News & Brews November 13, 2023

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Innamorato’s win shows ‘complexities’ of Allegheny politics

Progressive Democrat Sara Innamorato defeated Republican Joe Rockey last week in the Allegheny County executive race by just 8,300 votes out of more than 364,000 cast—the closest margin since 1999. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at how Rockey managed to draw support from 25% of Democrats, how suburban ticket-splitters helped make the race close, and more.

Pa.’s U.S. Senate race in focus with Manchin’s exit

The Post-Gazette reports that after West Virginia Democrat U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced his retirement from the Senate, Pa.’s U.S. Senate race has taken on new urgency for both Democrats and Republicans. “Democrats can lose just one net seat next fall and still keep their Senate majority if President Joe Biden is re-elected. With Mr. Manchin, a centrist and local household name, not on the ballot next year, that seat is virtually assured to be in West Virginia, whose voters backed Donald Trump by almost 40 percentage points in 2020.”

With budget incomplete, Dems still blocking school choice

Spotlight PA gives an update on the still-incomplete state budget, noting that five months into the budget impasse, “House Democrats’ opposition to vouchers hasn’t changed.” Yet, lawmakers have been slowly addressing other components of the budget. “While private school vouchers remain a sticking point, both chambers have been relatively more productive compared to earlier this year. Shapiro has signed 20 bills into law since the start of October, compared to seven from January until September.” (By comparison, Wolf signed 61 bills during the same timeframe of his first year in office.)

On the 2024 state election horizon… 

GOP Rep. Jim Marshall (Beaver County) announced that he will not seek re-election next year. He was first elected in 2006. The district leans heavily Republican, and Marshall won re-election last year with nearly 68% of the vote. In Lebanon County, GOP Rep. Russ Diamond has drawn a primary challenger. Rachel Moyer, who is backed by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, announced last week that she will run for the  seat.

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