November 19th Playbook

A former PA Congressman is reportedly being considered to serve as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Biden’s administration. Here is the Playbook. 

Report: Murphy Among Frontrunners for VA Secretary: The Military Times and CNN report that former Congressman Patrick Murphy is being considered to serve as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Biden’s administration.

State Rep. Jordan Harris Tests Positive for COVID-19: The House Minority Whip announced on Wednesday morning that he tested positive for COVID-19.

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 Thursday 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), Monday (Nov. 16), Tuesday (Nov. 17), and Wednesday (Nov. 18) Election Playbooks. 

Here’s an update of where we stand as of Thursday, Nov. 19 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 Thursday morning, Biden leads Trump by 82,895 votes (1.2%) 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 Thursday morning, Shapiro leads Heidelbaugh by 306,592 votes (4.52%). For Auditor General, Republican Tim DeFoor defeated Democrat Nina Ahmad. The AP called the race for DeFoor on Nov. 6. As of Thursday morning, DeFoor leads by 207,757 votes (3.09%). For Treasurer, Republican challenger Stacy Garrity defeated incumbent Treasurer Joe Torsella. On Nov. 10, Torsella conceded in the race. As of Thursday morning, Garrity leads by 51,682 votes (0.77%). 

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 Thursday morning, Wild leads by 14,083 votes (or by 3.8 points) with 98% 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 Thursday morning, Cartwright leads by 12,067 votes (or by 3.6 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 Thursday morning, Lamb leads by 2.2 points (9,850 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 28 votes, as of Thursday 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. An Allegheny County Common Court Pleas Judge ruled on Wednesday that the mail-in ballots in question, “must be counted,” according to WESA

State House

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

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: With $1.3 billion in coronavirus cash left to spend, the Pa. government might be the big winner 
Spotlight PA: Pa. GOP advances audit of 2020 election, says it’s not about fraud 
Spotlight PA: Pa. victim advocate claims Senate rejection was ‘vindictive,’ could remain on the job for weeks or longer
AP: State House Republicans vote for election procedures study
AP: Pa. high court takes up Trump challenge to 8K Philly votes
AP: Virus surge places strain on Pennsylvania’s contact tracers
AP: Coronavirus prevents crowds from seeing Punxsutawney Phil
Inquirer: Jake Corman, the Pa. Senate Republican leader, on the election, voter fraud claims, and who won the presidency 
Inquirer: Trump ups the ante in his Pa. court fight, asking a judge to upend the state’s Electoral College selection process 
Inquirer: Joe Biden won 3 of every 4 mail ballots in Pennsylvania. Trump won 2 of 3 votes cast in person. What does that mean for the future? 
Inquirer: Rudy Giuliani’s courtroom showing in Pa. election fight left many scratching their heads. Trump backers praised it as ‘brilliant.’
Inquirer: Pa. hospitalizations pass April peak as state reports more than 6,000 new cases in one day
Inquirer: Why voting habits in Pa. aren’t likely to change | Morning Newsletter 
Inquirer: Pennsylvania gaming revenue rebounds in October, but a new COVID-19 slowdown looms
Patriot News: Pa. restaurant/bar owners make plea to Gov. Wolf for financial help and a reopening plan
Patriot News: Why Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf may have to shelve ‘grandiose visions’ for his final two years in office
Patriot News: Trump campaign gets set for another long day in a Pa. courtroom
Patriot News: Pa. Supreme Court agrees to fast-track Trump challenges to Philadelphia vote count, skipping a lower court
Patriot News: Pa. lawmaker says he has tested positive for COVID-19
Patriot News: COVID-19 patients could overwhelm Pa. intensive care units and staff. How can hospitals avoid a crisis?
Patriot News: Gov. Wolf, other governors urge colleges to have students tested for COVID-19 before holidays
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Rep. Harris, House’s 2nd ranking Democrat, says he has COVID-19 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Allegheny County Court judge tosses ballot challenge from GOP Senate candidate, drawing immediate appeal 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Want to help stop the spread of COVID-19? Pick up the phone, top Pa. health official says 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With new court filing, Pa. House GOP clambers aboard the rickety Trump train | Thursday Morning Coffee
KDKA: Rep Mike Kelly’s Bill Would Require States To Start Counting Mail-In Ballots Before Election Day
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Athletic Conference Cancels Winter Sports
WITF: Analysis: Pa. faces a several billion dollar tax shortfall thanks to the pandemic-affected economy
WESA: Pennsylvania To Distribute 4 Million Antigen Tests, Help Counties With Contact Tracing
Morning Call: Pennsylvania lawmakers advance proposal to audit conduct of election; cite ‘litany of inconsistencies’
Morning Call: PIAA seeks clarification on whether masks are a must for those playing football and other sports 
USA Today: Casey, Toomey partner on bill to expand oversight of underperforming nursing homes
USA Today: What voters across the Northeast are saying about the presidential election
Express Times: Toomey says he doesn’t think much of Trump’s efforts to throw out around 700K votes in Pa.
WHYY Newsworks: $1 billion in relief aid is tied up in Harrisburg as Pa. businesses face more COVID-19 pain
KYW Newsradio: Pa. Liquor Control Board: Start holiday shopping now
The Hill: Trump campaign asks Pennsylvania court to declare Trump winner 
The Hill: Pennsylvania officials tell residents to wear masks in their homes when guests are over 
WNEP: Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman joins Chase Down Podcast
Philadelphia Business Journal: Pennsylvania casino revenue soars 13% in October amid Covid-19, powered by online sports betting and gaming
Politico: Trump campaign revises Pennsylvania suit, again 
CNN: Hear from the lawyer going head-to-head with Rudy Giuliani 
PLSReporter: House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris tests positive for COVID-19
PLSReporter: Wolf, northeast governors call for college COVID testing, limited travel ahead of Thanksgiving 
PLSReporter: LBFC-led election audit gains committee approval
PLSReporter: Testing, case investigation efforts prioritize vulnerable populations as COVID-19 surges

