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May 18: A Split Decision

🤠 Howdy, Thursday. Time to clean up those election signs, people.

PA Weather
Dubois | Sunny, 68
Chambersburg | Sunny, 68
Scranton | Sunny, 67

PA Sports
Pirates (23-20) | Detroit 8-0 | F-Sun vs. Arizona
Phillies (20-23) | San Francisco 4-7 | F-Sun vs. Cubs
Union (5-4-2) | D.C. United 0-0 | Sat vs. New England

What We’re Hearing
New York is angling for an April 2 date for its 2024 presidential primary that might allow a regional primary day with Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

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Top Story

1. How Progressives Won – And Lost – In Purple PA

Cherelle Parker, Sara Innamorato

“Progressive candidates in Pittsburgh won two key races on Tuesday.

The wins add to a recent body of progressive success in a crucial swing state where Republicans have made inroads in recent years. Since 2018, progressives have surged in Pennsylvania races from Congress to state legislature and local government, picking up key seats in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia along the way.” (The Intercept)


The Progressive Takeover Of Allegheny County Politics Shows No Signs Of Slowing. “It’s not new — and it’s far from over. Progressive victories in Allegheny County’s primary elections Tuesday punctuated the leftward momentum in local Democratic politics that accelerated during Donald Trump’s presidency.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Innamorato’s Primary Victory Energizes Progressives. “State Rep. Sara Innamorato won a crowded and contentious Democratic primary for Allegheny County executive, signaling a leftward turn for the county government.” (Public Source)

Progressive Mayors Have Won In Boston, LA, And Chicago. Here’s Why Philadelphia’s Race Was Different. “National progressives were looking for another big win in Philadelphia this week, but Cherelle Parker, a moderate Democrat born and raised in the city’s Northwest section, won the historic nomination.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


2. Democrats Kept Their PA State House Majority. Now The Work Begins

PA State House

“Pennsylvania Democrats successfully defended their narrow House majority for the second time in four months in a Delaware County special election Tuesday.

But the rest of the year looks rocky.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


2023 Primary: Voter Turnout Map. Overall estimated turnout in the Commonwealth is 27.5%. (PoliticsPA)

PA County Commissioner Results. (PoliticsPA)
Adams-Fulton | Greene-Potter | Schuylkill-York

Majority Position Allows PA House Dems To Pursue Policy Priorities. “Pennsylvania’s two special legislative elections ended in a split Tuesday with Democrats still grasping the slimmest of majorities in the state House, a single seat separating them from the Republican minority. It’s a position unfamiliar to Democrats.” (CNHI News)

Another Tough Day For Election Deniers. “In Pennsylvania, Republicans who rejected election denialism turned back candidates who supported Trump’s claims in three important contests.” (POLITICO)

Franklin County Defied The Courts To Hunt For 2020 Voter Fraud. Here’s What Happened Next. “In a rural part of Pennsylvania, the 2020 election hasn’t ended. Two county commissioners went rogue in the spirit of a “stolen election.” (

PA GOP Doubles Down On Election Deniers. “Nearly all county election officials who have amplified false fraud conspiracies prevailed in Tuesday’s primaries.” (Bolts)

Around The Commonwealth

3. Abortion Rights Key In Boyd’s Win

Heather Boyd

“For much of the last century, Delaware County was a suburban Philadelphia stronghold for Republicans. Even with a blue shift in the last decade, Democrats didn’t see Pennsylvania House nominee Heather Boyd’s victory in the 163rd Legislative District as a lock.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)


The Republican Plan To Takeover School Boards May Be Backfiring. “Tuesday night’s school board elections in Pennsylvania and Oregon again showed how classrooms continue to be a front in the Republican Party’s broader culture war, a battle it has pursued in states across the country with mixed results.” (Vox)

Bankrupt Chester’s Beleaguered Mayor Is Overwhelmingly Defeated. “Democrats in bankrupt Chester, which state officials had warned might cease to exist by year’s end, have voted overwhelmingly to oust incumbent Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and two of his political allies on the four-member City Council.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

18-Year-Old Somerset County School Board Candidate Advances To General. “Ethan Phillippi turned 18 on May 9 and will graduate from Conemaugh Township Area High School on June 1. He’s hopeful that in the fall he’ll earn a spot on the district’s board to provide a fresh perspective to his future alma mater.” (Tribune-Democrat)

Gaughan’s Secrets To Dominating Democratic Voting In Lackawanna County Commissioner Race. “Bill Gaughan crushed it. The former Scranton City Council president dominated Democratic voting for Lackawanna County commissioner in Tuesday’s primary election with a performance that erased any of the doubts that existed about his chances when he started campaigning last summer.” (Times-Tribune)

‘Hard To Defeat Incumbents’ So How Did Houck Lose Northampton DA Primary?Lehigh Valley political watchers must have felt a sense of history Tuesday night. Before the 2023 primary, it had been decades since an incumbent district attorney in either Lehigh or Northampton county lost an election.” (Morning Call)

Dubois Residents Appear To Vote For Change. “Although the process of tabulating write-in votes will take some time, it appears the write-in challengers for mayor and city council performed very well against the incumbents.” (Courier-Express)


4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.




1 Thing

5. Signs The Election Is Over

Campaign lawn signs

The primary is almost over, but campaign lawn signs could be around a while.

Why it matters: Elections bring swarms of signage to streets and parks, creating unwanted litter, much of which can’t be recycled.

Be smart: Not all lawn signs are recyclable.

  • Those made from thin film plastic aren’t accepted by the city’s program, Kyle Lewis, director of Philly’s recycling program, said.
  • The thicker, corrugated plastic signs — which look like cardboard — can be recycled curbside or at Philadelphia city sanitation centers.


Of note: The program also doesn’t accept the metal stands used in lawn signs. (Axios Philadelphia)

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One Response

  1. Too bad the progressive vote took too long to arrive in Pittsburgh. 40 years ago it was the regressive vote the ruled the Burgh.


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