Election

Democrats Prepare To Take Turn At Drawing U.S. House Districts

Feb 13, 2018
Chris Knight / AP

Top Democratic state lawmakers said Monday they want to work with Gov. Tom Wolf on a consensus Democratic plan of congressional districts to present to state Supreme Court justices who are poised to impose new boundaries.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody said they hope to meet with Wolf as early as Tuesday to begin cooperation on a map, and have urged Wolf to reject a map given to him on Friday by the GOP-controlled Legislature's top Republicans.

Open Or Contorted U.S. House Districts May See Biggest Changes

Feb 12, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court last month became the first state court to throw out a congressional map because of partisan gerrymandering, a decision that has ignited a scramble to redraw district boundaries as dozens of candidates watch and wait.

Cliff Owen / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is coming to help raise money in a congressional election in southwestern Pennsylvania widely viewed as a test of whether Republicans can stave off Democratic gains this year.

Pence is scheduled to appear Friday at a rally and fundraiser for Rick Saccone. He's a 59-year-old Republican state representative and retired Air Force intelligence officer running in the March 13 special election to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last year in a scandal.

Matt Rourke / AP

A week into the three-week period the state Supreme Court allotted lawmakers to redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional maps, not much concrete progress has been made.

Carolyn Kaster / AP, file

Pennsylvania’s longest-serving state representative, Thomas Caltagirone, has confirmed he’s running for a 22nd term.

The news comes as he faces backlash for agreeing to settle a sexual harassment case against him for almost a quarter-million taxpayer dollars.

WHYY

After hearing oral arguments Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly on a lawsuit challenging the state’s congressional district boundaries.

Emma Lee / WHYY

A fourth Republican wants to run for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.

Joe Gale, a Montgomery County commissioner, announced Tuesday that he's running for the party's nomination, even though the 28-year-old won't meet the state's constitutional age threshold of 30 when the next lieutenant governor is sworn in in January 2019.

Gale couldn't serve until March 2019, when he turns 30.

Gerrymandering Case Sows Doubt In Big Year For House Races

Jan 16, 2018
Google Maps

Lots of people want to run for Congress in Pennsylvania this year, but they may not yet know which district they live in.

The prospect that the state Supreme Court could decide a high-profile gerrymandering case by ordering new boundaries for Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts, including one that has been described as looking like "Goofy kicking Donald Duck," is sowing uncertainty barely a month before candidates begin circulating petitions.

Map from the office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Next week, the state Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit claiming Pennsylvania’s congressional map is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

Top state Democrats chimed in Wednesday in an attempt to sway the court in favor of the plaintiffs.

In a press conference held in the capitol, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack offered an alternative map he referred to as the “Stack map.”

Susan Walsh / AP

A former drug prosecutor who once ran for state attorney general is entering the field vying to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in 2019.

Joe Peters announced Monday that he'll seek the Republican Party's nomination to run for Pennsylvania's 11th District seat in Congress. The district stretches from Shippensburg in southcentral Pennsylvania some 140 miles to rural northeastern Pennsylvania. The primary election is May 15.

Ben Finley / AP

In a story that has drawn national attention, Virginia chose a member of its House of Delegates by randomly picking the name of a candidate Thursday.

4-Way Gubernatorial Primary Tests GOP’s Endorsement Mettle

Jan 2, 2018
Photos via AP, screengran from Laura Ellsworth for Governor

For the four Republicans who hope to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election bid next year, the first playoff game before the May 15 primary election will be the state party's endorsement.

That endorsement vote, scheduled for Feb. 10, could determine who stays in the primary race and who gets to brag that they won the endorsement while drawing upon the financial benefits of the party's backing.

Should the party be unable or unwilling to endorse, it would be the first time in 40 years.

Measures Of Gerrymandering — Real Or Bogus?

Dec 29, 2017
screengrab via youtube

As courts in Pennsylvania and around the country consider cases charging partisan political gerrymandering, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia recently assembled prominent experts and participants in the battles to talk about the political and constitutional issues.

Courts have long acknowledged gerrymandering exists, but they have lacked a reliable standard for measuring just how much of a political edge a particular legislative map gives to one party.

Lawyer: 'Voter-Proof' Pennsylvania Congressional Map Favors GOP

Dec 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A lawyer for a group of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania told a federal court Monday that it should throw out the state's congressional district map favoring Republican candidates because it was created to be "voter-proof."

Pennsylvania Case Takes New Approach To Redistricting Rules

Dec 4, 2017
Keystone Crossroads

Judges have been asked repeatedly to decide whether the lawmakers in charge of drawing congressional district lines have gone too far to favor their parties.

