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January 5th Playbook

Republican gubernatorial candidates face off in a debate tonight, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe announces his retirement, plus Attorney General Josh Shapiro endorses state Rep. Austin Davis for Lt. Governor. Here is the Playbook. 


‘GOP gubernatorial candidates to square off in first debate’: PennLive reports that “a crowded field of GOP candidates for Pennsylvania governor is set to square off Wednesday in the first debate of the 2022 election season.”

‘Austin Davis announces bid for lieutenant governor, backed by Josh Shapiro’: WESA reports that “Allegheny County state Representative Austin Davis formally announced his bid for lieutenant governor Tuesday morning — and he enters the race with the backing of prominent Democrats that include the party’s all-but-certain gubernatorial nominee, Attorney General Josh Shapiro.”

‘Daryl Metcalfe, longtime Butler County state representative, announces retirement’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “after building a reputation over more than two decades as the zealous conservative firebrand from Cranberry, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe says he will not seek re-election this year.”

‘Wolf heads into last budget season with flush state coffers’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania is sitting on a fat budget reserve, a healthy and growing surplus, and billions in unspent federal coronavirus relief cash.”

‘We asked GOP Senate candidates if they would have backed Pa.’s 2020 election results. They wouldn’t say.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Republican Sen. Pat Toomey forcefully defended Pennsylvania’s votes in the 2020 presidential election, but the Republicans running to replace him wouldn’t say if they would do the same.”

‘Clarice Schillinger Announces Candidacy For Lieutenant Governor’: TalkRadio 1210 WPHT reports that “Schillinger, the former President of Keeping Kids in School and Back to School PA PAC, tells why she’s decided to run for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, and explains why her experience working to get apolitical school board officials elected would succeed while holding an executive seat.”

‘How do Pa.’s proposed redistricting maps affect your neighborhood? See our interactive map’: PennLive provides maps “to see what your possible new district could be.”

‘Gainey starts naming cabinet — Jake Pawlak as deputy mayor, Jake Wheatley as chief of staff’: WESA reports that “a day after being sworn in, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey has rolled out the first of the nominations for his cabinet, naming Jake Pawlak as his choice to be the director of the city’s Office of Management and Budget and his deputy mayor.”

‘Pennsylvania redistricting tensions: Scavello’s and Boscola’s homes may end up in same district, but Scavello says election faceoff won’t happen’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “state Sen. Mario Scavello’s recent purchase of a house in northern Northampton County may put the longtime Republican in the same Senate district as six-term Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola, but Scavello says the two will not face off in an election.”

‘Argall TV program to focus on fighting blight’: The Reading Eagle reports that “the January edition of the local TV program hosted by state Sen. David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) focuses on the Senator’s bipartisan work in addressing blight and revitalizing communities across Pennsylvania.”

‘Biden, Wolf administrations respond to Barletta’s claims about flights with illegal immigrants landing in Pa.’: WFMZ reports that “Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta says first it was the Wilkes-Barre Scranton airport, and now it’s Lehigh Valley International Airport getting what he calls ghost flights full of illegal immigrants… But the Biden administration says there’s no secret.”

‘Court asked to require accredited lab in GOP ‘investigation’’: The Associated Press reports that “Dominion Voting Systems has asked a court to restrict any inspection of its voting machines as part of what Republican lawmakers call a “forensic investigation” of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election to a laboratory that has specific credentials.”

‘Brobson takes oath as state’s newest Supreme Court justice’: The Associated Press reports that “Republican Kevin Brobson was sworn in on Monday in the high court’s Harrisburg courtroom.”

‘Wolf admin used state grant funding as leverage during debate on carbon fee’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf has often said he’s “not a politician.” But before a vote on a key climate policy last month, his administration reached for a classic piece of Harrisburg leverage — state funding for local projects — to get Democratic lawmakers in line.”

‘Who wants to run for governor as a Republican in 2022?’: City & State PA reports that “as the first debate on Jan. 5 approaches, here is the latest list of candidates.”

