Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Procrastinator’s guide to the 2020 general election in Philadelphia

By PhillyNews.FYI , in Philadelphia News , at October 8, 2020 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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Pennsylvania is poised to play a decisive role in one of the most unprecedented elections in U.S. history. Philadelphia voters will also cast ballots for the three members of Congress, three important statewide offices and a ton of elected officials in the General Assembly.

No sweat, right?

Election Day 2020 comes with challenging circumstances. Millions of Pennsylvanians are expected to cast mail ballots as the historically secure practice faces an immense discrediting campaign from the White House. Droves of others will vote in person at a time when conditions have been radically upended by the pandemic.

What’s a satellite election office, and where can I find one? What’s the deal with “naked” ballots? How many polling places are open on Tuesday, Nov. 3? Most voters have somewhere between one and a zillion questions. Good news: Our annual procrastinator’s guide is here to help.

Still have questions? Let us know at tips@billypenn.com, or text EQUALINFO to 73224.


MORE ELECTION 2020:


Are you registered or did you move? You can find your voter status here. This year’s deadline is Oct. 19. Applying online only takes a few minutes.

Where do you vote? Find that here. This will also have info about what ward and division you’re in. You can enter your address here to find all of your district and representation info, then scroll down and find out details.

Note: Polling places are somewhat more limited than in previous years. Election officials in Philadelphia has released a list of some locations to give voters time to plan ahead. That said, the final list is expected to be confirmed in mid-October.

As usual, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Unless it’s your first time voting at a particular location, you do not need to show any identification.

The basics:

  • The deadline to request a mail ballot is Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. Any Pennsylvania resident can do that online here.
  • Philly voters can also request and fill out a ballot in person at one of several election offices. Here’s the list of locations.
  • After you’ve received and filled out your ballot, you MUST place it inside the secrecy envelope and then in the official return envelope before you return it.
  • Officials recommend postmarking your ballot or dropping it at an authorized location at least two weeks before Election Day.
  • Got a mail ballot but decided you want to vote in person? Here are your options.

Visit billypenn.com/votebymail where we answer more FAQs.

Philadelphia voters will get to weigh in four ballot questions this year, some of which seek authorization to take action while other make changes to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, which is kind of like the city’s constitution. Read about each question in-depth:

  1. Should Philly constitutionally abolish ‘stop and frisk’ — and would it make a difference?
  2. Should Philly City Hall have its own office to advocate for crime victims?
  3. Should the city revamp its “beyond toothless” police oversight commission?
  4. Should Philly borrow $134 million to fund transit improvements, parks and sanitation?

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Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail in ballots in October 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

Republican

Donald J. Trump, for president (incumbent)

Donald Trump, 74, had never held political office before his 2016 victory. Pennsylvania was key to that win, when the state swung Republican for the first time in decades with a margin of just 44,000 votes out of 6 million. Although Philly and its surrounding counties went blue, almost all the rest of Pa. went red.

The state is considered equally, if not more, important this time around. Trump’s campaign and the Republican party have filed several lawsuits over the past six months in efforts that have tried to limit Pa. mail voting participation and disqualify certain groups of mail ballots.

Trump has visited Pennsylvania several times on the campaign trail. Earlier this month he participated in a Philly town hall, fielding questions from undecided local voters on topics ranging from the coronavirus to police reform and military spending. At the first presidential debate, he singled out the city, now-famously saying, “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.”

Michael R. Pence, for vice president (incumbent)

Before he joined the Trump administration, Mike Pence, 61, was governor of Indiana. Prior to his election in 2012, he was a U.S. representative, where he served six consecutive terms.

During the 2020 campaign, he has visited Pennsylvania often, saying “the road to victory goes straight through” the commonwealth. During a July speech in Philadelphia hosted by the FOP Lodge 5 police union, a group identifying themselves as Proud Boys showed up and reportedly joined in the after-party.

Democrat

Joseph R. Biden, for president

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, who served two terms under Obama, is a lifelong civil servant who started his time in Washington as a U.S. senator from Delaware in 1973. He has many connections to Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia region. He was born in Scranton. Pa., before being raised in Wilmington, Del., and his wife Jill grew up in Willow Grove. If he were to win, she would become the first First Lady from the Philly area.

The longtime Amtrak and ice cream lover had Big Philly Democratic Establishment Energy during the primary, including early support from former mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter. Before the pandemic, Biden designated Philadelphia his official campaign headquarters, leasing out part of the Center City office tower behind the Clothespin sculpture. He also scored a fundraiser from Comcast VP David Cohen at his Philly home.

Biden gained some respect and attention from Muslims and Arab Americans in Philadelphia when he used “Insh’Allah” in a colloquial manner during the first presidential debate.