Wolf Starting To Look Like A 'Two-Term Tom' As 2018 Approaches

Nov 20, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

He's starting to look like two-term Tom.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf likely has wrapped up his biggest first-term fights with the Legislature's huge Republican majorities and his record is largely set a year before voters decide whether to give him a second term. He now heads into the 2018 election year with political winds at his back.

Meg Kelly for NPR

On the first anniversary of President Trump’s election, NPR is looking back at his victory speech. NPR reporters across the newsroom have annotated his election night remarks, providing context and analysis to his policy promises and noting who among the people he thanked are still in the inner circle a year later.

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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Tuesday’s election may be in an off-year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have statewide implications.

The highest-profile race is for a seat on the state Supreme Court, and seats are also open on the Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court leans heavily Democratic right now, with a 5 to 2 majority.

The Republican candidate, Sallie Mundy, currently holds one of those seats and is seeking a full 10-year term. She was appointed as an interim justice by Governor Tom Wolf last year.

Matt Rourke / AP

State representatives are trying to figure out how to stop voter registration glitches that have allowed over 500 non-citizens to vote in state and national elections since 2000.

GOP Gubernatorial Stakes Grow With Pittsburgh Lawyer's Entry

Oct 11, 2017
screengrab via ellsworth2018.com

The Republican race for the nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election bid drew a third contestant Tuesday with the entry of Laura Ellsworth, a lawyer who ran her firm's office in Pittsburgh and has played a prominent role in steering the city's civic and business institutions.

It is the 59--year-old Ellsworth's first run for public office, after years spent raising money for Republican candidates and serving in prominent positions at the intersection of public policy and the private sector, including gubernatorial appointments.

Wagner Gets Bannon's Stamp Of Approval In Governor's Race

Sep 26, 2017
Marc Levy / AP

President Donald Trump hasn't endorsed a candidate in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial election next year, but Scott Wagner might have something close to it: Steve Bannon's stamp of approval.

Bannon, the divisive ex-Trump strategist, urged a conservative gathering at a St. Louis hotel on Sunday to support the Republican state senator from York County.

Pennsylvania Official: Hackers Maybe Sought Voter Records

Sep 26, 2017
Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania's top elections official said Monday that he thinks Russian hackers who tried unsuccessfully to penetrate the state's election systems had hoped to alter voter registration records to sow confusion and frustration right before last year's presidential election.

Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, however, said he otherwise has been given very little information by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about the supposed attempts by Russian hackers, including how the hackers were connected to Russia, their method and the timing of their attempts.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Federal authorities told officials in Pennsylvania that Russian hackers unsuccessfully tried to access election systems in the state before last year's presidential election.

Pennsylvania Primary Features Appeals Court, Local Contests

Apr 17, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Numerous contests for school boards and county and municipal government, as well as a handful of appeals court races will be on the ballot next month in Pennsylvania's primary election.

Matt Rourke / AP

An independent report from an academic group has given Pennsylvania a dismal ranking in how well it conducts its elections.

The Electoral Integrity Project—which is based out of Harvard University and the University of Sydney—has the Keystone State tied for fifth-worst in the country.

The group ranked states based on 12 criteria, including electoral laws and procedures, media coverage, campaign finance, and district boundaries.

Joshua Rice / Pittsburgh Public Schools

Many of Tim Mielke’s students are too young to remember previous presidential elections.

The ninth grade social studies teacher at Taylor Allderdice High School said his challenge this year has been explaining the unique aspects of this election by comparing it to previous election cycles.

Allderdice was one of 13 local high schools that participated in a mock election organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Politicians often urge supporters to get out and vote. But Donald Trump wants them to go further: get out and vote, and then stake out polling places to watch for cheating.

At a Friday campaign event in Altoona, Penn., the Republican presidential nominee said voting might not be enough for him to win.

Court Upholds Total Population Count In Electoral Districts

Apr 4, 2016
supremecourt.gov

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can count everyone, not just eligible voters, in deciding how to draw electoral districts.

The justices turned back a challenge from Texas voters that could have dramatically altered political district boundaries and disproportionately affected the nation's growing Latino population.

David Goldman / AP Images

New Hampshire isn't the only state where there is lots of enthusiasm for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Even though the Pennsylvania primary is over two months away, young voters in the Keystone state are excited about the senator from Vermont including 26-year-old Adam Wells of Aspinwall who runs the twitter account @PittsBern. We'll talk with Post-Gazette Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello, who is covering the New Hampshire primary, about the chances that Sanders will be able to ride his momentum to victory in PA.   

90.5 / Michael Lynch

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, with the support of Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Wolf, announced his bid for re-election Thursday.

The Squirrel Hill Democrat is seeking a second four-year term, and his campaign can be summed up in two words: jobs and transportation.

With desirable jobs come young talent, and according to Fitzgerald, that talent leads to progress.

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