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November 16th Playbook

Three of the four caucuses in the state legislature have elected new leadership teams, while the Senate Democrats are expected to vote on a new leadership team this week. Here is the Playbook. 

While three of the four caucuses have elected their leadership for the upcoming session in Harrisburg, we still await results from a few other races across the commonwealth. As of Monday morning, we still are waiting for a call in a few state legislature races and multiple congressional candidates have also yet to concede. 

Want to see results from previous days? Check out PoliticsPA’s Wednesday (Nov. 4), Thursday (Nov. 5), Friday (Nov. 6), Monday (Nov. 9), Tuesday (Nov. 10), Wednesday (Nov. 11), Thursday (Nov. 12), and Friday (Nov. 13), Election Playbooks. 

Here’s an update of where we stand as of Monday, Nov. 16 in PA. 

President. Former Vice President Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. The AP called the race for Biden on Nov. 7 at 11:25 A.M. As of Monday morning, Biden leads Trump by 68,312 votes (1%) in the state with 98% estimated to be in. 

Statewide. For Attorney General, Josh Shapiro defeated GOP challenger Heather Heidelbaugh. The AP called the race for Shapiro on Nov. 6. As of Monday morning, Shapiro leads Heidelbaugh by 295,480 votes (4.38%). For Auditor General, Republican Tim DeFoor defeated Democrat Nina Ahmad. The AP called the race for DeFoor on Nov. 6. As of Monday morning, DeFoor leads by 216,629 votes (3.28%). For Treasurer, Republican challenger Stacy Garrity defeated incumbent Treasurer Joe Torsella. On Nov. 10, Torsella conceded in the race. As of Monday morning, Garrity leads by 61,208 votes (0.92%). 

Congressional Races 

All incumbents have secured another term in Congress, although a few challengers have yet to concede in their races. 

PA7: Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) has defeated GOP challenger Lisa Scheller. The AP called the race for Wild on Nov. 6. As of Monday morning, Wild leads by 13,548 votes (or by 3.6 points) with 97% of estimated votes reported. Scheller has not conceded in the race.

PA8: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) has defeated GOP challenger Jim Bognet. The AP called the race for Cartwright on Nov. 6. As of Monday morning, Cartwright leads by 12,028 votes (or by 3.4 points) with 95% of estimated votes reported. Bognet has not conceded in the race.

PA17: Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) has defeated GOP challenger Sean Parnell. The AP called the race for Lamb on Nov. 7. As of Monday morning, Lamb leads by 2.2 points (9,856 votes) and his lead looks to expand as more mail ballots are counted. Parnell has not conceded in the race.

State Senate and House

So far 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), although are still holding out hope to flip one other seat. 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. 

While results are not final in a number of districts, here’s an update of where things stand in competitive House and Senate races in PA. If we missed a competitive race where most results are in, and at least some writing is on the wall, please send me a note at


State Senate 

SD-45: Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny) leads GOP challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 30 votes, as of Monday morning, according to DOS. Ziccarelli filed an appeal in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday to “overturn a recent decision by the county’s board of elections that greenlighted the counting of 2,349 mail-in ballots – which were otherwise correct and submitted on time, but without a printed date on the outside,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

State House

HD-18: Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) holds a few point advantage over Democratic challenger Harold Hayes. As of Monday morning, Tomlinson leads by just under 5 points, according to DOS. Tomlinson has declared victory in the race. 

HD-50: State Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) leads GOP challenger Larry Yost by just over 6 points, according to DOS. Snyder has declared victory in the race. 

HD-55: GOP challenger Jason Silvis has defeated Rep. Joe Petrarca (D-Westmoreland), according to KDKA. As of Monday morning, Silvis leads by just under 5 points, according to DOS. 

HD-118: State Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Luzerne) leads GOP challenger Andrew Holter by 7 points, according to DOS. 

HD-119: State Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) defeated GOP challenger John Chura, according to the HDCC. As of Monday morning, Mullery leads by 5 points, according to DOS. 

HD-168: Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) leads Democratic challenger Deb Ciamacca by just over 2 points, according to DOS. 