Kamala D. Harris, for vice president

Before Kamala Harris, 55, became a U.S. senator during the 2016 election, she served as California attorney general for six years, using her time as San Francisco DA as a launchpad for statewide office.

Harris has few connections to Pennsylvania, and hadn’t made a campaign visit to Philadelphia until late September. Despite that, her mixed-race ethnicity — her mother immigrated from India and her father is Black — has given her visibility among the city’s communities of color. If Biden were to win, she would become the country’s first vice president of either South Asian or African American descent.

Libertarian

Jo Jorgensen, for president, and Spike Cohen, for vice president

It came right down to the wire, but serial Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen officially made it onto the Pennsylvania ballot in August. In 1992, she ran for Congress in her home state of South Carolina, and she was on the 1996 Libertarian presidential ticket as VP.

Jorgenson has a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from Clemson, where she currently works as a full-time lecturer. Her priorities, should she be elected, are classically Libertarian: Introducing more private competition into the health care system, slashing taxes and reducing federal spending.

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Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail in ballots in October 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

The attorney general is the state’s top prosecutor, tasked with investigating and charging thousands of criminal cases every year. Both the Democrat and Republican candidates ran unopposed in the primary.

Josh Shapiro (Democrat, incumbent)

Josh Shapiro gained national attention in 2018 for dropping a scathing grand jury report on sex abuse inside the Catholic church. It named 301 “predator priests,” more than 1,000 victims and pointed a finger at the entire archdiocese, accusing officials of actively covering up the scandal. The report ignited an avalanche of victims’ accounts, and led to state legislation that extended the statute of limitations for church abuse victims.

A native of Montgomery County, Shapiro earned his political chops as a staffer for various elected officials, including as chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel. After four terms as a state rep in Harrisburg, Shapiro was elected to his hometown’s Board of Commissioners twice before his successful 2016 run for state attorney general.

Three priorities

  1. Holding big pharma accountable for the drug epidemic
  2. Combating consumer protections and fraud
  3. Challenging many of the Trump administration’s federal policies

Heather Heidelbaugh (Republican)

Heather Heidelbaugh served one term as an at-large Allegheny County City Council member and has decades of previous career experience as a trial attorney. The Western Pa. Republican, originally from St. Louis, Mo., told Pittsburgh’s WESA she believes incumbent Shapiro pursues “headline-grabbing” cases to raise his political profile.

Heidelbaugh and Shapiro do agree on using the AG’s office to tackle addiction, and she notes that the opioid epidemic has especially harmed rural communities on her campaign website.

Three priorities

  1. Battling the opioid epidemic
  2. Enacting stronger consumer protections and the Do Not Call list
  3. Rooting out government corruption

Daniel Wassmer (Libertarian)

There’s little information available on Daniel Wassmer’s bid for Pennsylvania attorney general. There’s no website for his campaign, and his social media doesn’t clearly outline his priorities.

A few things we do know: Wassmer has worked as an attorney for the last 25 years, and he’s a management and marketing professor at Bucks County Community College. He’s the chair of the finance committee of Pennsylvania’s Libertarian party.

As many Libertarians are, this guy is definitely anti-establishment. His slogan? “Only a political outsider can fix it.”

Some issues he seems to care about, per posts on his Facebook page:

  1. Stopping the prosecution of use of marijuana, particularly medical marijuana
  2. Ensuring military ballots are sent out on time

Richard L. Weiss (Green)

Richard Weiss is a Pittsburgh native. He does not appear to have a campaign website, nor much by way of biographical info online. According to the Green Party, he’s worked as an attorney for the U.S. Agency for International Development in D.C. and in Indonesia, helping finance various development projects.

Three priorities:

  1. End cash bail
  2. Decriminalize drug use and sex work
  3. Establish police review boards made up of regular people

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Voters line up during the 2020 June primary in Philadelphia
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

The auditor general is Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog, in charge of making sure taxpayer money is spent legally and properly. With incumbent Eugene DePasquale running for congress in the 10th District, the field is wide open.

Nina Ahmad (Democrat)

Nina Ahmad’s name might be familiar to some Philadelphians.

She was the president of the local National Organization of Women chapter, and served as deputy mayor for public engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney before resigning in 2017 to run for Bob Brady’s then-congressional seat. Not long after, Ahmad pivoted to run a last-minute race for lieutenant governor, where she came in second place. Ahmad immigrated to Pennsylvania from her native Bangladesh at 21 and earned a Ph.D in chemistry from Penn.

In the auditor general’s race, Ahmad has been the top fundraiser, raking in more than $900k in contributions as of June 2020. She’s received national endorsements from Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris and former president Barack Obama.

Her priorities for the auditor general’s office include improving access to healthcare by addressing issues like price gouging. She’s been endorsed locally by the Southwest coalition, which includes Councilman Kenyatta Johsnon, state Reps. Joanna McClinton and Jordan Harris and Sen. Anthony Williams.

