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General Election 2018, Nov 6 (7 AM-8 PM)

St. George's Greek Orthodox Church (in the back hall, not the church itself)

8th Street, between Spruce and Locust (enter on 8th, through church parking lot)

U.S. Senate: Bob Casey

 

Senator Casey is running for his third term; his challengers are Joe Barletta (Republican), Neal Gale (Green), and Dale R. Kerns Jr (Libertarian). Casey is a relatively moderate Democrat, which is part of why he has held onto his seat in a sharply divided state (cf. the 2016 Trump and Toomey victories). However, he has been a reliable supporter of most key progressive issues, from wage fairness to healthcare access and equality in education.

 

PA Governor: Tom Wolf

Wolf is running for re-election at the end of his first term, against three opponents: Scott Wagner (Republican), Paul Glover (Green), and Ken Krawchuk (Libertarian). While Wolf has had the frustration of dealing with a legislature dominated by the opposing party, he has managed to accomplish a few things, including forcing some concessions on hot issues. He claims to have instituted widespread ethics reform in the executive branch (and indeed we have heard little "swamp news" from his administration) and has proposed a variety of voting protections to help keep future elections fair (and presumably it's no coincidence that under his watch you can now register to vote online).

Side note: in this race, you actually vote for a slate of governor paired with lieutenant governor. If Wolf is re-elected, we get the bonus of swapping out the scandal-plagued Mike Stack for the principled populist John Fetterman.

U.S. Congress: Dwight Evans

With this election, we are moving to a new Congressional district; indeed, all of Pennsylvania's districts are changing substantially after the PA Supreme Court ruled the Republican-legislature-created districts were unfairly gerrymandered. Our new district (the 3rd) includes Center City, South Philly (just as far down as Snyder), and West and Northwest Philly, which overlaps a lot with Dwight Evans' current Congressional District (to which he was first elected 2 years ago). Previously, Evans was a longtime state legislator who headed the Appropriations Committee for two decades. Though relatively junior in the US Congress, Evans has promising experience to serve our new district well.

Evans' opponent Bryan Leib (Republican) seems to have no political experience. In any event, with a Democratic House takeover seeming to be the only likely check on President Trump's scary ambitions, the last thing we need is to add a House Republican.

PA General Assembly: Mary Isaacson

You may remember that in the spring, incumbent Mike O'Brien won the Democratic nomination to run for re-election. Tragically, O'Brien became quite sick and died in mid-October. We are grateful for his many years of service to our district and to our state. Those who worked with him, or constituents who met with him, inevitably testified to his decency and drive to do right by those who elected him.

In an event like this, our system allows the Ward Leaders in the legislative district to nominate a replacement candidate, and they chose O'Brien's chief of staff, Mary Isaacson. While this closed process received some negative press, and hopefully a more open process will occur in two years, Isaacson certainly has the advantage of knowing O'Brien's work and the potential to build on his relationships in Harrisburg. She is running unopposed, so will become our new state legislator in January.

Ballot Question

To borrow $181 million for capital projects As usual, this ballot includes a question asking for permission to borrow money to run city functions. It's not clear what it will take for the city to operate normally via the process of budgeting tax monies, but it seems that they require those regular infusions of cash to keep things moving so we suggest voting YES on this measure.