Billy Penn: Local 98 bribery case: Philly Democrats are fundraising to pay Councilmember Henon’s legal fees
KYW Newsradio: Officials report highest Philly voter turnout since ’84, as Trump continues effort to change result
KYW Newsradio: Once again, Philadelphia pauses jury duty during COVID-19
KYW Newsradio: New COVID-19 cases exceed 6,000 for first time in Pa., as U.S. surpasses 250k related deaths
Inquirer: Residents demand reforms at Philly’s first-ever hearing on police contract
Inquirer: Trump says Philly Democrats stole an election in the ’90s. Is that true?
Inquirer: Controller: Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office can’t account for hundreds of guns
WHYY Newsworks: Residents call for sweeping reform during Philly’s first-ever public hearing on police contracts
WHYY Newsworks: Darrell Clarke proposes ban on roof decks and certain building materials in gentrifying Strawberry Mansion 
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: Stay home for Thanksgiving, Farley advises
Philadelphia Magazine: Councilman Bobby Henon Proves Why Philly Gyms Need to Be Shut Down 
Philadelphia Tribune: University of Penn pledges $100 million to School District of Philadelphia 
Philadelphia Gay News: Overdose prevention network advocates for safe injection site 
Philly Voice: Election turnout in Philly, Pennsylvania reach record-highs as officials finish tallying ballots 
Philly Voice: Philadelphia suspends jury duty until 2021 due to new COVID-19 restrictions  

