Did you realize that high school football in the Keystone State begins next Friday? And we are just about 17 days from the official kickoff to the general election season. Yikes, where did my summer go?
Here are our Ups and Downs for the week ending August 19.
John Fetterman. The Cook Political Report has shifted its position on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Democrat.” In the most recent poll from Public Opinion Strategies, the lieutenant governor has an 18-point advantage over GOP opponent Mehmet Oz, 51-33.
Mehmet Oz. Between the Cook Political Report shifting its position in the U.S. Senate race to “Lean Democrat,” a poll showing the celebrity doctor trailing by 20 points, and a viral tweet about grocery shopping for crudite … and the NRSC is canceling ad buys in the Commonwealth … well.
Doug Mastriano. Another week of controversy for the state senator from Franklin County. It started with the PSEA calling Mastriano’s education plan, irresponsible. He challenged gubernatorial challenger Josh Shapiro to two debates but with conditions that Democrat is not expected to accept. His rally with Florida governor Ron DeSantis drew fire from Pittsburgh-area religious leaders … and a poll showed Mastriano trailing Shapiro by 15 points.
Josh Shapiro. The PA attorney general has a 15-point lead over Doug Mastriano in the race for the governor’s mansion according to a poll from GOP-leaning Public Opinion Strategies.
Tom Wolf. The governor has received praise from many corners of the Commonwealth for his executive order to ban conversion therapy. “Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat,” he said.
Leigh Chapman. The acting Secretary of the Commonwealth won her undated mail-in ballot case against Berks, Fayette and Lancaster Counties in Commonwealth Court. Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer announced that the counties must certify their primary results no later than Wednesday.
Fracking Industry. Pennsylvania children living near unconventional oil and gas (UOG) developments at birth were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with leukemia between the ages of 2 and 7 than those who did not live near this oil and gas activity, after accounting for other factors that could influence cancer risk, a novel study from the Yale School of Public Health finds.
Keith Jackson. The mayor of Rochester is in a battle with other elected officials in the central Beaver County community. In 2021, the Council passed a resolution requiring a third person to be present at meetings between Jackson and other borough officials, adding a roadblock to his daily duties. The conflict is most likely headed toward more legal battles in the near future.
Paige Riegner. The former Berks County elections director said that the Berks County Commissioners tried to get her to take the blame for failures during the 2022 primary election that were not her fault. Her resignation came just five months after taking the position, following problems involving electronic poll books in the May primary.
Hollidaysburg Little League. The Blair County team of 12-year-olds have captured the hearts of Pennsylvania after earning a berth in the Little League World Series. As the Altoona Mirror wrote in an editorial, “sports have a unique way of rallying communities. But it’s especially captivating when it involves the innocence of young athletes.”
Sheila Alexander-Reid. The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) named her as the new executive director of PHL Diversity, a key business development division of the PHLCVB. Alexander-Reid starts her new role Sept. 7.
Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. The former Luzerne County judges involved with the so-called “kids-for-cash” scandal have been ordered to pay more than $200 million to hundreds of victims. They closed a county juvenile detention facility in the early 2000s and sent children to a for-profit facility in exchange for millions of dollars in illegal profits.
Jeremy Lee Pauley. The 40-year-old from Enola was arrested on July 22 and charged this week with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property and other charges after police say he allegedly tried to buy stolen human remains from an Arkansas woman for possible resale on Facebook.