2020 General Election Ups and Downs: Part 2: Two caucuses will be led by women, Republicans secure a second statewide row office, and the President attacks a Philly Republican. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Harrisburg & DC   
The Caucus: The election is over! Here comes the election!
AP: Trump campaign retreats from key claim in Pennsylvania suit 
AP: GOP leaders in 4 states quash dubious Trump bid on electors 
AP: Suburban Philadelphia voters surge with verve to oust Trump 
Patriot News: After Biden, Pennsylvania’s blue wave crashed into a red wall; how did GOP hold the line below Trump?
Patriot News: Trump campaign renews legal effort to block certification of election results in Pa.
Patriot News: ‘They’re not accepting reality’; As COVID-19 rages, Casey urges GOP to recognize Biden’s victory
Patriot News: Pa. nearly finished with election counting — no recount expected
Inquirer: Pennsylvania is here to stay as a swing state 
Inquirer: Trump team persists in Pa. court fights despite COVID quarantine, quitting lawyers, and courtroom losses 
Inquirer: Pro-Trump ‘voter integrity’ group that is calling Pennsylvania voters has ties to White House  
Inquirer: What a group of Pennsylvania voters thinks of Biden’s 2020 election win over Trump
Spotlight PA: Feds reject Pa.’s plan to spend up to $300M in stimulus money for school property tax relief
Spotlight PA: Meet Pennsylvania’s Electoral College voters: Everything they can — and can’t — do
Spotlight PA: Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.’s surging coronavirus cases, health officials and experts say
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Capital-Star Q&A: State Rep.-elect Jessica Benham; Pa.’s first out woman LGBTQ lawmaker
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The decades-long decline of manufacturing jobs in Pa. | The Numbers Racket 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. elections chief Boockvar says she will not order statewide recount 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Report: Federal appeals court rejects GOP effort to block late-arriving ballots
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: False claims, legal challenges, denial: Is this a coup d’etat? | Analysis
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Now that you’ve survived Friday 13th. A few ways to unwind | Five for Your Weekend
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: It’s Budget Week (again). Here’s what you need to know | Monday Morning Coffee 
Times-Tribune: Small gains add up to big win for Biden
Washington Examiner: Law firm withdraws from representing Trump campaign after Lincoln Project pressure
PLSReporter: Boockvar not ordering recount as ballot counting nears completion
Fox News: Live Updates: Pennsylvania court rejects Trump effort to block 9,000 late-arriving absentee ballots
StateImpactPA: DEP: Revolution Pipeline can’t go into service until stability issues are fixed
USA Today: Fetterman’s star rising in post-election debate
USA Today: How these Pennsylvania counties decided the presidential race
Post-Gazette: Boockvar: No automatic recounts for top-of-ticket races in Pennsylvania
The Hill: Pennsylvania secretary of state will not order a recount
Express Times: Pa. COVID-19 travel advisory: Quarantine recommendation applies to 35 states
Politico: Why Biden didn’t do better in big cities 
Politico: Trump campaign pares back federal suit over Pennsylvania election results  

KYW Newsradio: Philadelphian who ran Biden’s Pa. campaign talks about how team flipped the state back to blue
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia to announce further coronavirus restrictions as cases keep rising
KYW Newsradio: State Rep. McClinton makes history as first female House minority leader
KYW Newsradio: Hite pushed by reform group as possible secretary of education candidate
KYW Newsradio: Philly officials vow to continue efforts in making city streets safer
KYW Newsradio: Looking back on Joe Biden’s unprecedented path to the White House
KYW Newsradio: Will Philly schools return to in-person education this year?
Billy Penn: There’s a Black woman leader in Harrisburg: Joanna McClinton makes history
Billy Penn: Philly Republicans: We’re not running that verified Parler account
Billy Penn: Philly COVID positive rate worse than other big U.S. cities, cases surge past spring peak
Billy Penn: Philly’s surprising arrest rate in reported violence against trans women this year: 100% 
WHYY Newsworks: With over 400 homicides in Philly and little change in Harrisburg, gun violence prevention activists look to Biden 
WHYY Newsworks: US prosecutors take second swing at Philly supervised injection site in federal appeals court
Inquirer: Philly was supposed to turn out huge for Biden. It didn’t. What happened? 
Inquirer: Coronavirus stimulus checks could be on their way to about 64,000 Philly households if they act now 
Inquirer: ‘A feeling of dread’: How burnout from COVID-19 and the election is affecting Philadelphians 
Inquirer: Facing a ‘horrific’ year for traffic deaths, there’s plenty of work ahead as city releases Vision Zero 2025
Inquirer: Penn has significant ties to Joe Biden. What might that mean?
Philadelphia Magazine: Here’s How Philadelphia’s Pre-K Program Can Change an Entire Family’s Economic Prospects
Philadelphia Tribune: Proposal to outfit all cops with Tasers could come next week, Kenney administration says
Philly Voice: Philadelphia accelerates plan to get Tasers for police; Kenney to make proposal next week 
Philly Voice: With Fulton v. Philadelphia, U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide a new LGBT rights issue 
Philly Voice: Wolf, Murphy meet with fellow Northeast governors to discuss regional COVID-19 restrictions
Philadelphia Business Journal: Meet the tiny Philadelphia startup behind Joe Biden’s victory drone show
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia officials plan to announce new Covid-19 restrictions Monday as case counts soar

