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24 May 2014

The Battle For “Tom” Supremacy

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May 24, 2014 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf hosts his party the Santander Stadium in York, Pa., Tuesday, May 20, 2014.  (AP Photo /The Philadelphia Daily News, Steven M. Falk )

On Tuesday night, we learned that incumbents can be beaten in Philadelphia with the help of the legal system, voter turnout in Primary elections continues to go down, and a guy named Tom will probably be Governor of Pennsylvania come November. 

By Denise Clay

While Tuesday night’s Pennsylvania Primary led to some things that might change in November, it also ensured that one thing definitely won’t.

The Governor of Pennsylvania will still be a guy named Tom.

On an Election Night that was over for most people by 10 PM., Tom Wolf won the right to represent the Democratic Party as its gubernatorial standard bearer. Wolf, a York businessman and former Finance Secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell, beat his fellow Democratic challengers—Rep. Allyson Schwartz, current State Treasurer Rob McCord, and former state environmental secretary Katie McGinty- –with 58 percent of the vote. 

Wolf went into general election mode almost immediately, promising a Pennsylvania that works for everyone if he’s elected.

“[Pennsylvania] can’t be a place that does good things for you if you have the right connections, if you live in the right place, if you look the right way,” he said. “This has to be a place that is fair for everybody.”

Gov. Corbett also won the Republican primary handily, something that his not having an opponent made an all but foregone conclusion. He’ll be trying to continue the Commonwealth’s string of two-term governorships come November. 

The Pennsylvania Delegations in both Harrisburg and Washington will be going through some changes come November. State Sen. LeAnna Washington and State Rep. J.P. Miranda will now have time to defend themselves from corruption charges after losing their bids for re-election Tuesday. 

Attorney Arthur Haywood III defeated Washington in her bid for re-election. State Attorney General Kathleen Kane indicted Washington for allegedly using her taxpayer-funded senatorial staff to put together her annual campaign fundraisers. 

Rep. Miranda lost his re-election bid to Leslie Acosta, daughter of former State Rep. Ralph Acosta. District Attorney Seth Williams indicted Miranda for allegedly using a “ghost” employee to pay his sister, whom he wasn’t allowed to hire as his chief of staff due to nepotism rules. 

Meanwhile, all of the State Representatives named in a corruption probe that  Kane shut down because she found it problematic—State Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown, Ron Waters, Michelle Brownlee and Louise Bishop—managed to win re-election easily. In fact, Lowery Brown was the only one of the four that even had an opponent.

In city election news, if you’re a City Councilman, or other city elected official, you’ve still got to resign if you want to run for something else. Ballot Question 2, a question put forth by City Councilman David Oh that if passed would have eliminated the city’s “Resign to Run” requirement, was defeated. 

But if you’re a contractor hoping to do business with the City of Philadelphia, you’ll have to pay your workers a minimum of $10.88 an hour, thanks to the passage of Ballot Question 1, a question put forth by City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. 

And indigent defendants needing legal council will be able to get the help they need thanks to Ballot Question 3, which was also passed on Tuesday. Introduced by City Councilman Dennis O’Brien, the law requires that any contract for indigent legal services be approved by City Council. 

The City’s string of low voter turnouts in Primary elections continued on Tuesday as well. Despite Tuesday being a pleasant, 70-degree day, a Democratic gubernatorial primary in a city with 2-1 Democratic voter registration, and lots and lots of campaigning from the gubernatorial candidates, only 19 percent of eligible voters came out to the polls, according to City Commissioner Stephanie Singer.

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