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Ups and Downs – April 8

It’s not baseball season until the Phanatic makes his entrance.


It might be our favorite weekend of 2022 so far. A tradition unlike any other is taking place in Augusta, Ga., while baseball is back. Wishing the Phillies and the Pirates the best of luck this season!

Here are our Ups and Downs for Opening Weekend.


Robert Schnee. Not only did the 62-year-old win a resounding victory in the special election to replace Tara Toohill in the 116th District, he also got a shout-out from the Republican National Committee. “In choosing Representative-elect Robert Schnee, Pennsylvanians issued a strong warning to every Democrat: commonsense, Republican policies work, and that’s what voters will support this November,” said a statement from RNC Northeast Regional Communications Director Rachel Lee. Schnee was elected as a Democrat in 2019 but subsequently changed his registration to Republican. 


Aerion Abney and Martell Covington. To no one’s surprise, Democrats Abney and Covington cruised to easy victories in their special elections for the 19th and 24th Districts, respectively. Abney, running unopposed, won the special election for Representative in the 19th District with 85.9 percent of the vote. Covington easily dispatched Todd Koger for Representative in the 24th District with nearly 93 percent of the ballots cast.


Bill McSwain, Doug Mastriano and Kathy Barnette. The trio were the favorites in the straw poll taken at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference last weekend. McSwain and Mastriano ended in a dead heat for the GOP governor’s nod at 24.2 percent, while Dave White was third at 15.4 percent. Barnette nearly doubled up the competition in the straw poll for the Republican Senate nomination with 35.9 percent. Jeff Bartos was second (18.1%) and Carla Sands finished third (14.7%).



The Dillon brothers. Shawn, the Democratic leader of Ward 66A in northeast Philadelphia, withdrew from the race for the PA 5th District after Republicans, led by longtime 45th Ward leader Kevin Pasquay, challenged his candidacy in court last Friday. Quickly, ward leaders, most of them on Zoom, joined party boss Bob Brady and state Sen. Sharif Street in a caucus to pick Shawn’s younger brother. Democrats have a 2-1 voter advantage in the district. However, the district is thought to be more competitive than most in Philly after Donald Trump won two of the wards in 2020 – the 58th and 66th.


Barbara Gleim. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Cumberland County representative. She helped move the “Protect Women’s Sports Act” out of committee and now is encouraging parents to be more involved in their children’s education in a controversial way. “We also need conservative eyes and ears in the schools. If anyone can substitute even one day a week, the teachers who are activists and indoctrinating children can be revealed.”



Maria Collett. The state senator from Montgomery County delivered for students in Bucks County. A group of students advocated for the Hershey’s Kiss to be named Pennsylvania’s official candy. Collett’s proposal was a companion to legislation introduced last year by Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) was moved by a 10-1 vote to the full Senate. There are many candy makers throughout the Commonwealth, so this isn’t a done deal. But we salute the students who got their proposal to this stage.



The Caucus. A salute to our journalistic brethren for receiving the Investigative Reporters & Editors national Freedom of Information Award. The Caucus, an investigative newspaper launched in 2017, worked with Temple University professor and veteran journalist Aron Pilhofer and the nonprofit news organization Spotlight PA to reveal the details of $203 million in expenses to feed, house, transport, and provide rental offices and other perks for PA lawmakers and their staffs in recent years.


Department of State. Due to a technical error by the DOS, Luzerne County will be accepting 300 mail-in ballots after the conclusion of last Tuesday’s special election. The county election bureau discovered two files containing a total 300 voters’ mail ballot information were not correctly uploaded by the state so they could be sent to the mail ballot vendor for processing and mailing to voters. “This oversight by the Department of State created a significant delay with these voters receiving their mail-in ballots, receiving them with only a few days left.”



The demise of the agate page. Last Sunday, the New York Times sports section ran an agate page for the final time. Those under the age of 40 will be wondering, “What’s an agate page?” Those under the age of 20 will be wondering, “What’s a Sports Section?” So for those who need a quick education, the agate page is easily the most dense, most information-packed part of the Sports Section, or the entire newspaper for that matter. It’s a daily compendium of sporting tidbits, a World Almanac of obscure information that zero people are interested in, at least you would think.


Giant Eagle. Starting on Earth Day, April 22, Giant Eagle supermarkets throughout the Erie area will discontinue the use of single-use plastic grocery bags and, instead, incentivize guests to use environmentally friendly reusable bags. The Erie region joins Cuyahoga County in Ohio as the first two Giant Eagle communities where single-use plastic bags will be removed from its supermarkets beginning this Earth Day.


4 Responses

  1. Better give Dr Oz an UP arow and a DOWN one to Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania’s Senate race – Mehmet Oz – has secured the endorsement of the GOP’s biggest name, Donald Trump.

    The former president on Saturday gave his backing to Oz, the cardiac surgeon, TV host and author known as “Dr. Oz,” saying Pennsylvania voters have “a tremendous opportunity to Save America by electing the brilliant and well-known” candidate.

  2. it looks like Mastriano is edging out Lou in the momentum for R Gov nomination.

  3. God Bless that Barb Gleim lady. No more important matter in America right now than protecting women’s sports from weirdo men

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