January 9th Playbook

Speaker Mike Turzai selects March 17 as the special election date to fill three vacant state House seats. Here is the Playbook. 

Three House Special Elections Set for March 17: The seats that were vacated that led to the special elections are in Bucks, Butler, Mercer, and Westmoreland counties.

Marsicano To Announce Bid for PA8: Former Hazleton Mayor Michael Marsicano is expected to formally announce his entrance into the Republican race for the 8th Congressional District. Marsicano, served as a Democrat as mayor for Hazleton 25 years ago, became a Republican two years ago. 

Legislative Election Update: 

SD-33: State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams) announced his intentions to seek reelection, according to the Carlisle Sentinel. Mastriano bested Democrat Sarah Hammond in a special election by 37 points in 2019 for the seat vacated by state Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York), who retired in February 2019

HD-154: Gretchen Wisehart, an attorney, announced her intentions to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the state House seat in Montgomery County. Wisehart’s announcement comes after state Rep. Steve McCarter (D-Montgomery) announced that he is retiring at the end of his term in 2020. McCarter defeated Republican Kathleen Bowers by 63 points in 2018. 

HD-146: State Rep. Joe Ciresi (D-Montgomery) announced that he is seeking a second term in the state House, according to the Montgomery Media. Ciresi was elected to the seat in 2018 after defeating incumbent state Rep. Thomas Quigley (R-Montgomery) by 11 points.

HD-131: Lehigh County Commissioner Nathan Brown announced his intentions to seek the Republican Party nomination for the state House seat in the Lehigh Valley, according to LehighValleyLive. Brown enters the race after state Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh) announced in December that he was not seeking reelection in 2020. Simmons, who was first elected to the state House in 2010, won his most recent reelection bid in 2018 by 5.5 points over Democrat Andrew Lee. 

HD-87: Sean Quinlan, a defense attorney in Camp Hill, announced his intentions to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the seat held by state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), according to PennLive. Rothman defeated Quinlan in 2018 by 13 points.   

HD-12: Daniel Smith Jr., a Democrat who ran against state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) in 2018, announced that he is attempting to unseat him again in 2020. Smith originally announced a bid for the 16th Congressional District last year in hopes of beating Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler), but decided to drop out of that race to challenge Metcalfe again. Metcalfe bested Smith by 16 points in 2018. 

Harrisburg & DC   
WITF: House Democrats, Republicans clash over special election dates
WITF: Some farmers are having trouble budgeting money from a new state grant 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Exclusive: ex-Democratic Congressional candidate George Scott is running for state Senate seat in Harrisburg
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘We’re on the front lines every day’: How county officials in Appalachia are fighting opioid abuse 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: While the state farm bill is a start, Pennsylvania’s agriculture leaders see further reforms
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa’s Toomey, Casey split on Trump’s Iran strategy
WESA: Toomey Opposes Updated Trade Deal As It Moves One Step Closer To Ratification
WESA: Classified Iran Briefing Sharply Divides Pennsylvania Senators
AP: Judge says parents can sue diocese over abuse reporting
AP: City’s new treasurer says racist officials won’t seat her
AP: Police: Attack on Trump supporter sparked false alarm
Patriot News: Elizabeth Warren about to launch campaign office, field effort in Pa. 
Patriot News: Josh Shapiro joins multi-state coalition seeking to block restrictive Arkansas abortion laws
Patriot News: Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey toe party line on Trump administration’s handling of Iran crisis   
Patriot News: Md. governor directs his AG to ‘commence litigation’ against Pa., EPA
Morning Call: Pennsylvania’s U.S. senators leave classified briefing with starkly different views of how Trump administration is handling Iranian aggression
PLSReporter: Major parties candidates set for 190th House District special election
PLSReporter: With elections on the horizon, Pennsylvania’s annual abortion report underscores the looming battle ahead over abortion access 
PLSReporter: Groups underscore farmers need to diversify, as future of agriculture again set to loom large for lawmakers 
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania’s senators split on reasons behind killing of Iranian general
Beaver County Times: Toomey bill could steer more food to those in need 
Beaver County Times: Toomey, Casey leave Iran briefing with different impressions
Express Times: ‘Donating food to the less fortunate should be as easy as possible,’ Toomey says of new bipartisan bill
KYW Newsradio: Toomey, Casey divided along party lines after debriefing on Iran
Inquirer: The ‘chaos ensuing’ in Iran is Trump’s fault, Biden tells donors in Gladwyne
Inquirer: Republicans ‘got greedy’ in drawing Pennsylvania congressional maps, new documents say
Inquirer: Online education in Pennsylvania could get more competitive thanks to state community colleges
Post-Gazette: State backs #ProtectYourBrain campaign and other campus anti-opioid efforts
Post-Gazette: After White House briefs Senate on Iran strike, Pa. senators split on Trump’s strategy
The Times Leader: PA’s unemployment compensation tax rate reduced
Fox News: Rep. Houlahan: The Iranian government is dangerous, this is an opportunity for de-escalation
Fox News: Rep. Reschenthaler on Iran’s missiles attack targeting US forces in Iraq

