ABOVE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans and Gov. Tom Wolf (far right) pose with other elected officials at Relish restaurant on Primary Election Day. (Photo by Solomon Williams)
While the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor are set, the Republican senate primary is looking at a recount.
By Denise Clay-Murray
On Tuesday, voters in Philadelphia either went to the polls or mailed in their ballots for the Pennsylvania Primary.
While the opponents for the November general election are mostly set, the mystery of who will be the Republican’s standard bearer against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is still up in the air. As of press time, Dr. Mehmet Oz was just slightly ahead of businessman Dave McCormick for the slot. The race appears headed for a recount.
Fetterman bested Congressman Conor Lamb and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta for the Democratic nomination for Senate. While most of the city’s labor unions, elected officials and the Democratic City Committee endorsed Lamb, Fetterman benefitted from a $2 million war chest and the profile that comes with being Lieutenant Governor.
Pennsylvania Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro and State Sen. Doug Mastriano will be facing off for the right to succeed Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term limited. Shapiro ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while Mastriano bested former Congressman Lou Barletta and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain for the Republican nomination.
Allegheny County State Rep. Austin Davis bested fellow State Reps. Brian Sims and Ray Sosa to be Shapiro’s running mate on the Democratic side while Carrie Lewis DelRosso defeated Rick Saccone and Teddy Daniels for the right to be Mastriano’s running mate in November.
For the first time in two years, election officials, political candidates, elected officials, and everyone involved in Pennsylvania politics gathered at the Relish restaurant on Ogontz Avenue for Congressman Dwight Evans’s annual Pennsylvania Primary gathering.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gathering was either severely limited or not held at all over the last two years. That traffic through the restaurant was steady felt like things were returning to normal somewhat, he said.
“It’s great to see that people are back,” Evans said. “This is a chance for everyone to come together.”
But while the pandemic wasn’t top of mind for those who came out to Relish, it wasn’t out of anyone’s thoughts.
In fact, the last few days of Primary Election season in Pennsylvania resembled a M.A.S.H unit. On Election Day morning, Shapiro campaign spokesman Will Simons announced that the Attorney General had tested positive for COVID.
Meanwhile, Fetterman was taken off the trail when he suffered a stroke last Friday. He spent his Election Day having a pacemaker with a defibrillator implanted.
On the Republican side, reporters were kept from covering a campaign event for Mastriano and Kathy Barnette, the lone Black candidate in the Republican Senatorial field, in Warminster, Bucks County days before Election Day. Among those keeping the journalists at bay was a sentry dressed in colonial garb, complete with a tri-corner hat.
When it came to the City’s ballot questions, City Council will now have a say over who is on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Thanks to the passage of Question 1, the seven-member panel, which will now have to be approved by Council, must include an urban planner, an architect, an experienced zoning lawyer and two community leaders.
Also, the Fair Housing Commission is now part of the City’s Home Rule Charter due to the passage of Question 4 and the Charter itself is now gender neutral, removing all references to gender.