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December 16th Playbook

A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge announces her candidacy for the state’s Commonwealth Court, while Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper announces she will not seek reelection in 2021. Here is the Playbook. 

Sierra Thomas Street Announces Bid For PA Commonwealth Court: The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge promoted her work ethic, respect for the rule of law, and being a “champion in combating racial disparities throughout the judicial community” in the press release about her entrance into the race.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper Not Seeking 3rd Term: The two-term Erie County Executive and former Congresswoman announced on Tuesday that she will not be seeking reelection in 2021.

Sankey and Rigby Named As House Majority Deputy Whips: According to a release, state Reps. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield) and Jim Rigby (R-Cambria) have been appointed to serve as deputy whips for the upcoming session under House Majority Whip Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion).

Rabbi Joshua Runyan Joins DJOP Board: According to a release, Rabbi Joshua Runyan, the former Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Exponent, has joined the Democratic Jewish Outreach of Pennsylvania’s board. 

As of Wednesday morning, we still are waiting for a call in a state Senate race. 

State Senate and House

Republicans have flipped four state House seats, (HD-33), (HD-55), (HD-123), and (HD-143), most notably unseating House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny). Democrats have flipped one seat in the Philly suburbs (HD-152). For the state Senate, Republicans have flipped one seat in western PA (SD-37), while Democrats have flipped one seat in the Philly suburbs (SD-9), and another race in western PA has not been called yet. 


State Senate 

SD-45: Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny) leads GOP challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 69 votes, as of Tuesday morning, according to DOS

Harrisburg & DC   
Inquirer: Pennsylvania congressmen who wanted to throw out their own state’s votes still don’t acknowledge Biden’s win
Inquirer: The 2020 election established Montgomery County as a powerful Democratic stronghold in Pennsylvania
Inquirer: New nursing home rules coming in Pa. are being kept secret as COVID-19 roils the industry
KDKA: Disputed Pennsylvania State Senate Election May Leave Seat Vacant In January 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Pa. Restaurant And Lodging Association Calls For Reversal Of Indoor Dining Shutdown 
Spotlight PA: State-run psychiatric hospital can’t recruit enough workers as Pa. risks violating federal requirements
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: As deadline for COVID-19 stimulus deal closes in, Pa. residents ‘need help yesterday’ 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With Pa.’s first major winter storm on the horizon, state officials say vaccine distribution will continue 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: COVID-19 Vaccine: Who gets it and when? | Phase One breakdown 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: As executions slowed during pandemic, death penalty opposition continued to grow | Wednesday Morning Coffee 
WESA: Pennsylvania Senators Support COVID-19 Relief Compromise
KYW Newsradio: Wolf wraps up his isolation; epidemiologist pushes for cheap, paper strip COVID-19 tests
WITF: Visible Protests Absent From PA’s Electoral College Meeting
Post-Gazette: ‘Christmas miracle’ may be on the way, as lawmakers inch toward a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill
Patriot News: Overturn Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 ban on interscholastic sports, Pa. school board, parents urge court 
Patriot News: Where are Pennsylvania’s 509,320 coronavirus cases? Dec. 15 map, county-by-county breakdown 
Patriot News: Coronavirus cases in Pa. top 500,000; nearly 6,300 in hospitals
PLSReporter: Dec. 15 COVID-19 Update: State says it’s prepared to handle vaccine distribution amid winter weather 
PLSReporter: Butler Area School District suing Wolf Admin, claims school sport cancellation unconstitutional
AP: NAACP files suit over Erie highway plan, waterfront access 
Politico: Three-quarters of states will elect governors in the next 2 years. Here’s a field guide.
New York Post: Speakeasy of secrets: Forgotten tales of debauchery from NYC’s ‘21’ Club

Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia commits another $7M in CARES funding for small business grants through state program 
KYW Newsradio: Philly officials call COVID-19 vaccine distribution a turning point, but urge continued caution
Chestnut Hill Local: Former speaker of the House, school choice advocate still practicing law
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: Synthetic antibodies in development as new COVID-19 treatment
Philadelphia Citizen: The Citizen Recommends: Philly Forward Forum 
Inquirer: Philly students want school board voting power, more representation 
Inquirer: COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths keep climbing in Pa.; lawmakers cite progress in stimulus talks; U.S. averaging over 2,500 deaths a day and climbing

6 ABC: A conversation with Pennsylvania’s “Fab Four” Congresswomen
Inquirer: The 2020 election established Montgomery County as a powerful Democratic stronghold in Pennsylvania
Inquirer: A Doylestown engineering firm stole $2 million by overbilling townships, boroughs, and businesses, Pa. prosecutors say
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County records 15 more coronavirus deaths, 324 new positive cases
WHYY Newsworks: ‘They make the public safer’: Upper Darby police to wear body cameras in 2021
Bucks Local News: DEC. 14TH BUCKS COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE: Initial vaccine headed to Pa. hospitals as cases continue to rise
Bucks County Courier Times: COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Bucks County. Who has it and when will distribution start 

KDKA: Disputed Pennsylvania State Senate Election May Leave Seat Vacant In January 
KDKA: Video From Inside Allegheny County Jail Raises Concerns Among Elected Officials Over Food Service 
KDKA: Braddock Restaurant Owner Files Defamation Suit Against Mayor 
KDKA: Funding Set To Run Out For Learning Hubs Used By Children In Allegheny Co. 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 1,059 New Coronavirus Cases, 10 New Deaths
WESA: City Council Revisits Controversial Parks Tax
WESA: Allegheny County To Pay For Remote ‘Learning Hubs’ Attended By Hundreds of Local Students 
WESA: Survey: As COVID Cases Rise, Consumer Confidence Declines In Southwestern PA
Post-Gazette: City council gets new bill on delayed parks tax
Post-Gazette: Braddock restaurant owner sues mayor on defamation claim 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Pa. reports 9,500 more cases, 270 new deaths
City Paper: Pittsburgh City Council shifts over $9 million away from police, Mon Oakland Connector in proposed budget 
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
Tribune Review: Allegheny County announces new initiatives to combat youth homelessness 
Tribune Review: Populations continue to decline in Westmoreland, Allegheny counties 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports more than 1,000 new covid cases for 6th time this month

