5/19 Ups & Downs

McLaughlin gets the results, the Pa. Dems and PA GOP see varied success in the primary, progressives see successes, Pawlowski wins despite controversy, Murray beats the endorsement, and DNC Host Committee has a bad week.  See who made this week’s Ups & Downs!




Maria McLaughlin.  Judge Maria McLaughlin was the top vote-getter in contested statewide elections with 451,903 votes.  That will bode well going into the general election.  




Up-Arrow4-2Down ArrowPa. Dems and PA GOP.  The Pennsylvania Democrats were able to get all four of their endorsed candidates across the line in the contested Superior Court primary, but in the Commonwealth Court primary the endorsed candidate came in fourth.  The PA GOP’s endorsement usually means victory, but lost one of the Superior Court primary slots to a candidate who did not seek the endorsement.





Rebecca Rhynhart.  Rebecca Rhynhart beat incumbent Philadelphia Controller Alan Butkovitz who had been endorsed by Philadelphia Democratic Party and was the heavy favorite.  





Progressives.  Lawrence Krasner emerged from a crowded field to win the Democratic nomination for the Philadelphia District Attorney race and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto cruised to victory.  Both victories will likely be building blocks for the progressive movement in Pennsylvania going forward.  


Down Arrow


Mike Stack.  Lt. Governor Mike Stack learned this week he may be facing a primary challenge next year in his bid to keep his job.  While no candidate has officially announced, the news could spur more into the race to replace him on the Democratic ticket.  





Mary Murray.  Judge Mary Murray beat endorsed candidate Judge Paula Patrick in the GOP Superior Court making her one of the few candidates to run against the GOP endorsement and win.  





Ed Pawlowski. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski won the contested primary for his seat, despite the looming FBI investigation and the possibility of federal charges against him.  



Down Arrow DNC Host Committee. It was revealed this week that the DNC Host Committee ran a $4 million surplus that they used to give out bonuses and grants to different organizations.  Governor Tom Wolf called for the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the DNC Host Committee, and said he was “disappointed” in the decision, and the House GOP leadership called for a full refund of the $4 million surplus to Pennsylvania.  


Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down, that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers.  To sign up to see the bonus arrow click here.

The tweet of the week goes to Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jonathan Tamari for understanding the plight of political staffers:

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  2. Irene McLaughlin Clark
    Rating: Not Recommended

    After graduating from law school, the candidate has been employed in a variety of positions handling civil litigation and divorce and custody proceedings. In 1993, the candidate was appointed to the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, where she continued to serve until 2003. Since that time, the candidate served in a variety of positions and maintained a private law practice addressing the problem of municipal blight. Although the candidate’s record demonstrates a commitment to justice and a strong work ethic, she has minimal experience that would lend itself to an appellate court position. The candidate has little courtroom experience as an advocate. Her experience with the rules of evidence and courtroom procedure is limited to the time she served as a Pittsburgh magistrate and Housing Court judge. The candidate candidly admitted that she had very limited experience as a trial or appellate advocate and no experience in writing briefs or opinions. This indicates to the commission that her exposure within the legal system is very narrow. Given the candidate’s minimal experience as outlined above, the commission does not recommend her candidacy for the Commonwealth Court.

    1. All the More Reason why she SHOULD be a Judge cause Lawyers don’t recommend her . Everyone hates the Power that Lawyers Wield over us

    2. Bar Ratings don’t mean squat. They are political like everything else. The Bar over the years has “not recommended” people one cycle only to magically “recommend” them the next.

  3. There were only 3 Philly municipal candidates that I did VoterWeb work for this cycle. All three won.

    Note: Two were direct clients. The third had their mailing people contact me for target list of likely voters. The two direct clients got more votes than the indirect client.

      1. You might not care, but candidates looking for a winning edge would care.
        Here is an email I received today about a school board race in Chester:

        “After you gave me access to Charlestown so I could create a mailing for a school board candidate, we mailed 900 sample ballots to selected voters. Your system made it very easy to create labels. AND… our candidate won big! November will still be a challenge, but I’m sure we’ll be using your system more.”

  4. @John, Why just feed the homeless in Philly? The City is the sole beneficiary of these types of grants and they get to keep the surplus every time. These were state dollars raised from people from across the state.

    1. They did. With those bonuses the campaign officials will be dining out at fancy restaurants. Thus, they will be “home less”.

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