Timothy DeFoor (Republican)

On the GOP ticket, DeFoor is in his second term as the Dauphin County Controller. He was the first African-American elected to the role when he won in 2015 and his work making the county’s financial reporting more transparent earned the office a national award.

DeFoor is a retired special agent who served under Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro. His auditor general campaign priorities are to cut government spending and release more data related to state contracts.

His campaign has been endorsed by the Pa. chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. According to a Monmouth University Pa. voter poll released in early Sept, DeFoor trailed Ahmad by just two to three percentage points.

A Harrisburg native, DeFoor attended Harrisburg Area Community College, where he now sits on the board. He also attended Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh, and has a Master’s from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, according to his LinkedIn.

Jennifer Moore (Libertarian)

Libertarian auditor general candidate Jennifer Moore is a Mont Clare, Pa. native and was elected auditor of Montgomery County’s Upper Providence township in 2017. Moore also serves as vice chair for the state Libertarian Party’s east region and vice chair for the Montgomery County LIbertarians.

Moore does not have a campaign website.

Olivia Faison (Green)

Lifelong Philadelphian Olivia Faison serves in several community roles including as a block captain, chair of a local health center advisory committee, and board secretary for the City of Philadelphia Health Centers.

Faison has run for local office before, mounting a write-in campaign for councilmember-at-large in 2019. Her priorities then were establishing a Green New Deal in Philly, addressing poverty and promoting sustainability. She doesn’t have an auditor general campaign website.

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Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail in ballots in October 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

The treasurer is the state’s financial custodian, charged with watching over roughly $100 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Joe Torsella (Democrat, incumbent)

Raised in Berwick, Pa., Joe Torsella’s Philly roots run deep. He was deputy mayor for planning and policy under Ed Rendell in the early 90s. He also led the establishment of the National Constitution Center in Old City. Torsella graduated from Penn with a degree in economics and history. He also studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Moving through local, state and international government ranks, Torsella served on the state Board of Education and was an ambassador to the United Nations for budget and management reform. He was elected treasurer in 2016.

As treasurer, Torsella took on some high profile opponents, including Facebook, when he called on CEO Mark Zuckerburg to step down as the tech company’s board chairman. Pennsylvania’s treasury was named the lead plaintiff in a suit that argues several top banks conspired to hike bond prices, adversely affecting investors and retirees.

If elected for a second term, Torsella says he wants to launch a savings fund for Pa.-born students, expand open data and create a Pennsylvania IRA program for private workers in the state, according to his campaign site.

Stacy L. Garrity (Republican)

Campaigning on the slogan “One of us – Not a politician,” Stacy Garrity touts her lack of insider status while highlighting her military service. In 2019, she launched an unsuccessful bid for the 12th House District special election.

A retired Army Reserve colonel, the Iraq War veteran earned national recognition for her leadership at a U.S.-run Iraqi internment camp. There, she earned the title “Angel of the Desert” for her treatment of Iraqi detainees. Professionally, Garrity is an accountant and a VP at a global medal supplier based in Pa.

Like candidates across the board, Garrity wants to improve transparency within the treasury office. She wants to address wasteful government spending by looking at fees and making college more affordable through the state tuition assistance programs.

Joe Soloski (Libertarian)

Libertarian candidate Joe Soloski is a certified public accountant who managed his own accounting firm in the Pittsburgh area for nearly three decades. The Centre County resident has also worked as an accountant and financial analyst for various companies.

In 2018, Soloski ran unsuccessfully for State Rep. in the 81st District in 2018, and for Halfmoon Township Board of Supervisors in 2019. He volunteers with the Halfmoon Township planning commission.

His campaign priorities include term limits for elected officials, decreasing pay and benefits for legislators, cutting government spending and expanding the marijuana industry.

Timothy Runkle (Green)

With a degree in geology from Millersville University, Green Party candidate Timothy Runkle works as a project manager in the environmental consulting industry. He’s the treasurer for the Pa. Green Party, and co-chair for the Lancaster County Green Party.

In 2019, he won a write-in campaign for tax collector in his hometown of Elizabethtown Borough, but opted not to take the role. He also ran unsuccessfully in 2017 for Elizabethtown Borough Council. His campaign currently maintains a Facebook page.

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voted-phillycityhall
City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia has three congressional districts under the recently redrawn map — two which split most of the city and another that includes a slice of South Philly. You will vote for one candidate on either ticket..

2nd District

Brendan F. Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)

Brendan Boyle’s been in the U.S. House since 2015. Before that, the Harvard grad worked as a Pennsylvania state rep for six years (he and his brother, Kevin, were the first brothers to serve simultaneously in the Pa. General Assembly.)

Since he became a federal official, the legislator has backed causes like raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, and also railed against Trump.

