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November 17th Playbook

A pair of Allentown City Councilmembers announced their candidacies for Mayor. Here is the Playbook. 

Three of the four caucuses have elected their leadership for the upcoming session in Harrisburg, while Senate Democrats are expected to vote on a new leadership team this week.

As of Tuesday 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), Friday (Nov. 13), and Monday (Nov. 16) Election Playbooks. 

Here’s an update of where we stand as of Tuesday, Nov. 17 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 Tuesday morning, Biden leads Trump by 73,219 votes (1.1%) 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 Tuesday morning, Shapiro leads Heidelbaugh by 298,110 votes (4.42%). For Auditor General, Republican Tim DeFoor defeated Democrat Nina Ahmad. The AP called the race for DeFoor on Nov. 6. As of Tuesday morning, DeFoor leads by 214,457 votes (3.2%). For Treasurer, Republican challenger Stacy Garrity defeated incumbent Treasurer Joe Torsella. On Nov. 10, Torsella conceded in the race. As of Tuesday morning, Garrity leads by 58,837 votes (0.88%). 

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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday morning, Cartwright leads by 12,026 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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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-168: Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) leads Democratic challenger Deb Ciamacca by just over 2 points, according to DOS. 

Siegel Joins Race for Allentown Mayor: The Allentown City Councilman’s campaign website describes himself as a “fearless, proven progressive who has assembled a broad, multiracial, working-class coalition that can unify the city.”

Gerlach Announces Bid for Allentown Mayor: The Allentown City Councilwoman said that the city needs “structural, systemic change.”

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Senate axes second term for Pa.’s victim advocate, who angered GOP leader
AP: Pennsylvania to announce ‘targeted efforts’ on virus surge
AP: Trump campaign drops key request in Pennsylvania lawsuit
AP: Trump campaign lawsuit over Pennsylvania vote heads to court 
AP: Pennsylvania town to remove ‘squaw’ from streets, trails
The Caucus: Republican, former Dauphin County auditor DeFoor takes Pa. watchdog post
Inquirer: U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb on Pennsylvania politics and the future of the Democratic Party 
Inquirer: Trump’s legal push to disrupt Pa.’s election results is on its last legs. What’s his campaign still fighting in court? 
Inquirer: Trump dumps his lawyers hours before today’s court hearing in his challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results
Morning Call: Hearings on Pennsylvania election unlikely in Harrisburg this year; Republicans eye 2021 for election law changes
Patriot News: Pa. Senate rejects another term for Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm
Patriot News: Will Pa. follow its neighbors in rolling out new statewide coronavirus restrictions?
Patriot News: Trump vote challenge hearing to go as scheduled Tuesday; COVID-19 to keep public out
Patriot News: Pa. Treasury releases COVID-19 debt reduction review, offers policy recommendations
Patriot News: Four Pa. voters drop their lawsuit aimed at stopping certification of election results
Patriot News: Penn State’s semester nears end, but it’ll be dealing with COVID-19 for the long haul
Teen Vogue: John and Gisele Fetterman Are Fighting for the American Working Class
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Facing opposition on two fronts, the state Senate declines to give Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm another term 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Ahead of Tuesday hearing, Trump campaign drops key part of Pa. lawsuit, report 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. seeing ‘significant community spread’ as fall COVID-19 resurgence continues 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Report: Pa. has 8th highest number of uninsured kids in the nation | Tuesday Morning Coffee
WITF: Trump Campaign Presses Election Cases In PA As Attorneys Abandon Key Legal Claims 
WHYY Newsworks: A cheat sheet for the Trump election lawsuits still alive in Pa.
PLSReporter: Jennifer Storm, Commonwealth Victim Advocate, fails Senate confirmation for second term 
PLSReporter: Philadelphia introduces new COVID-19 restrictions 
PLSReporter: Right 2 Know Episode 72: Election Aftermath 
The Hill: Three attorneys withdraw from representing Trump campaign in Pennsylvania suit
The Hill: Philadelphia announces new restrictions as coronavirus cases surge
The Hill: The Memo: In defense of the 2020 presidential polls
Politico: Another shake-up on Trump campaign legal team
CNN: Can Biden’s green agenda break the ‘brown blockade’?
CNN: Trump’s fraud accusations make no sense. The suburbs, not the cities, are why he lost.
Huffington Post: Trump Campaign Attorneys Move To Withdraw From Pennsylvania Election Lawsuit — Again
LNP | LancasterOnline: Here are the 10 PA counties with the highest per capita rates of new coronavirus cases for Nov. 10-16  

