November 23rd Playbook

Sen. Pat Toomey congratulates President-elect Joe Biden after a federal court decision dismissed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit challenging election results in PA. Here is the Playbook. 

November 20th Ups and Downs: Voter turnout reaches new highs in PA, a state Senate race is tied after nearly 132,000 votes have been cast, plus Senate Democrats welcome two new members to leadership. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

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), Friday (Nov. 13), Monday (Nov. 16), Tuesday (Nov. 17), Wednesday (Nov. 18), Thursday (Nov. 19), and Friday (Nov. 20) Election Playbooks. 

Here’s an update of where we stand as of Monday, Nov. 23 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 80,851 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 Monday morning, Shapiro leads Heidelbaugh by 306,417 votes (4.51%). 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 208,875 votes (3.1%). 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 52,655 votes (0.78%). 

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 14,087 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 Monday morning, Cartwright leads by 12,157 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 Monday morning, Lamb leads by 2.2 points (9,596 votes) and his lead looks to expand as more mail ballots are counted. Parnell has not conceded in the race.

State Senate and House

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). 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 1 vote, as of Monday morning, according to DOS

Harrisburg & DC   
Washington Post: The Pa. county that explains how Biden won big while other Democrats struggled
AP: In blistering ruling, judge throws out Trump suit in Pa.
AP: Trump appeals rejection of effort to block Pennsylvania vote
AP: Trump’s legal team cried vote fraud, but courts found none 
AP: Suit challenges expansion of mail-in voting in Pennsylvania 
AP: $11B budget package passes Pennsylvania Legislature 
AP: Lieutenant gov’s flags fly in the face of some PA lawmakers
AP: Pennsylvania House votes to impose fees on electric cars 
AP: Pennsylvania jobless rate falls — because labor force shrank
Spotlight PA: Financially distressed Pa. towns faring better than expected, while others in pain 
Spotlight PA: Pa. budget doesn’t raise taxes or bail out industries hit by the coronavirus 
Spotlight PA: Pa. lawmaker claims Capitol unsafe after fifth member tests positive for COVID-19 
Spotlight PA: Pa. counties expect to sign off on election results by Monday despite Trump’s attempts to delay certification 
Inquirer: Pennsylvania Republicans held on to the state legislature. But Democrats still feel good about redistricting. Here’s why. 
Inquirer: ‘Not how the Constitution works’: Federal judge tosses Trump suit seeking to disrupt Pa. election results 
Inquirer: Republican Pa. congressman seeks court order throwing out all mail ballots in long-shot suit
Patriot News: Pennsylvania House wraps 2019-20 session under, what else, a COVID-19 cloud
Patriot News: Trump campaign appeals decision dismissing its Pennsylvania election case
Patriot News: Long-term continuation of elevated tax rates for Harrisburg residents, workers goes to Gov. Wolf for enactment
Patriot News: Is a new bill taking aim at the Lt. Gov’s flags?
Patriot News: Contact tracing offers a grim preview of Pa.’s looming COVID-19 crisis
Patriot News: Pa. Sen. Toomey congratulates President-elect Joe Biden, calls on Trump to begin transition 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in October 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pew Study: Contact tracing efforts face skepticism, participation challenges | The Numbers Racket 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Washington at a standstill, as states face the loss of federal help amid ‘the worst part of the crisis’ 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Toomey: Trump has ‘exhausted all plausible legal options’ with Pa. lawsuit loss; congratulates Biden, Harris 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Rep. Gregory tests positive for COVID-19 in the second House case this week 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. conservatives’ hopes for subpoena-fueled election investigation quashed by political reality 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Trump will appeal Pa. federal court decision dismissing attempt to block Pa. vote certification 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Lawmakers send Wolf gun, environment bills on their way out of town – and for some, out of office
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Amid COVID in Capitol, Pa. General Assembly finishes budget with no new taxes, no furloughs — and no new aid 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Harrisburg GOP to Fetterman: Go fly a kite, not a flag 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘Caravans of Mourning’ in Pa., elsewhere to honor COVID-19 dead | Monday Morning Coffee
WITF: PA Legislative Committee To Audit County Election Data
Morning Call: Divided Pennsylvania House approves audit of 2020 election, citing inconsistencies and confusion in electorate
Times-Tribune: Scranton designates street outside Biden childhood home as ‘Joe Biden Way’ 
PLSReporter: Pa. lawmakers send budget plan to governor’s desk 
PLSReporter: Pennsylvania’s reserved $1.3 billion in CARES funds will cover costs for Corrections, Police, Human Services amidst revenue shortage 
PLSReporter: Rep. Fiedler files health complaint against state house, while reports of positive COVID-19 cases trickle in 
PLSReporter: House Republicans take aim at voting machine manufacturer for withdrawing from election hearing 
PLSReporter: Rep. Jim Gregory tests positive for COVID-19
Fox News: LIVE UPDATES: Trump says he will appeal Pennsylvania judge’s ruling tossing lawsuit 
Fox News: Pennsylvania judge throws out Trump lawsuit, clearing way for Biden win 
WFMZ: Toomey Statement on PA Federal Court Decision, Congratulates President-elect Biden
StateImpactPA: Allegheny County residents demand stronger pollution regulations for US Steel plant
National Journal: The biggest political turkeys of 2020
Express Times: Toomey on Trump’s legal fight: President has ‘exhausted all plausible’ options
The Times Leader: Casey and 39 colleagues say transition delay creates ‘unacceptable risks’
KYW Newsradio: Pa. lawmakers vote to balance budget with CARES Act money, despite small business pleas
KYW Newsradio: Pa. senators focus on another relief bill as many unemployed workers face an end to benefits next month
The Hill: Scranton dedicates ‘Joe Biden Way’ to honor president-elect 
The Hill: Trump campaign appeals dismissal of Pennsylvania election challenge 
The Hill: Trump vows to appeal judge’s dismissal of Pennsylvania election challenge 
The Hill: GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results 
The Hill: Judge dismisses Trump camp’s Pennsylvania lawsuit in scathing ruling 
The Hill: Pennsylvania GOP targets non-approved flags flown by top state Democrat
Roll Call: Pressure for ‘targeted’ coronavirus relief bill grows as time dwindles 
Politico: Trump campaign files narrow appeal in Pennsylvania 
CNN: Scranton, Pennsylvania, honors famous ‘scrappy kid’ turned President-elect
Real Clear Politics: Navigating Pennsylvania’s Political Future
Huffington Post: Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. Trolls Trump, ‘Dopey’ GOP Lawsuits In Epic Tweetstorm 
Huffington Post: Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey Tells Trump It’s Over, Congratulates Joe Biden

