News & Brews April 10, 2023

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Casey formally launches re-election campaign

Democrat U.S. Senator Bob Casey officially launched his re-election campaign. In the words of the AP, this “bring[s] the power of incumbency and unmatched name recognition in Pennsylvania politics to his party’s defense of a seat in a critical presidential battleground state.” On the GOP side, former hedge fund CEO and Senate nominee David McCormick is considering another run in 2024.

Philly Dem mayor primary: And then there were 10

The crowded Democratic mayoral primary field in Philly is down to 10 after former City Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez suspended her campaign, citing an inability to keep up with other candidates’ fundraising. The Tribune News Service notes, “She ended up taking in almost $800,000 from donors over the last two years, a respectable sum. But it wasn’t enough to break through in this year’s race, which is likely to be among the most expensive in the city’s history.”

Allegheny Co. DA primary ‘heats up’

Across the state, the race for Allegheny County District Attorney is revving up. WESA’s Chris Potter reports that thanks to the race, “we’ve seen the first negative advertising in any local race that I’m aware of — and the early sprinkle of what could be an April shower of money from George Soros, a super-funder of progressive causes.” The ads in question, Potter writes, “are a one-two punch directed at longtime incumbent District Attorney Steve Zappala.”

How city manager allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars

A few weeks ago, I shared news that DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio—also a former state Senate candidate—was arrested on charges of stealing more than $620K from public accounts. Spotlight PA dives into the story, unraveling how Suplizio could have stolen the funds without anyone catching on. As a former DuBois City Manager told the City Council following the arrest, “I want to know what rock … you guys live under.”

Op-Ed: Medicaid needs a better ‘normal’ in Pa.

There’s been lots of talk that Medicaid is returning to “normal.” post-pandemic. But as Commonwealth Foundation Director of Policy Analysis Elizabeth Stelle explains, “‘[N]ormal’ was never that great.” Even pre-pandemic, Medicaid was “deeply broken.” For example, “Patients on Medicaid report having less access to specialist care than patients with other types of coverage and face a benefit cliff that renders them ineligible for the program before they can afford coverage on their own.” Elizabeth lays out reforms to “creat[e] a more reliable safety net for the vulnerable and [help] able-bodied individuals transition to higher-quality, private insurance.”

Which Pa. counties saw biggest population change last year?

The Morning Call took recently released U.S. Census data to create a county-level map (and searchable database) of Pa., showing population change by county. The story notes that of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, just 20 saw a growth in total population.

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