News & Brews May 17, 2023

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Carluccio, McCaffery win Supreme Court primaries

Republican Judge Carolyn Carluccio and Democrat Judge Dan McCaffery will face off in the November election for Pa. Supreme Court after winning their respective primaries yesterday. According to unofficial results, Carluccio defeated Patricia McCullough 54%-46%, while McCaffery defeated Deborah Kunselman 60% to 40%.  In the Republican primary for Commonwealth Court, Megan Martin defeated Josh Prince, and in the Democrat primary, Matt Wolf defeated Bryan Neft. For Superior Court, Republicans Maria Battista and Judge Harry Smail, Jr. ran unopposed for two open seats. In the Democrat Superior Court primary, Jill Beck and Timika Lane will advance to the general election, while Patrick Dugan came in third. Commonwealth Partners had endorsed Carluccio, Martin, Battista, and Smail in these races.

Democrat wins DelCo special House election

As was largely expected, Democrat Heather Boyd won the special election in the 163rd House District, defeating Republican Katie Ford 60%-39%, according to unofficial results, to ensure Dems maintain the House majority. In a separate special election in the heavily Republican 108th House District (Montour and Northumberland counties), Republican Michael Stender defeated Democrat Trevor Finn.

Innamorato, Dugan win Allegheny County primaries

Progressive socialist state Rep. Sara Innamorato won the six-way Democrat primary for Allegheny County Executive. The Tribune-Review reported last evening, “With … 96% of precincts reporting results, Innamorato had collected 37.5% of the votes counted compared with 29.6% for [John] Weinstein, 19.6% for Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb and 9.7% for former Allegheny County Councilman Dave Fawcett.” Innamorato will face Republican Joe Rockey in November. Meanwhile, Democrat Matt Dugan, whose campaign. was mostly funded by George Soros, defeated incumbent Democrat Steven Zappala in the primary race for Allegheny County DA.

Parker wins Democrat nod for Philly mayor

Former Democrat City Council Member Cherelle Parker won the nine-way Democrat primary for Philly mayor, garnering nearly 33% of the vote according to the latest tally. With more than $31 million raised among the candidates, the primary set a record for the most expensive mayoral election in Philly history. The latest polling had shown the race was way too close to make any projections. Rebecca Rhynhart came in second, while Helen Gym—who had the backing of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—came in third. Parker will face Republican David Oh in November.

Analysis: ‘Right to organize’ amendment violates Constitution

Attorney and Fairness Center Executive Vice President Danielle Acker Susanj explains why a proposal to enshrine the “right to organize” in the Pa. state constitution violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The proposed amendment, she explains, could actually force public employees “to sacrifice their rights in order to keep their jobs. … Public employees have First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. Fundamental to the freedom to associate is the ability to choose whether to appear on the membership rolls of an organization or not.” Should the amendment be enacted, Fairness Center clients “would be forced to sue to defend their rights.”

Senate committee hearing to address rural workforce challenges

Today at 1:00 p.m., the Senate Majority Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on the rural workforce challenges of “population decline, labor, and housing shortage.” Among those scheduled to testify are representatives from government, higher education, and business. Click here for the full agenda and the live-stream link.

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