HD-197: Vazquez Wins as a Write-in

VazquezDemocrat Emilio Vazquez will be the newest state House member after the official tally of write-in votes today.  He won with 1,964 votes according to unofficial results.  

He defeated Republican Lucinda Little, the only candidate on the ballot, who received 194 votes.  Green Party Candidate Cheri Honkola received 280 votes from the unofficial tally of write-ins

Republicans have been calling for the Attorney General’s Office to investigate allegations of irregularities at the polls.

“It is alleged election officials working the polls improperly marked up sample ballots with specialized ‘write-in’ instructions; maintained and distributed stamps to facilitate write-in votes,” Majority Leader Dave Reed said in an letter to the AGs office.  

The letter was signed by House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana), Majority Whip Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York), Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre), Caucus Administrator Kurt Masser (R-Northumberland), Caucus Chairman Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), Caucus Secretary Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion), Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia), and Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia).

In recent elections allegations of irregularities have been investigated first by the Philadelphia City Commissioners according to Commission Vice-Chairman Al Schimdt (R). THey would then make a recommendation to the District Attorney’s office.  

The PA GOP joined in pushing against the Democrats.  

“It’s ironic that Philadelphia’s Democratic machine chose to engage in egregious voter fraud during a special election to replace a convicted felon on the same day that Philadelphia’s District Attorney was indicted on federal corruption charges,” PA GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio said in a statement.  

Democrats immediately responded to the letter.  

“Is it now standard practice of Trump Republicans to claim voter fraud after every election? In the first election in Pennsylvania since November 8, the Trump Republicans could not even find 200 people in a district of over 30,000 registered voters who wanted a Republican to represent them in Harrisburg,” House Democratic Campaign Committee Executive Director Nathan Davidson said in an email.  

Vazquez went on the attack against the Republicans and the Green Party.  

“Today is yet another shameful example that the Donald Trump led Republican Party will stop at nothing to thwart the will of voters and discredit the democratic process. As for the Green Party, this wouldn’t be the first election they have contested to get attention and then fundraise off of it,” Vazquez said in a statement.

March 24th, 2017 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Local races, Top Stories | 22 Comments

22 thoughts on “HD-197: Vazquez Wins as a Write-in”

  1. Whistleblower says:

    Emilio don’t hire anyone from the ward or the neighborhood or you’ll be in jail outside a year.

  2. Nunzio says:

    How funny is this, the new head of the state Republican Party tries for his first big win in a race with one Republican candidate and NO (ZERO) Democrat opposition and he loses in a write in!!!!???
    I hope for his sake that it isn’t a sign for the future of the state GOP. Otherwise he’ll be back in Chester county as a “one and done” GOP Chair.

  3. Charles Pont says:

    I want to congratulate Emilio Vazquez on his victory in HD 197. I sincerely hope that he is able to stay out of trouble into what amounts to lifetime seat in the House. He needs to take a lesson from old Bill Reiger who represented much of what encompasses HD 197 for 40 years in the House. Mr. Reiger was often accused but never caught. Bill was former Mayor James H.J. Tate’s gift to the people of Pennsylvania.

  4. lols says:

    >The GOP has 121 seats in the state house. We can’t afford to lose any more.

    phew. good thing we got THE david DIANO posting on politicspa and living in basements to help us out.

    his strategy and brilliance will not be soon forgot.

  5. David Diano says:

    Phil Hughes-

    It’s just another half-assed embarrassment for the Philly Dems and HDCC not being able to keep their eyes on the ball.

    The GOP has 121 seats in the state house. We can’t afford to lose any more.

  6. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    Big surprise to someone that Vasquez won a “mostly Latino” and Democrat district?

  7. Phil Hughes says:

    David: The point I’m making is that no one in the Philadelphia Democratic Party cared enough about a district that is mostly Latino. Even those local Dems chose to keep a hands-off approach to that race, got embarrassed by the candidate who was removed and then organized to keep the seat. Republicans gave it mild lip service – at best. There were no boots on the ground, no mobilization and no real effort by the R’s.

  8. Seneca says:

    Time to march on. I hear they’re already taking bets on how long it will be before Velasquez is also indicted for something or other.

    BTW, I believe he has to resign his parking authority job before he is sworn in. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this. Things often work differently in Philadelphia.

  9. David Diano says:

    Phil Hughes-

    The PA GOP Chairman made snide comments about the Philly Dem machine and the the Philly DA. The (useless) HDCC chose to respond, rather than have the PA Dem chairman respond or the leadership of the Philly Dems.

    The PA GOP Chairman isn’t going to criticize the HDCC, because they make his job easier.

  10. Phil Hughes says:

    Everybody take a deep breath. This seat has an 85 percent Democratic registration with no Republican activism. The Republican candidate never had a chance. The Green Party candidate had a better shot at it. It is also a community of color where the R’s have little to no interest in cultivating, at least in a serious fashion. Yes, the Dems were sloppy. Yes, they need to do better. This should serve as a wake up call. The REAL problem with this district is at the LOCAL party level and NOT with the HDCC.

  11. David Diano says:

    So, Honkola outperformed him 175 to 1, and HE decided to be a poor sport about it.

  12. David Diano says:

    The PA GOP should offer to pay the salaries for the HDCC staff as a thank you for their feckless leadership.

    The Green Party is extremely weak in PA (with about one member per precinct), but Vazquez shouldn’t be such a dick about beating them. Cheri Honkola got 10 times as many write-ins as there are registered Green Party members in that district. Vazquez got 5.7% of the registered Dems.
    So, Honkola outperformed him 175 to 1, and decided to be a poor sport about it.


    This is one of only a few districts that even the HDCC couldn’t lose, despite their best efforts. Claiming victory for the Sun rising in the morning.


    Yep. The HDCC is pretty sad.


    Claiming the “win” is due to Trump is bad for two reasons:
    1) It simply isn’t true.
    2) It is an admission that “win” wasn’t due to the HDCC.

  13. Zakrey Bissell says:

    i’m hoping for Lucinda little runs for office again, and I am still disappointed with the results so far.

  14. huh says:

    hdcc continues to be a joke…can nathan stop pretending Trump is a trump card for local races? did he not realize that didn’t work??? one size fits all, the HDCC way

  15. huh says:

    @Chad…are you drunk?

  16. Tired says:

    It’s kind of hilarious for the HDCC to be claiming victory for a seat that they (a) allowed someone who didn’t live in the district to be the “chosen one” and (b) has numerous, numerous reports of election day irregularities and (c) has an 85% Democratic registration edge. If you have to gin up this much noise on what is essentially a slam dunk, it goes to show how low they have fallen as an effective campaign organization. Reps wouldn’t have even played a little if not for being only ones on the ballot thanks to the HDCC/Dem Party screw ups in the first place.

  17. Smarter says:

    So the incompetent and terribly run HDCC, deep in the pockets of the Harrisburg establishment, lucks out because of the demographics. Oh joy.

  18. John Galt says:

    In keeping with Democrat 197th district tradition I wonder what crimes Vazquez will be charged with before his term ends…. hmmm.

  19. Chad says:

    And also f@uck off Vazquez your democratic establishment, career politican who lack charm of anything.

  20. Chad says:

    @huh She did and did even you find around YouTube videos because there are several video of Cheri grassroots attempted with few hundred people rallied on her policies as means proving yourself with that question.

  21. huh says:

    assuming no foulplay, did Chonkala even have a campaign??

  22. Chuckie Porter the rat says:

    I heard they were busing Russians in from West Virginia to queer the vote.

Comments are closed.