Billy Penn: Mayor Kenney, City Council advance on $14 million Taser buy for Philly police 
Billy Penn: Pop-up events and text alerts: How Philly might distribute the coronavirus vaccine
Billy Penn: Coronavirus outbreak at Philly federal prison in Center City leads to full lockdown 
Inquirer: Judge rules against emergency request to lift indoor-dining ban in Philly 
Inquirer: The Philly board that reviews police shootings hasn’t met in a year, worrying advocates 
Inquirer: Under Trump, hundreds of small changes in immigration rules have had a huge impact 
Inquirer: Philadelphians brace for a long coronavirus winter: ‘It’s a fog that surrounds us all’
Inquirer: New COVID-19 cases and related closures hit Philly area; Montco schools begin a two-week shutdown
WHYY Newsworks: City board charged with oversight of Philly police shootings hasn’t met for a year
WHYY Newsworks: Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Toomey says Trump should accept election loss
Philadelphia Tribune: As COVID-19 cases surge, Black Philadelphians remain vulnerable
KYW Newsradio: Restaurant workers file emergency injunction to stop Philadelphia’s COVID-19 dining restrictions
KYW Newsradio: KYW Newsradio can now be heard on 103.9 FM, expanding reach at critical time for local news
Philadelphia Magazine: Raheem Ikeam Myers Was the City’s 203rd Homicide Victim This Year. This Is His Story.
Philadelphia Magazine: Inside the Fight to Abolish Police in Philadelphia 
Philly Voice: Philly restaurant owners sue Mayor Kenney over new ban on indoor dining

Delco Daily Times: Quinn’s pipeline safety bill moves to governor’s desk 
Delco Daily Times: Delco budget calls for no tax hike in 2021 
Philadelphia Magazine: St. Mary Nurses on Strike: We Need More Staff, or COVID Patients Could Die Alone
WHYY Newsworks: Montco parents worry two-week move to virtual learning will harm students’ mental health
Montgomery Media: Walking through Montgomery County’s coronavirus testing sites
Bucks County Courier Times: State Rep. Tina Davis presents $25K check to Bucks homeless shelter