Philadelphia Magazine: The Candidates Philly-Area Officials Are Endorsing in the 2020 Presidential Race
WHYY Newsworks: How Philly lost the war on litter, as told by legendary local ‘clean freak’ Frank DiCicco
WHYY Newsworks: 9 Philadelphians tell Mayor Kenney how to clean their neighborhoods
WHYY Newsworks: 2020 could be a headache for Congress members from Philly region
KYW Newsradio: City officials demand state funding for Philly schools plagued by asbestos
KYW Newsradio: 149 Philly stores lose permits to sell cigarettes under crackdown of sales to minors
KYW Newsradio: City of Philadelphia wins appeal further blocking opening of VisionQuest facility
Philadelphia Tribune: Sen. Haywood wants to tackle injustices in 2020 
Inquirer: Philadelphia wants money from Pennsylvania to deal with dangerous asbestos in schools 
Inquirer: Philly will spend record amount in 2020 to have recycling hauled 
Inquirer: Philly health officials crack down on 149 businesses for selling tobacco products to kids 
Philadelphia Citizen: Will Philly Votes Swing The State? 
Philadelphia Citizen: Does City Hall Have an Actual Plan?

Montgomery Media: Ciresi seeks reelection for PA House 146th Dist. seat
Delco Daily Times: New Delco D.A. withdraws old shoplifting charge against man paroled in fatal heist
Delco Daily Times: D.A.’s office announces new hires
Delco Daily Times: Republicans question Dem picks for top Upper Darby posts
Delco Daily Times: Area NAACP branches join count commission for town hall on 2020 Census
Bucks Courier Times: The legal side of politics: Bucks Democrats choose new law firms
Bucks Courier Times: Warminster supervisors reopen 2020 budget, consider tax hike
Bucks Courier Times: Morrisville seeking to fill vacant council seat
Bucks Courier Times: Pennsbury school director replaces Bob Harvie as Falls supervisor 
Bucks Courier Times: Two speed cameras on Pa. Turnpike in Bucks begin testing 
Daily Local News: Commissioners proclaim Jan. 20 as MLK Day in Chester County
WHYY Newsworks: 2020 could be a headache for Congress members from Philly region
WHYY Newsworks: Delco DA ends bid to keep man in prison who won clemency after 25 years
Inquirer: Delco DA drops case against man who won clemency after 25 years, only to face charges on ’92 retail theft
Inquirer: Once ‘sleepy’ King of Prussia is booming with development
KYW Newsradio: Delco DA drops old shoplifting charge that held up clemency for man serving life
Pottstown Mercury: Limerick supervisors sworn in, new leaders chosen
Bucks Local News: Falls Township manager announces resignation effective February 4