WFMZ: GOP Bucks commissioner: Biden won, ‘we all need to move forward’
WFMZ: Police departments in Bucks to implement universal use of force policy
Bucks County Courier Times: St. Mary strike: Buck County commish urges hospital owner to ‘get this over’
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks police adopt uniform use-of-force guidelines
Daily Local News: Diane Herrin is projected winner in 156th District
Delco Daily Times: Delco officials to residents: With coronavirus cases skyrocketing, it’s best to forego Thanksgiving gatherings 
Delco Daily Times: Glen Mills adopts Pennsylvania audit recommendations
Bucks Local News: NOV. 17 BUCKS COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE: 12 deaths reported as cases continue to spike
KYW Newsradio: Bucks County Commissioners: St. Mary replacement nurses should follow state COVID-19 protocols
Montgomery Media: Parents sue to block Montgomery County’s two-week virtual school order 
Montgomery Media: Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths increasing in Montgomery County
Delaware Valley Journal: Delaware Elections Officials Hustle to Shore Up Technical Discrepancies

WESA: Allegheny Judge Rules 2,349 Mail-In Ballots ‘Must Be Counted’ 
WESA: Allegheny County Issues A Stay-At-Home Advisory In Effort To Slow Coronavirus Surge 
WESA: Audit Finds Pittsburgh Public Schools Hasn’t Reached More Than 300 Students 
WESA: PWSA Charged With Illegally Discharging Sludge Into Allegheny River 
WESA: A+ Schools Report Calls Out Educational ‘Caste System’
Post-Gazette: State Senate candidate in tight race appeals decision allowing ballots to stand 
Post-Gazette: With record COVID cases, Allegheny County issues stay-at-home ‘advisory’
Post-Gazette: PWSA penalized, supervisor indicted for federal violations of sludge dumping 
Post-Gazette: Beyond bridge tolls, PennDOT considering a variety of ways to supplement revenue for road fixes 
City Paper: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto unveils a plan to help the Ohio Valley transition from fossil fuels 
City Paper: Allegheny County issues stay-at-home and stop-public-gathering advisories, urges no traveling for Thanksgiving 
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County 
KDKA: Allegheny County Judge Rules Certain Mail-In Ballots Without Declaration Dates May Be Counted, But State Supreme Court Will Decide
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Issues Stay-At-Home Public Health Advisory 
KDKA: After Pittsburgh Public Safety Members Test Positive For Coronavirus, Officials Say Emergency Response Times Have Not Been Impacted 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 620 New Cases, Bringing Countywide Total To Over 21,000
Patriot News: Allegheny County officials endorse ‘stay-at-home’ advisory due to spike in COVID-19 positive cases
Beaver County Times: Allegheny County officials urge residents to stay home
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County issues stay-at-home advisory 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County’s ICU capacity dwindles as Covid-19 hospitalizations increase
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County surpasses previous Covid record set Sunday
Tribune Review: Commonwealth Court to Allegheny County: Don’t count — for now — disputed ballots in tight Brewster-Ziccarelli Senate race
Tribune Review: Allegheny County advises ‘stay home except for essentials,’ warns of public health order
Tribune Review: Allegheny County judge’s resignation sends message against systemic racism, experts say
Tribune Review: PWSA pleads guilty to violating Clean Water Act, pumping sludge into Allegheny River
Tribune Review: Tom Hanks, Billy Porter, Joanne Rogers join honorary Tree of Life cabinet 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County sets another record for new coronavirus cases

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Virtual town hall looks at energy careers, benefits 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Johnstown Council approves $14.8M budget with no tax hikes 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Part-time police officer, also a councilman, charged with rape
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria has record 171 COVID-19 cases, as state tops 6,000 cases overnight
Observer-Reporter: In split vote, commission poised to pay $10 million for new county office building 
Observer-Reporter: County treasurer’s office to be open only by appointment 
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County sets new coronavirus mark with 228 additional cases
Beaver County Times: Matzie office open by appointment only beginning Thursday
Beaver County Times: 96 new COVID cases in Beaver County announced Wednesday

Citizens Voice: Election board member will not sign off on election results, cites ballot problems 
Citizens Voice: COVID-19 deaths rise across state and northeast counties 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County tops 200 new COVID-19 cases for second straight day
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 deaths rise across state and northeast counties 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County defends new fees for online searching of public records 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County election director to face inquiry committee 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County manager weighs in on coronavirus increase 
The Times Leader: Three Luzerne County offices impacted by employee coronavirus cases 
The Times Leader: 228 new cases of COVID-19, 6 new deaths in county; 6,339 cases statewide