KDKA: Allegheny Co. Board Of Elections To Hold Meeting To Certify Election Results
KDKA: State Senate Race Between Democrat Jim Brewster GOP Challenger Nicole Ziccarelli Tied
KDKA: Mike Kelly, Sean Parnell Request To Declare Mail-In Voting Unconstitutional In Pennsylvania, Deny Results From 2020 Election Mail-In Ballots
KDKA: ‘A Hail Mary’: Lt. Gov. Fetterman Responds To Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballot Lawsuit From Republicans
KDKA: Hundreds Of Pittsburgh Public Safety Jobs Could Be In Jeopardy Without Federal Funding
KDKA: Allegheny County Appeals, Asks Pa. Supreme Court To Allow 250 Votes To Be Counted After Lower Court Disqualifies Ballots
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 594 New COVID-19 Cases, Tops 23,000 In Total Case Count
Post-Gazette: Ballot challenge in state senate race heads to Pa. Supreme Court 
Post-Gazette: Kelly, Parnell challenge some mail-in voting in court complaint 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 vaccine poses logistical challenges for Pa. officials
Post-Gazette: Judge hears oral arguments in constituent’s case against city Councilman Ricky Burgess 
Post-Gazette: Too much or just enough? Western Pennsylvanians divided over latest COVID-19 guidance 
Post-Gazette: As virus cases surge, VA Pittsburgh contends with new COVID-19 outbreaks 
Post-Gazette: With 594 new cases, record streak of COVID-19 in Allegheny County continues
City Paper: Sean Parnell is suing Pa. over mail-in voting, even though he praised mail-in voting earlier this year
City Paper: Pittsburgh-area race currently tied, could hinge on court decision to count remaining ballots
City Paper: Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorated with local billboard campaign 
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County Airport Authority 2021 operating budget dops 4% from prior year, continues to see travel headwinds amid pandemic 
Tribune Review: Court decisions loom in tied state Senate race between Brewster-Ziccarelli 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County courts postpone most in-person hearings as covid cases rise 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports record-high 15 new coronavirus deaths; 594 cases

Beaver County Times: Lamb closes offices due to COVID spikes 
Beaver County Times: Matzie’s anti-pyramid scheme bill unanimously passes 
Beaver County Times: COVID cases spike again over the weekend in Beaver, Lawrence counties
Tribune Review: Supporters of Trump election, Black Lives Matter engage in war of words in Greensburg 
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County posts 218 new coronavirus cases, 4 deaths
Observer-Reporter: Washington officials close facilities to public due to rise of COVID-19 
Observer-Reporter: COVID cases continue to rise in state, region
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Johnstown council seeks to disband ethics commission
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria, Somerset added more than 600 combined cases over weekend
Altoona Mirror: Blair to levy tiny tax increase

Citizens Voice: Luzerne County election board to certify vote from Nov. 3 election on Monday
Citizens Voice: Edwardsville, Forty Fort flip from Trump to Biden
Citizens Voice: Sale of Luzerne County’s former juvenile jail could be near 
Citizens Voice: COVID-19 continues to surge in Luzerne County
Citizens Voice: 158 positive cases of COVID-19, three deaths reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: Scranton designates street outside Biden childhood home as ‘Joe Biden Way’ 
Times-Tribune: Scranton gas card use plummeted after investigation exposed lack of oversight 
Times-Tribune: Scranton’s tripled LST tax for 2020 gets court approval 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County voids contract that instituted fees for searching online records 
Times-Tribune: Luzerne County’s new COVID-19 cases far outpace other NEPA counties 
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 death toll rises in Luzerne, Wyoming counties
The Times Leader: Luzerne County still updating site for voters to check provisional ballot status 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County voters have an opportunity to virtually watch Nov. 3 election certification Monday 
The Times Leader: State Senate approves final fiscal year 2020-21 budget
The Times Leader: Several Luzerne County government meetings scheduled before Thanksgiving holiday
The Times Leader: Compromise could save Wilkes-Barre budget, city council members say 
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre and Kingston ZIP codes have biggest weekly COVID-19 increases  
The Times Leader: 158 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday

South Central
Patriot News: 10-year extension of extra taxing authority for Harrisburg is included in Pa. fiscal code bill.
York Dispatch: Grove, Keefer foster doubts about election after voting firm abandons hearing
York Dispatch: Democratic leader says York City Council member exposed self to him, made sexual proposition
York Dispatch: Saturday update: Another death, 100-plus cases in York County
York Daily Record: Grove pushes for election audit, voting answers
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 6 new deaths from COVID-19 reported in Cumberland County Saturday with 116 new cases
LNP | LancasterOnline: Pa. Republicans amplify Trump’s baseless election fraud claims 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Why the affordable housing in 22 municipalities can’t meet Lancaster County’s demand 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Did President John Tyler own a piece of Lancaster? [The Scribbler] 
LNP | LancasterOnline: COVID quandary: Why 8K Lancaster County jobs go unfilled while 7K unemployed exhaust their benefits 