Billy Penn: Philly’s winter coronavirus restrictions will last through the New Year
Billy Penn: The inside story of Philly’s ballot-counting site: What the workers saw
Billy Penn: Coronavirus outbreak hits nearly a dozen Philly election staffers
Inquirer: New COVID-19 restrictions in Philly and N.J. as city officials warn of potential for more deaths 
Inquirer: No bail relief for Virginia QAnon follower who came to Philly to ‘straighten out the vote’ 
Inquirer: Federal appeals judges hear arguments in government bid to block supervised injection site
Inquirer: Restaurant owners see Philly’s new indoor-dining ban as the final blow
Inquirer: Colin Kaepernick calls on law enforcement authorities to ‘Free Mumia’
Inquirer: These are the new COVID-19 restrictions in Philly and N.J. | Morning Newsletter
WHYY Newsworks: ‘Adapt or die’: Small businesses brace for Philly’s new COVID-19 restrictions
WHYY Newsworks: Safehouse debate in appeals court centers on two sentences in ‘crackhouse statute’
WHYY Newsworks: Colin Kaepernick comes out in support of freeing Mumia Abu-Jamal
Philadelphia Magazine: Philly Enacts Long New List of COVID Rules, Restrictions and Outright Prohibitions
Philadelphia Tribune: Philadelphia bans indoor gatherings, broadens virus rules 
Philadelphia Gay News: Philly to celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance 
Patriot News: Philadelphia imposes new restrictions: shuts down indoor dining, gatherings and cuts church capacity
Philly Voice: Philly imposes sweeping new COVID-19 restrictions through rest of 2020 
Philly Voice: Rep. Joanna McClinton to serve as Pennsylvania’s first female House minority leader
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia announces ban on indoor gatherings, indoor dining, more to curb COVID-19
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania officials say there are no plans for statewide COVID-19 closures

Montgomery Media: Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivity rate indicates ‘substantial transmission’
Inquirer: As coronavirus cases rise, 800 Bucks County nurses go on strike over ‘dangerous’ staffing levels
Bucks County Courier Times: St. Mary Medical Center nurses: Strike a go Tuesday
Bucks County Courier Times: St. Mary Medical Center strike: 3 things you need to know 

Post-Gazette: Health secretary: Despite surge in COVID-19, no new statewide restrictions planned 
Post-Gazette: More Pittsburgh-area school districts move back to remote learning as COVID-19 cases surge 
Post-Gazette: Judge urged to drop out of Columbus statue case in Pittsburgh 
KDKA: Coronavirus Restrictions Could Return To Allegheny County As COVID-19 Cases Surge Across Western Pa. 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Allegheny County: Leaders Watching Rising Numbers Closely, Say New Rules Could Be Implemented 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Experts Warn They Can’t Control The Virus’ Spread If People Don’t Answer Contact Tracing Questions 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 500 More Cases, Bringing Countywide Total To 20,526
WESA: PA’s Rent Relief Program Likely Won’t Use All Its Funds – But Not Due To Lack Of Need 
WESA: Pittsburgh And Glasgow Become Sister Cities 
WESA: Allegheny County Hits New Record For Daily COVID-19 Cases 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County adds 500 new covid cases, 1 new death
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County