South Central 
Patriot News: Pa. restaurant/bar owners make plea to Gov. Wolf for financial help and a reopening plan
York Dispatch: York County certifies election results showing record 77% turnout 
York Dispatch: York City’s disaster declaration extended; in-person events canceled 
York Dispatch: No tax hike in 2021, York County officials say 
York Dispatch: York County’s COVID-19 death toll hits 227, 178 new cases reported
York Daily Record: No tax increase for 2021, but woes loom for York County 
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County commissioners see little path forward to retaining ownership of Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: Cumberland County hits record high of 174 new COVID-19 cases, 4 new deaths Wednesday
LNP | LancasterOnline: Here’s how coronavirus cases have increased in each Lancaster County zip code in the past month 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Wednesday’s COVID-19 update: Lancaster County sees 250 new positive COVID-19 tests over 24 hours

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: Berks County election officials finish 2020 election vote tally 
Reading Eagle: Pennsylvania adds 6,339 new coronavirus cases in 1 day, with 179 of them in Berks County
WFMZ: Berks completes canvass of votes; certification Nov. 25 
WFMZ: Bethlehem City Council takes first step toward approving 2021 budget 
Express Times: More Lehigh Valley school districts go all remote into December; Allentown falls behind in contact tracing 
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: state reports record 6,339 new cases; 110 deaths, most since May and nearing 10K total, Lehigh Valley crosses 16K-case mark | Pa. COVID-19 county case map (11/18/20) 
Morning Call: Allentown Health Bureau too swamped to trace contacts for the hundreds of coronavirus cases this week

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Kelly seeks changes to federal elections laws
Erie Times-News: Dahlkemper wants crowds limited to reduce COVID
Erie Times-News: County Council passes 2021 budget, hikes taxes and delivers more funding to Erie Events 
Erie Times-News: Erie now designated as a welcoming city  
Erie Times-News: Erie income growth slows in 2019 
Erie Times-News: Crawford County to limit courthouse access after Thanksgiving as COVID-19 cases climb 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: No In-Person Visitors In Punxsutawney On Groundhog Day
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Judge gives lawyers more time to present evidence
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Commissioner tests positive for COVID-19
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: State: 98 new confirmed cases in Tioga, Lycoming counties
Centre Daily Times: Nov. 18 update: Pa. reports more than 6,000 new cases for 1st time; Centre County adds 89

Jay Costa: Pa. Republicans claim election fraud, even as they celebrate their own wins 
Charlie Dent and Patrick Murphy: The American people decided the presidential election, without fraud
John Baer: As coronavirus surges in Pa., it’s better to hear singing than speeches
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Nonprofits and the pandemic 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Up, up and away — except for those with disabilities
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Thumbs down to Rudy
Paul Muschick: Why Pennsylvania is headed for another coronavirus shutdown
JD Mullane: On the strike line with the nurses of St. Mary
Ernest Owens: With COVID-19 Cases Spiking, Philly Needs to Shut Down Completely
Dom Giordano: Bucks right, Montco wrong on schools    
Lawrence A. Feinberg: Here’s 4 good reasons for Pa. to reject any new cyber-charter school applications
Dan Simpson: Trump needs to move out and move on
Ajay Raju: The New Futurists
Cher Mollè: Northeast Philly has more to offer than a selfie at Four Seasons Total Landscaping
Jonathan C. Rothermel: America has no time for ugly losers or ugly winners in our politics
Donald Light: Sorry, America. Vaccines won’t end the pandemic anytime soon. 
Jason Han: Don’t let the politicization of COVID-19 scare you away from getting help | Expert Opinion
Lorene Cary: America, Dude! Learn From Black Lives
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Philly funding for COVID-19 closures

One Response

  1. Trump LOST the election. Trump is a LOSER. Get over it crybabies and support the country for a change.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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