Lehigh Valley      
Express Times: Lehigh Valley vote count complete, affirming Biden’s local lead. Results to be certified Monday.
Express Times: It took Pa. 7 months to reach 200K coronavirus cases, then just 24 days to hit 300K
Morning Call: See how Lehigh Valley lawmakers voted on Pa. House approval of 2020 election audit
Morning Call: Pennsylvania restaurants, taverns, others lose out as state lawmakers use $1.3 billion of federal coronavirus funds to plug budget gap
Morning Call: In Palmerton, parents and students protest to keep schools open during pandemic
Morning Call: Jury trials again suspended in Lehigh County due to COVID-19
WFMZ: Schwank temporarily closing district office to public
WFMZ: Northampton County taking applications for small business assistance grants
WFMZ: Parents pushing back against Palmerton plan to punt on in-person classes
Reading Eagle: State Sen. Judy Schwank will temporarily shut down district office to reduce rising coronavirus cases
Reading Eagle: Former Reading Mayor Wally Scott cleared of violating city’s charter
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 133 new coronavirus cases 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: How Joe Biden won Erie County: City, ‘burbs, mail support; competitive in some rural areas 
Erie Times-News: How Erie legislators voted for week ending Nov. 20
Erie Times-News: City of Erie opposes newspaper’s data request 
Erie Times-News: 114 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Erie County
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lawmakers support no-tax-hike budget
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Federal judge dismisses president’s campaign lawsuit
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City Council approves $1.3 million in CDBG allocations
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: State reports 61 new confirmed cases in Lycoming County
State Centre County Adds 80 COVID-19 Cases; Pennsylvania Reports 6,778

Chrissy Houlahan: For the sake of reconciliation and unity, Trump needs to concede 
James D. Schultz: Republicans and Democrats should find common ground on prison reform
Mark O’Keefe: Dems rolled the dice on ending straight-ticket voting. They paid the price with row office losses 
Nancy Eshelman: Work to oust Pa.’s longtime victim advocate smacks of dark-corner deals 
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Vote reversal unsuccessful, but ominous
Inquirer Editorial Board: Solving Philly’s poverty problem requires radical thinking — and realism 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Vision Zero remains crucial to curbing traffic violence in Philly
Inquirer Staff: Are COVID-19 ‘lockdowns’ the right response to fight the growing pandemic? | Pro/Con
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A necessary plan for Middle America 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A model testing program 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pittsburgh votes to increase police oversight
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Can’t look away: Anti-cheating software is Orwellian 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Much to be grateful for 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: ‘College experience’ reinvented
Paul Muschick: Tolls on Route 22 or Route 33? Why that’s possible.
Jed Dodd: The Medicare for All fight should continue in Pennsylvania 
David M. Shribman: 2020 is Democrats’, Republicans’ bluebird moment
Chris Kelly: Over the router and through the web, to grandmother’s house we won’t go
Larry Platt: The New RFK? 
Joshua M. Liao and Amol S. Navathe: Biden’s COVID-19 strategy should prioritize low-income communities like Philly’s 
Gene Therapy: Spit-balling some programs for MAGA TV
Dick Polman: How does GSA Administrator Emily Murphy sleep at night? 
Will Bunch: Trump, GOP’s ridiculous, flailing coup isn’t a joke. It’s a crime. There must be consequences 
Albert Hunt: Understanding mixed results in Pennsylvania key to future elections
Christine Speer Lejeune: Changing Police Culture 
Priscilla M. Luce and Aalyah Duncan: Philly arts and culture scene may never recover from latest COVID-19 restrictions
Helen Ubiñas: Worrying every day about everything is our national pastime 
Randy Bish: Some signs of the times | Editorial Cartoon
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: NO! Don’t mask me!

9 Responses

  1. You have no scrotums senator Toomey! President Trump still can fight this voter fraud. He can take this all the way to the supreme court. He has 3 buddies he appointed on there. They will see to it Trump wins. I mean after all, he gave them a life time great paying job. Trump knows how to get and keep people in his back pocket.

  2. Shapiro showed real strength winning by such a large margin when his fellow Dem row candidates lost by decent numbers. This is good for Dems in the Gov race of 2022.

    1. I can’t imagine who would even want to challenge Shapiro in that primary. The Senate primary on the other hand will be a cluster.

        1. Hoping! Issue is whether the party will rally behind one SEPA candidate or if multiple will jump in and dilute the vote. I’m wondering if (when) fetterman jumps in, who then goes for LT Gov? Fetterman in all likelihood can’t really run for both (bad look, plus if he wins senate, vacating the seat means the office goes to Corman).

          1. WesternPa71– No, Lt-Gov is elected in a separate primary election. The winner is joined up with the gubernatorial primary winner.

  3. Pat Toomey: A day late, and a dollar short.

    He should have congratulated Biden two weeks ago.

    Toomey’s still a political coward.. despite not running for re-election.

    1. Yep, he got his pet donor-constructed tax bill and right wing justices through. All he ever really wanted so now he’s taking his ball and going home before ever having to answer to voters about it. Good riddance come early 2023.

Comments are closed.

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