KDKA: Uniontown’s Elected Treasurer Says She Was Denied Her Swearing-In Because Of Race
KDKA: City Of Pittsburgh Accepting Bids For Lawn-Cutting Program
City Paper: State House candidate Dan Smith is gearing up for a rematch with Daryl Metcalfe
City Paper: Hundreds take to Pittsburgh streets to protest Trump’s efforts to escalate war in the Middle East
Post-Gazette: Uniontown’s black treasurer-elect sues city, officials; claims racial bias barred her from office
Post-Gazette: Oil and gas industry, leaning on Pittsburgh region, punches back against fracking ban in messaging campaign
Post-Gazette: What should driving, walking or biking look like in Pittsburgh in 2070? The city wants to hear from you
Tribune Review: Murrysville council approves 1st fracking well 

Observer-Reporter: Special election called to fill vacant state legislative seat in 58th District
Observer-Reporter: State Rep. Pam Snyder seeking fifth term
Observer-Reporter: Washington County Commissioners live stream meetings 
Observer-Reporter: Scandale waives right to preliminary hearing
Beaver County Times: Beaver County sees economic growth amid cracker construction
Beaver County Times: Gaydos proposes bill reducing state House by 25 percent
Beaver County Times: Improvements to Brush Creek in the works
Altoona Mirror: Blair County Commissioners: Bid to reopen budget falls flat 
Altoona Mirror: Commissioners divide duties

The Times Leader: Marsicano to announce for 8th Congressional District run
The Times Leader: Uncivil discourse? New council members urge better social media etiquette
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Election Board seeking citizen to fill vacancy
Times-Tribune: Former Hazleton mayor Marsicano to run for Eighth District seat in Congress
Times-Tribune: Brief commissioners meeting light on business
Times-Tribune: Police: Attack on Trump supporter sparked active shooter scare at Wyoming Valley Mall
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County row officers sworn in for new terms
Citizens Voice: Stormwater fee critics get organized
Citizens Voice: Former Hazleton mayor Marsicano to run for Eighth District seat in Congress 
Citizens Voice: Costs tied to attack on county computers top $600K 

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: State Sen. Doug Mastriano announces re-election campaign for 33rd district seat
Patriot News: Will new election equipment lead to a tax hike in Dauphin County? That’s the next question for commissioners
Patriot News: West Shore attorney announces bid for Pa. House seat
Patriot News: Retired Harrisburg detective, sheriff candidate dies unexpectedly
York Daily Record: Democrat Schroeder explains state senate run
York Daily Record: Special election: Schroeder’s stands on issues
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster city Community Police Working Group schedules town halls to discuss vision, strategy

Lehigh Valley      
Express Times: Lehigh County commissioner says he’s running for state House
Express Times: ‘Just isn’t working for us,’ Northampton County says of transportation cash for Valley 
Morning Call: Process to fill Lower Saucon seat delayed while court asks for out-of-county judge 
Reading Eagle: Berks educators weigh in on the U.S., the Middle East and the ties that bind

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Local lawmakers weigh in on actions in Iran 
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Tax collection issues on City Council agenda
Erie Times-News: State decides who’s in, out for Erie community college hearing

Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Data and self-delusion: Political leanings can affect memory 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Hospital deathwatch: Ellwood City facility’s closing sign of larger issue
State Rep. Seth Grove: Make fiscal policy a priority in 2020
John L. Micek: Pa.’s Shapiro, Dem AGs condemn GOP lawsuit trying to block ERA ratification | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Mark O’Keefe: Trump’s economy hasn’t lifted all boats. Will that matter in Pa. in 2020? 
Simon F. Haeder: Universal coverage, single-payer, ‘Medicare for All’: What does it all mean for you? | Analysis
Albert Eisenberg: First up for Philly police commissioner Danielle Outlaw: Actually stopping crime 
Chris Kelly: The names have changed but the games remain the same
Dan Simpson: Why does Trump want a war with Iran?
Trudy Rubin: Trump and Iran have paused confrontation, but the struggle hasn’t ended 
Craig Snyder: I returned from Saudi Arabia with a new view of polarized America 
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: What’s the problem with destroying Iraqi antiquities?
The Angry Grammarian: Seattle Times decision to capitalize ‘b’ in ‘Black’ raises consistency questions

  • Reader Poll: Have You Requested a Mail-In Ballot?

    • Yes. I enjoy mail-in voting. (50%)
    • No. I am going to the poll. (50%)

    Total Voters: 121

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