11/16 Ups & Downs
We have the final results of Pa.’s elections, including a few narrow scrapes. And now, lawmakers get down to the business of governing. Here’s who had a good week, and who didn’t.
Rick Saccone. He was Democrats’ top target in 2012, but it looks like the freshman Republican state Rep. will escape this year with a 114 vote win. He narrowly defeated Dave Levdansky, the longtime Democratic state Rep. he beat in 2010.
Jesse White. Dear lawmakers: We have screenshots of everything you’ve ever done. Please be advised: don’t mess. Sincerely, Range Resources. The major gas driller this week released emails from the state Rep. in which he requested campaign money as well as questionable facebook posts he’s made. Once a loud advocate for Marcellus development, White has been a thorn in the industry’s side – particularly with his support for local municipalities and their quest against Act 13.
Chaka Fattah. No one expected the Philadelphia Congressman to face much trouble in his re-election effort this cycle. But Fattah actually did better than any other member of Congress in the country in terms of vote total: 302,746. He took 89.4 percent of the vote against Republican Robert Mansfield (9.4 percent) and Independent Jim Foster (1.3 percent). It’s a far cry from his first electoral win as state Rep. in 1982 – by 58 votes out of 10,000 cast.
Montco Commissioners. The board of Commissioners, lead by Josh Shapiro, unveiled their first new budget this week and kept campaign promises to not raise taxes. It also aims to reverse several recent trends in PA’s third largest county (spending increased, bond ratings were reduced, pension contributions slipped, etc).
Congressional challengers. The Republicans did a pretty effective job of drawing the new congressional map, election day showed. Despite winning fewer votes – 2,626,995 to Democrats’ 2,701,820 – Republicans now hold a staggering 13 to 5 seat majority in Pa.’s delegation. It means that in both parties, challengers will have a harder time ousting incumbents. That said, Dems lost districts where they have a registration (though not a performance) advantage.
House Dem leaders. They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Democrats this week said that the reverse is also true: if it you don’t fix it, it ain’t broken. Dems re-elected their leadership without a hiccup. The western Pa.-heavy team added Ron Waters of Philly and Neal Goodman of NEPA to help secure their hold on the caucus.