Beaver County Times: Christiana questions mail-in ballots from Beaver County nursing homes 
Beaver County Times: COVID cases spike again over the weekend in Beaver, Lawrence counties
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria County reports 81 new COVID-19 cases
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County back in ‘substantial’ virus risk category as cases skyrocket statewide
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County rules staff errors won’t disqualify provisional ballots
Observer-Reporter: Restrictions return to Washington County Courthouse as COVID-19 cases surge 
Observer-Reporter: As COVID-19 cases increase, teachers union asks for remote learning in some counties 
Observer-Reporter: Washington, Greene counties enter substantial COVID-19 risk areas 

Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County finishes count of Nov. 3 election
Times-Tribune: Origins of Forty Fort name, voter fraud case make HBO news comedy show
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Council starts whittling down 2021 budget
The Times Leader: Luzerne County schools awarded $492K in state safety grants
The Times Leader: 73 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in county; 9,675 statewide over 2 days
Citizens Voice: Origins of Forty Fort name, voter fraud case make HBO news comedy show
Citizens Voice: County council tables decision on raises for non-unionized employees
Citizens Voice: State offers new plan but no money for NYC passenger train
Citizens Voice: With COVID-19 surging, most area schools moving online
Citizens Voice: 73 COVID-19 cases reported in Luzerne County 

South Central 
York Dispatch: Out of 5,700 provisional ballots, York County tosses 14 for ID problems
York Dispatch: Official: Wolf doesn’t plan new COVID-19 restrictions 
York Dispatch: Alleged victim testifies that York City Council member Lou Rivera raped him
York Dispatch: 250 new cases of COVID-19 over two days in York County
York Daily Record: York City Councilman Lou Rivera headed to trial
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County’s rate for positive COVID tests is nearly double the target level 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 150 new COVID-19 cases reported over weekend in Cumberland County
Patriot News: ‘I want to help you save your kids:’ Harrisburg police commissioner pleads for public’s help amid shooting sprees

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: Berks County elections officials completing unofficial 2020 election vote tally 
Reading Eagle: Reading auditor says tax increase in 2021 budget can be cut 
Reading Eagle: Reading hires human resources director  
Reading Eagle: Berks County schools secure $178,618 in safe school grants 
Reading Eagle: Risk of community spread of coronavirus now substantial in most Pennsylvania counties, including Berks
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 168 new coronavirus cases, passing 11,500 total cases. 
Express Times: Pa coronavirus update: 4,476 new cases Monday after record-setting weekend; hospitalizations nearly double in two weeks; Northampton County on cusp of 7K cases | Pa. COVID-19 county map (11/16/20)
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Two-day case count is 9,675, with hospitalizations up, but state has no plans to tighten restrictions 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Erie women of color celebrate Harris’ historic ascent to the US vice presidency 
Centre Daily Times: Nov. 16 update: Centre County reports 134 weekend COVID-19 cases; Pa. adds 9,675 positives
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Comms distribute COVID-19 relief funds; school boards address personnel items
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: 1,243 confirmed cases and 98 probable cases in Lycoming County

Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Testing must be comprehensive 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Locked into categories 
Marc Stier: Pa. is in the throes of a COVID-19 recession. Wolf, lawmakers need to step up for working families
Eric Jenkins: Philadelphia may breathe a sigh of postelection relief, but we’re still barely surviving 
Emma Horst-Martz: Utilities shutoffs during the pandemic are a nightmare Pa. should end 
Janet Ginzberg and Saadiqa Kumanyika: Pa. needs to fix child abuse registry errors that turn into permanent barriers to employment
Charlie Gerow: Some important lessons from 2020
Simon F. Haeder: 7 things that President-elect Biden can achieve on health care 
Tony Norman: The 100 Nazi March (and other tales of white supremacy)
Kenneth P. Moritsugu: Philly should allow gyms to stay open during COVID shutdown | Expert Opinion
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Post-election White House jobs for Donald Trump

2 Responses

  1. If Pa Sen and House Republicans had their way the pretzel shaped congressional districts would have made sure Susan Wild in Pa 7 did not win so as much as Dems had some mixed results in the state—they did win President—seats like Pa 7 in Congress remaining Dem is good news.

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