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset County distributes $1.2 million in CARES Act funding to small businesses
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria commissioners to meet virtually
KDKA: COVID-19 In Westmoreland County: Commissioner Gina Cerilli Tests Positive For Virus
KDKA: Butler Area School Board, Parents File Lawsuit Against Governor Tom Wolf, Dr. Rachel Levine
Beaver County Times: County groups receive new grants to deter crime, assist victims
Tribune Review: Westmoreland Commissioner Gina Cerilli tests positive for covid-19
Tribune Review: Sen. Bob Casey, North Huntingdon mother highlight need for continued pandemic relief
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County preps for vaccine distribution, which could begin Friday
Observer-Reporter: Federal auction aims to increase broadband availability in rural areas
Observer-Reporter: Handful of local restaurants defying Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 restrictions 

The Times Leader: Luzerne County election director resigns
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Council unanimously OKs no-tax-hike budget 
The Times Leader: Geisinger Wyoming Valley first Luzerne County hospital to receive vaccine 
The Times Leader: 139 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; 9,556 statewide
Citizens Voice: County election director Watchilla resigns 
Citizens Voice: Council approves 2021 county budget; no tax hike 
Citizens Voice: Geisinger receives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine 
Citizens Voice: 139 new COVID-19 cases, nine deaths reported in county
Times-Tribune: County election director Watchilla resigns 
Times-Tribune: Geisinger receives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine 
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 deaths surging statewide in the last week 

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: Some Midstate legislators maintain pro-Trump election challenges, even after Pennsylvania casts electoral votes for Biden
Carlisle Sentinel: Carlisle Borough moves to decriminalizes marijuana  
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 111 new cases of COVID-19 and 7 additional deaths for Cumberland County in Tuesday’s report
LNP | LancasterOnline: Danene Sorace to seek second term as Lancaster city mayor 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Four local attorneys seek county GOP endorsement for vacant judicial seat
LNP | LancasterOnline: As businesses defy Governor Wolf’s latest shutdown order, enforcement appears to be lax
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster city’s interim chief talks policing, makes clear he wants permanent job
LNP | LancasterOnline: Pennsylvania surpasses 500K total coronavirus cases to date [Tuesday’s COVID-19 update]
York Dispatch: State: 10 new deaths linked to COVID-19 in York County
York Dispatch: WellSpan officials: Vaccines arriving in York County this week
Patriot News: Lebanon hospital becomes first in midstate to get COVID-19 vaccine, others expect delivery this week 

Lehigh Valley      
WFMZ: Reading council adopts 2021 budget with 2.49% tax hike 
WFMZ: Newly-formed Lehigh Valley Justice Institute hoping to be model for criminal justice reform 
WFMZ: Allentown store owner says she still hasn’t received financial aid, as governors ask Congress to pass another relief package
Reading Eagle: Reading Area Water Authority enacts $33.4 million budget with no increase in water rates
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 312 new cases and 5 deaths in COVID pandemic as Pa. passes 500,000 cases 
Express Times: 2nd round of Bethlehem small business grants coming to ease COVID-19 holiday strain 
Express Times: The 3:20 a.m. call: Next time, Easton residents, it won’t be a winter storm warning, mayor promises.
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: State hits 500K total cases, nears 13K deaths; Lehigh Valley soon to reach 800 deaths; Bucks County hospital gets coronavirus vaccine | Pa. COVID-19 county case map (12/15/20)
Express Times: Northampton County’s number of inmates with COVID-19 triples in 2 weeks
Morning Call: Lehigh Valley Justice Institute founded to create a fairer criminal justice system

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Dahlkemper won’t seek re-election
Erie Times-News: Erie City Council set to approve 2021 budget
Centre Daily Times: State College group presents final report on community board overseeing police. Here’s what to expect
Centre Daily Times: Centre County coroner confirms 18 new COVID-19 deaths, with 14 from long-term care facilities
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 15 update: Pa. passes 500,000 COVID-19 cases, reports record number of new deaths
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Area hospitals say they’re ‘at or near capacity’
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Mayor says use of City Hall fund will lower budget cost
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 156 new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County sees 59 new cases, Tioga 23, Sullivan 3

Inquirer Editorial Board: Eviction is the New Year’s gift that no one deserves but millions could get
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: What money can’t buy
Charlie Dent: Why more Republicans should follow Rep. Mitchell’s lead
John Longstreet: Pa.’s restaurant shutdowns without federal aid will leave thousands more unemployed 
Shira Goodman: The big lesson of 2020: We have to fight to preserve and expand the right to the vote 
Maureen May: Plummeting morale, decreasing staff, and shrinking resources leave Pa. nurses in desperate need | Expert Opinion
Stephen Herzenberg and Clair Kovach: COVID-19 relief should extend CARES Act work-sharing provisions  
Tu Huynh: Proposed Arts Task Force can’t make up for City Hall’s abandonment of Philly’s creative economy 
Trudy Rubin: A peaceful transfer of power: We didn’t know how normal that was — until it was almost gone. 
Bruce Ledewitz: What will a post-Trump U.S. Supreme Court look like? It might not be all that bad for liberals 
Will Bunch Newsletter: A notable death in 2020: American democracy

One Response

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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