Bucks County Courier Times: Trump loses Montgomery County challenge 
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks Dems, GOP support county’s vote count 
Delco Daily Times: Report: Schools need $4B+ more in state funding
Delco Daily Times: Folcroft passes anti-nepotism ordinance
Delco Daily Times: Receiver’s reports spotlight serious Chester fiscal ills
Delco Daily Times: Eddystone splits on state rep’s office request
KYW Newsradio: Montco parents protest return to online education in front of county commissioner’s home
Inquirer: Parents denounce Montgomery County COVID-19 school closures in two weekend protests
Daily Local News: Chester County vote count finished, challenges remain 
Daily Local News: Muth announces virtual health care enrollment 
Daily Local News: Dinniman awards citation to Avon Grove Charter School 
Bucks Local News: Newtown Borough Council votes to advertise preliminary budget for 2021; extends outdoor dining policy to early January 

WESA: On Conservative Media, Reschenthaler Offers Baseless Claims Of Voter Fraud
WESA: Targeted By Lincoln Project, Pittsburgh Attorneys Want To Withdraw From Trump Litigation
WESA: License To Carry Applications Soar In Allegheny County
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County elections board votes to process several hundred challenged provisional ballots 
Post-Gazette: Steel case surrounding Butler Works an early test of Biden trade policy 
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Health Department: Rise in COVID-19 cases is ‘beyond concerning’
Post-Gazette: Council unanimously approves budget keeping tax rate steady for coming year
Post-Gazette: Pa. again sets single-day record of COVID-19 cases with 5,551
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Elections Board accepts provisional ballots missing 1 signature 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports ‘beyond concerning’ record 527 new coronavirus cases
City Paper: FBI declared Pittsburgh a new white supremacy hub, but it has been this way for decades 
City Paper: As COVID spike hits Pittsburgh, officials warn about potential rising deaths come the holiday season
City Paper: Allegheny County reports a record number of 527 daily COVID-19 cases 
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County, seeing record cases, ‘actively considering’ what to do to stem spread 
KDKA: Allegheny County Board Of Elections Holds Hearing To Consider Challenges To Provisional Ballots 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Allegheny County: Leaders Say No New COVID-19 Orders Are Planned, But They Will ‘Intervene If Necessary’ 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Health Department Reports All-Time High In Coronavirus Cases

Beaver County Times: Pittsburgh-area GOP candidates’ lawsuit settled, county solicitor calls it ‘waste of time’
Observer-Reporter: GOP, Dem party officials praise transparency in local vote canvass 
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 cases surge; 5 deaths reported in Washington County
Tribune Review: GOP commissioners reject defective mail-in ballots
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County opens up second round of covid-relief grants
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State data: Cambria records 206 cases, 8 deaths over two days

Citizens Voice: What did we learn from an election like no other? 
Citizens Voice: Public hearing on county budget set for Monday 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne, Wyoming counties see spike in nursing home COVID-19 cases 
Citizens Voice: 98 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County to provide $4.725 million in COVID-19 relief to small businesses 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County finishes counting bulk of provisional ballots 
Times-Tribune: Scranton may plug budget hole through refinancing 
Times-Tribune: Small gains add up to big win for Biden 
Times-Tribune: Luzerne, Wyoming counties see spike in nursing home COVID-19 cases while Lackawanna remains stable 
Times-Tribune: Region reports most single-day COVID-19 deaths since early July
Philadelphia Magazine: The Little Poconos Town That Accidentally Got Cool
The Times Leader: Discarded Luzerne County military ballots officially counted 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County hospital cases up; Pedri pleads for caution 
The Times Leader: Study: Fiscal impact of pandemic varies between local governments 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County’s prison system seeking slightly less in 2021 budget 
The Times Leader: Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre ZIP codes report 100-plus new COVID-19 cases this week
The Times Leader: 98 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday

South Central 
Patriot News: Joe Biden tipped Dauphin County a deeper hue of blue; election officials laud a clean election
LNP | LancasterOnline: After the 2020 Election, should we trust polling? A Q&A with the Franklin & Marshall College Poll director 
LNP | LancasterOnline: PA health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine urges public to avoid gatherings as COVID-19 surge continues 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster’s James Buchanan Library is now online and free; here’s how to research the ‘worst president’ 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 85 new COVID-19 cases reported in Cumberland County Saturday, 1 death; as Pa. reaches yet another record
York Dispatch: After 4 months York County won’t release public information; other counties did so in days 
York Dispatch: Saturday COVID update: Nearly 100 new cases reported in York County

