Pennsylvania’s Senior Senator decides not to make a run for the White House, a number of special elections are shaping up, and a statewide listening tour for marijuana legalization is announced. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Special Elections. If you thought you were done hearing about elections after November 6th, well…. you thought wrong. A number of special elections are taking shape in Pennsylvania. Candidates were finalized this week for the special elections in HD-114 and HD-190, which will take place on March 12. Gov. Tom Wolf decided to coincide the special election for the seat vacated by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District with the primary this year. State Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York) announced this week he will be retiring from his seat at the end of February, which will trigger another special election. Oh and the candidates for the special election in the state Senate’s 37th District will be selected this weekend as well.
Daylin Leach. The Democratic state Senator who has made headlines for misconduct allegations related to his current position, now has an investigation into his actions while he was practicing as an attorney. The Harrisburg Patriot News reports that Senate Democratic leaders are using outside counsel to investigate a sexual misconduct allegation against Leach just days after the accuser delivered a private criminal complaint. The alleged incident took place in 1991. Leach has denied this allegation emphatically and called it “preposterous.”
Brian Ellis. The Republican state Representative from Butler is under criminal investigation into allegations that he had sex with a woman while she was “incapacitated and without her consent, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the inquiry,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ellis did not respond to comment from the initial report about the allegations.
Marijuana Advocates. If you want marijuana legalization in the keystone state, yesterday’s news was welcoming. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be leading a statewide listening tour to hear from Pennsylvanians on their thoughts of legalizing recreational marijuana. Fetterman detailed at the rollout yesterday that despite his views on marijuana, the objective of the tour is to hear from a number of point of views on the topic. Legislation for full marijuana legalization is extremely unlikely given that both the state House and Senate are GOP controlled, but the conversation has at least officially begun in the state.
Casey 2020. We can officially count out this Pennsylvanian for the already forming 2020 Democratic field. Sen. Bob Casey fanned the flames of a possible presidential bid months ago stating, “we’ll see” when asked about interest in pursuing his party’s nomination, but now he’s officially withdrawn his name from an already growing list of contenders. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports although Casey may not have been ever seriously pursuing a White House, his name could still appear as a Vice President nominee for the upcoming election.
Nicholas Ranjan. The Pittsburgh based attorney was renominated by President Donald Trump for a federal judgeship on the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ranjan was endorsed by both Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.
Government Shutdown. Families across the nation are feeling the burden from the current shutdown of the federal government, but not many more than Pennsylvanians. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Pennsylvania is listed as the 9th most affected state, “experiencing the hashed financial effects” by the current government shutdown, according to a study.
Council Candidate Bonanza. If you like competition, you’ll enjoy watching the city council primaries taking shape in the state’s two largest cities. In what was already expected to be a crowded field in Philadelphia with a lot of new faces, City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown announced she will not seek another term after two decades, which is expected to lead in more new faces joining the race, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The news of Brown’s announcement, coupled with the possibility of Councilman Bill Greenlee retiring, may lead to at least two new City Council at-large representatives, that “could rival or surpass a 40-year record for Council candidates.” In Pittsburgh, WESA reports that Allegheny County Councilman John DiFazio may see his first primary challenger in multiple cycles with Bethany Hallam.
John Waltman. The district judge in Lower Southampton, Bucks County pleaded guilty to a “litany of federal crimes, including multiple counts of extortion and conspiracy to commit money laundering” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Yes, I’m looking for a Regional Manager in Scranton. No, I’m not looking for an Assistant to that Regional Manager. Interested parties should check the Senate Employment Bulletin: https://t.co/JfGgsS2xYs pic.twitter.com/B0yFrPhYe1
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) January 18, 2019