News & Brews April 30, 2024

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GOP voters made up ~25% of mail-in ballots in Pa. last week 

The Inquirer reports that Republicans’ portion of mail-in ballots “increased slightly” in last Tuesday’s primary election, hitting about 25% of the ballots returned as opposed to about 22% in the previous three primary elections. (This is still not quite as high as the approximately 28% in the 2020 primary.) The GOP has been working to convince voters they need to take advantage of mail-in ballots if Republicans want to effectively compete with Democrats.

Rep. Amen Brown declares victory in close Dem primary

As of last evening, incumbent Democrat state Rep. Amen Brown (Philadelphia) was leading Cass Green by fewer than 50 votes in a three-way primary race—leading him to declare victory and Green to concede defeat. “Although 42 votes will make a difference in this State House seat, our movement will continue to build a path towards true democracy in Harrisburg,” Green said. Brown stated, “I am thankful to have secured the opportunity to represent this great district. We have made great progress, but there is more work to be done.” (Meanwhile, in Luzerne county, the GOP primary between incumbent Rep. Mike Cabell and challenger Jamie Walsh remains too close to call.)

Pa. education secretary addresses press club

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Khalid Mumin was the featured speaker at yesterday’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon, where he spoke about education funding, education choice, and more. On choice, Mumin said Lifeline—or PASS—Scholarships still have a chance. This after Gov. Shapiro line-item vetoed them last year. Per Mumin, Shapiro still supports the idea. (It’s ironic that despite this “support,” Shapiro did not include any funding for Lifeline/PASS in his budget proposal. So, there’s that.)

Lawmakers have bipartisan plan to address AI

Republican state Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (Berks & Montgomery counties) and Democrat state Sen. Jimmy Dillon (Philadelphia)—who serve as chairs of the Pa. Senate Communications and Technology Committee—explain in an op-ed how they are working together to address the potential threats of artificial intelligence. Their focus is on three areas: election information, sexual exploitation, and disclosure

DC’s ‘weird marriage of convenience’

POLITICO looks at the (perhaps unexpected?) alliance between U.S. Sen. John Fetterman and Democrat U.S. Rep. Andy Kim of NJ. Kim is running for Senate against indicted incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez. The story notes that in “political style and looks” Fetterman and Kim “could not be more different.” But they are “tied by a mutual disgust” for Menendez. Or, as Fetterman put it, “I don’t know why we’re odd. We’re both Democrats. We both probably assume Menendez is a total sleazeball. And we’ll both be in the Senate. We seem to have a lot together in common.”

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