News & Brews May 8, 2023

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Special House election draws big attention, and televised debate

Here’s something you don’t see every day. The May 16 special election in the 163rd House District (Delaware County) is garnering enough attention to get a debate hosted by a Harrisburg media outlet and carried by outlets from Erie to Altoona to Scranton. At stake is not only this House seat but also the partisan majority in that chamber. Democrats hold an advantage in the district, but some speculate the race is closer than is comfy for Dems. Speculation increased as Gov. Shapiro entered the fray with an ad in favor of Democrat Heather Boyd, who is facing Republican Katie Ford.

House Dems, GOP to hold policy hearings today 

This morning at 10:00 a.m., the House Republican Policy Committee will hold a hearing on crime and keeping communities safe. That hearing will be live-streamed here.. Then, this afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the House Democrat Policy Committee will hold a hearing on charter and cyber charter school reform. Given that multiple Dems have previously targeted charter schools for funding cuts, this should be interesting.

Fundraising in Philly mayor’s race passes $31 million 

The Inquirer reports that total fundraising in the Philly mayoral race “is now at about $31.4 million, easily the most expensive election in Philadelphia history. Of that, the candidates’ campaigns have raised a staggering $24.4 million, while outside spending groups have taken in just under $7 million.” As the May 16 primary approaches, five Democrat candidates “are still considered viable for the … nomination.”

Allegheny County exec. race is ‘anybody’s guess’

Philly isn’t the only city with a hotly contested multi-way Democrat primary. The Post-Gazette reports that “the race for Allegheny County’s top elected office is a toss-up one week before the finish line.” Although progressive state Rep. Sara Innamorato led by 12% in a recent poll, the same survey showed 18% of likely Democrat voters remain undecided.

Bill to change Pa. presidential primary date may be standalone

Some lawmakers hope a bipartisan effort to move our presidential primary from the 4th Tuesday in April to the 3rd Tuesday in March will not get bundled with other election issues. These include issues such as voter ID (which, incidentally, most Pennsylvanians support). That said, not everyone agrees on the March date, and the story notes that “consensus” may instead land on April 2.

Lt. Gov. Davis & wife announce pregnancy

Congratulations to Lt. Gov. Austin Davis and his wife, Blayre Holmes Davis, on the announcement of Second Lady Davis’ pregnancy. “We’re thrilled to announce that our family is growing! We are so excited to welcome our baby girl to our family this September,” Davis tweeted on Saturday. Congratulations!

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