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Despite historic voter turnout levels in the Lehigh Valley, many in Hispanic communities stayed home 
Morning Call: Joshua Siegel, Allentown city councilman, to run for mayor 
Morning Call: Allentown City Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach announces mayoral bid 
Morning Call: Lehigh Valley hospitals say they are ready for the second surge of the coronavirus 
Reading Eagle: 2 lawmakers who represent Berks County join GOP colleagues in calling for audit of election results
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners will review how to improve voting process
Reading Eagle: Chances of salvaging Northern Berks Regional Police Department dimmer after Maidencreek Township meeting
Reading Eagle: Berks County coronavirus-test positivity rate up to 9.8% in weekly report
WFMZ: Former Congressman Charlie Dent urges GSA to allow Biden access to transition services
WFMZ: Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach runs for Allentown Mayor 
WFMZ: DA, nearby township manager weigh in on upcoming dissolution of Northern Berks Regional Police 
WFMZ: Easton, Phillipsburg take steps to prepare for surge in COVID-19 cases 
Express Times: Voters fight to have their ballots counted during marathon Northampton County election meeting 
Express Times: As COVID-19 spikes, how have Lehigh Valley colleges fared? (And what’s the plan for spring?) 
Express Times: COVID-19 disrupted Pa. booze sales. We still bought millions of tiny bottles of Fireball. 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: COVID-19 roils public finances in Erie region
Erie Times-News: Bizzarro elected to state House committee post
Erie Times-News: State reports record 149 COVID cases in Erie County
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County plans for no tax hike in 2021
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County commissioners approve COVID-19 funds to nonprofit groups
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Exemptions keep some properties off county rolls
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 37 new COVID-19 cases, 5,551 additional positive cases statewide
Centre Daily Times: As COVID-19 cases increase in Centre County, numbers in long-term care facilities soar
Centre Daily Times: Nov. 14 update: Pa. adds 5,000-plus new COVID-19 cases for 3rd straight day; Centre adds 56

Todd Shepherd: Analysis: Democrats with Senate Ambitions Shouldn’t Overlook Houlahan
Inquirer Editorial Board: This might be the worst time to lose paid sick leave, but many could if Council doesn’t act 
Inquirer Staff: From Erie to Philly and in between, 12 Pa. mayors share their hopes for how Biden will change our state
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Goodbye, Paris
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Going remote, and back again 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Will Biden unify us? 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The general gets his due
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Is ketamine used during arrests here? 
Paul Muschick: Voter turnout was highest in 120 years. But really, America and Pennsylvania, we can do better
Paul Muschick: Why we decided to let our son continue with in-person high school classes
Laura Boyce: 4 ways Philly Democrats can improve their disappointing voter turnout in future elections 
Salena Zito: When the NFL plays politics, small-business owners get tackled, too
Keith C. Burris: Maybe we know what we want
David M. Shribman: We’re worn out
Chris Kelly: Unicorns, wolf spiders, a lame duck and Justin Taylor’s taxes
Ruth Ann Dailey: Recognizing the heroism of Alwyn Cashe
PJ Brennan: As COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in Philly, our civic leaders have lost the stamina to keep us safe | Expert Opinion
Christen Woods: Why unions need the Affordable Care Act
Joseph N. DiStefano: Philly, where leaders’ good intentions don’t help a poor city grow
Will Bunch: A less-racist brand of Trump populism could bring a GOP dynasty unless Dems do something 
Margaret Lyons: COVID-19 is still a crisis: We’ve lost as many nurses to the pandemic as died in World War I 
Helen Ubiñas: This mother fought to keep her son off the streets. And then he was shot. 
Dick Polman: Science Triumphant: The rise and fall and rise of Vivek Murthy 
Jason Harrow: Pennsylvania was home to America’s first and only ‘faithless elector’ in 1796 
Jenice Armstrong: Saudia Shuler’s COVID diagnosis might be a much-needed wake-up call for some 
Tim Hartman: Now you know how the turkey feels | Editorial Cartoon
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Bipartisan COVID is breaking out all over
Lisa Scottoline: There are so many ways women are being heroic

2 Responses

  1. Shapiro’s victory was exceptional considering the environment where two running mates statewide were defeated and his victory was solid. This is a break for Dems who would have real problems in Gov race of 2022 with a defeated Shapiro instead of a reelected Shapiro.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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