‘How January 6 changed what it means to be a Republican in one Pennsylvania county’: CNN reports that “the day after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, three local Republican officials in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County announced they were leaving the GOP.”

‘Decision about passenger rail from NYC to the LV and Poconos expected within 18 months’: WFMZ reports that “all aboard! But to where? That’s been the questions since AMTRAK released its 2035 vision. Trips from the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos to the Big Apple are two of 39 proposed new routes being considered.”

‘Support for Scranton-to-NYC passenger train project picks up steam’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Amtrak’s study of a proposed Scranton-to-New York City passenger train should be done by August, a railroad official said Tuesday.”

‘Philly City Councilmembers discuss 2022 goals’: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that “as a new year begins, several Philadelphia City Council members have their eyes set on specific goals in 2022 to help create a better, safer and equal opportunity market for all residents.”

‘City can impose vaccine mandate for DC 33 union members, panel rules’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia’s vaccine mandate for city workers has survived one round of arbitration.”

‘Former Allegheny County controller Mark Patrick Flaherty dies of COVID-19’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “former Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty has died of complications from COVID-19.”

‘A City of Pittsburgh initiative aims to quickly connect at-risk residents with food’: WESA reports that “city officials are partnering with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help ensure that residents in crisis don’t have to also worry about where their next meal is coming from. Firefighters responding to non-emergency calls now will carry boxes of shelf-stable food.”

‘B-PEP leader calls Pittsburgh’s limit on traffic stops ‘a positive first step,’ but not enough’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh City Council’s recent vote to prohibit police officers from pulling over drivers for secondary violations was called “a positive first step, but only … a first step” by one of the city’s leading civil rights organizations.”

‘John Burwell Sworn In As First Black Mayor In Homestead History’: KDKA reports that “Homestead’s first Black Mayor was sworn in on Monday night.”

‘Interim Westmoreland election chief handed bonus as search for new director restarts’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “the search to fill the vacant director’s job at the Westmore­land County Election Bureau will begin anew as work in advance of the 2022 primary will continue to be overseen by the county’s public works head.”

‘West Deer rejects gas well amid growing opposition to fracking in Allegheny County’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “on Dec. 15, 2021, West Deer Township in northern Allegheny County rejected a proposal by Olympus Energy LLC for one of two planned natural-gas well pads in the township. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against the proposed well pad by a vote of 4-0.”

‘Former controller Namie named chief of staff for commissioners’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “the county commissioners announced during their agenda meeting Monday that former controller Michael Namie will serve as their chief of staff.”

‘PCN to air debate of Republican gubernatorial candidates to be held at Dickinson Wednesday’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “PCN will have live coverage of the first debate involving Republicans who have announced their intention of seeking the governor seat in Pennsylvania.”

‘Carlisle borough plans to fill vacant council member position through public outreach campaign’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Carlisle kicked off the new year by welcoming a new mayor Monday night and starting a search for someone to fill a new vacancy on its council.”

‘D’Agostino to take gavel as chairman of Lancaster County board of commissioners’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Commissioner Ray D’Agostino is expected to take over as chairman at Wednesday’s meeting of the board, succeeding Commissioner Josh Parsons, who has served as chairman since taking over from former GOP commissioner Dennis Stuckey in 2018.”

‘Berks County commissioners admit Sunshine Act violation’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Berks County Commissioners Chairman Christian Leinbach announced Tuesday that the board unintentionally had broken a state law.”

‘Bethlehem Police posted at Coca-Cola plant as labor strike continues, city council member disagrees with the patrols’: WFMZ reports that “the labor strike at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Bethlehem continues.”

‘Taiba Sultana becomes 1st woman of color, Muslim on Easton City Council’: WFMZ reports that “Sandra Vulcano ended her 20-year run on Easton City Council Monday night, passing her seat to Taiba Sultana, who beat Vulcano in May’s Democratic primary. Sultana, council’s newest member, came to Pennsylvania from Pakistan in 2003 and pointed out that she represents several firsts for the city.”

