and violence in Philly due to his “soft-on-crime policies.” The 9:30 a.m. committee meeting will be live-streamed here.

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