‘Bethlehem swears in 1st female majority council’: The Express-Times reports that “Bethlehem has its first female majority city council in the united city’s 105-year history.”

‘Erie county executive rescinds school mask order’: WJET reports that “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis is rescinding the universal indoor masking order for all public and private pre-schools, primary and secondary school in Erie County effective January 5th, 2022.”

‘Erie County to develop new plan to navigate COVID-19 pandemic’: WJET reports that “Erie county has a new approach to navigate the pandemic.”

‘‘Bold, systemic change’: Philly Chief Defender Keisha Hudson says criminal justice reform requires it’: WHYY reports that “The Defender Association of Philadelphia has a new leader.”

‘New year bring new leadership to Williamsport City Council’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “during the meeting, council elected new council leadership for the 2022 legislative year.”

‘‘Reckless’: Penn State community criticizes university’s decision to start spring semester in person’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “with Penn State set to resume in-person learning in less than a week, several groups of Penn State faculty and students are calling for the university to reverse course, expressing concern that record-breaking COVID cases could prove disastrous for a community with limited health-care capacity.”

‘To mask or not: Some school districts retain requirements, others are going mask optional amid latest COVID-19 surge’: PennLive reports that “with the start of the new year and rising COVID-19 infections, area school districts are reassessing their mask requirements. Some districts are maintaining the status quo on masks, while others are moving to make them optional.”

‘Pa. COVID-19 hospitalizations rise by 1,000 in under a week, nearing record level’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania hospitals were caring for 5,976 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, up from less than 5,000 a week ago, and less than 2,600 in mid-November.”

Terry Tracy: Why the Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial primary debate matters
Kerry Benninghoff: Too many towns are split in the proposed state House map 
Wendi Thomas: New Pa. House District maps unfair, less competitive
Jennifer O’Mara, Wendi Thomas, and Rachel Vresilovic: We can cut utility bills and help the planet by setting appliance efficiency standards in Pennsylvania
Ray E. Landis: The three things the Pa. Legislature did in 2021 to help older Pennsylvanians 
Dr. Kimberlee Josephson: Too many government mandates hurt Pennsylvania businesses 
John L. Micek: Visiting the Pa. Farm Show? Consider COVID risk, Pa. Ag. Sect’y says | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Sam DeMarco: Pittsburgh Public Schools tax increase was not necessary
Tom Hogan: Why don’t Philly officials support independent reviews of police-involved shootings? 
Paul Muschick: Will someone else have to die for Pennsylvania to change its fireworks law?
Mark Basquill: Sen. Kim Ward should run House Bill 951 to help survivors of clergy sex abuse 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pa. Turnpike is testing the limits with its tolls
Will Bunch Newsletter: Don’t look away: Climate action in ‘22, or bust 
David M. Shribman: New year, new start for Kamala Harris?
Tony Norman: Harry Potter and the Veil of Invisibility
Roxanne Patel Shepelavy and Katherine Rapin: Your Servers Still Need You 
Jack Inacker: Lingering echoes of Jan. 6 underscore the need to pass the Freedom to Vote Act
John Alexander: A life-or-death accident made me ditch my earbuds and connect with Philly’s everyday heroes 
The Grammarian: How ‘cultural Marxism’ and ‘critical race theory’ became dangerously misunderstood

4 Responses

  1. Metcalfe announcing retirement “after building a reputation over more than two decades as the zealous conservative NUTJOB from Cranberry, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe says he will not seek re-election this year.

  2. The establishment is getting behind Davis out west as part of a deal that included congressional candidate Irwin running to replace Doyle.

    Irwin gave up running for Lt. Gov, he will be backed by Fitz, Costa and the whole gang and eventually endorsed by Doyle. They hope to split the progressive vote between Dickinson and Lee to give Irwin a path.

  3. I must be a political genius. Apparently the Rs are laughing at Atty Gen Shapiro as Dem Gov candidate when he was the only Dem last cycle to win a State Row Office. It’s obvious Shapiro is a good candidate.

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