In 2018, Boyle filed the Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act — also known as the STABLE GENIUS Act. Basically, it would ensure a president is fit to lead by requiring they undergo a medical exam by the secretary of the Navy, with results reported publicly.

David Torres (Republican)

David Torres ran for the exact same seat, against the exact same opponent, in 2018. The East Torresdale resident earned 21% of the 2nd District vote that year, and now he’s taking another crack at it.

Torres is a retired sales manager who lost his son three years ago to a fatal opioid overdose. He has said he wants to reevaluate the current resources dedicated to the addiction epidemic and work toward humane immigration reform.

3rd District

Dwight Evans (Democrat, incumbent)

Germantown native Dwight Evans first scored his U.S. House seat in 2016, defeating then-indicted incumbent Chaka Fattah. Evans is an alum of a handful of Philly schools: CCP, La Salle and Temple. He worked as an employment counselor at the Urban League of Philadelphia, a Philly public school teacher and a Pa. representative for a few decades.

In Congress, Evans introduced a bill to ban confederate monuments on federal property. He’s also served as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Evans faced a challenger in 2018, but he easily defeated Republican Bryan Leib with 94% of the vote.

Michael Harvey (Republican)

West Philadelphia native Michael Harvey is vying for the 3rd District seat after working for 15 years as a paralegal. The Temple alum is a veteran of the Navy and the Air Force, plus he’s a block captain and a 60th Ward committeeperson.

Harvey’s priorities, according to his website, are economic improvement, education and fairness in criminal justice. Recently, he has advocated for reopening Philly during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s not his first shot at office. Harvey ran against Movita Johnson-Harrell in the special election for the Pa. House 190th District race…that is, before Johnson-Harrell was indicted.

5th District

Mary Gay Scanlon (Democrat, incumbent)

Mary Gay Scanlon is seeking her second full term. She took over Pat Meehan’s seat in 2018 after it was revealed he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment case.

Scanlon graduated from Penn with a law degree, and focused on public interest law throughout her career. She has coordinated free legal services for people with low incomes, and worked as an attorney at the Education Law Center.

In Congress, Scanlon has supported universal pre-K and marijuana decriminalization. She stopped short of backing a federal $15 minimum wage, calling it an eventual “goal, but I do think we need to be careful and probably stage it.”

Dasha Pruett (Republican)

Dasha Pruett defeated lifelong-Democrat-turned-Trump-voter Rob Jordan in the Republican primary. Pruett moved to the U.S. from Russia when she was just 10 years old — and has used this as a catalyst for her political career. After being raised in a socialist country, the Drexel Hill resident has built her entire platform around rejecting socialism.

She cites upholding the Second Amendment and halting funding to Planned Parenthood among her top priorities. On Facebook, Pruett shares memes advocating to “make Delco great again” and reopen society amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail in ballots in October 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

Four Pennsylvania Senate seats are on the ballot across Philadelphia, but none is contested in the general election. Voters have one Democratic candidate to choose from in each race (or submit a write-in vote).

1st District

Nikil Saval (Democrat)

Saval was unknown to many when he launched his campaign late last year, but his defeat over incumbent state Sen. Larry Farnese in the primary elevated his profile immensely. His Bernie Sanders-styled platform advocates for building 1,000,000 new units of affordable housing, statewide rent control, subsidized family care and a Green New Deal climate plan for Pennsylvania. He is running uncontested.

3rd District

Sharif Street (Democrat, incumbent)

The son of former Philly Mayor John Street, Sharif Street is seeking his second term in the district. He’s been a major advocate of the state’s medical marijuana rollout, at one point using his office to help onboard new patients in his North Philly district, and has continued that advocacy as Gov. Wolf’s administration explores legalizing recreational weed. Street is running uncontested.

5th District

John Sabatina (Democrat, incumbent)

Elected in 2016, Sabatina is also running unopposed. A former state representative and assistant district attorney, he hails from a prominent political family — known for public feuds with their political rivals in Northeast Philly. He served in the state House for years before rising to the Senate.

7th District

Vincent Hughes (Democrat, incumbent)

Hughes has been representing this half city-half suburban district since 1994, when he succeeded his mentor, former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr. Hughes is considered a highly influential politician, serving as the Democratic chair for the powerful Appropriations Committee in Harrisburg. He’s running unopposed for his seventh term.

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ivotedsticker-spanish
Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Philly has 26 districts in the Pa. House, some of which stretch into the suburbs. These seats are up for reelection every two years. Just nine races are contested in the general election, those are listed first below.

152nd District

Nancy Guenst (Democrat)

Guenst is the sole Democrat in the running for this district, a Montgomery County district that includes a slice of upper Northeast Philly. A U.S. Army veteran who was endorsed by Barack Obama, she is a small business owner and the first female mayor of Hatboro. The Abington native flipped the Hatboro Borough council in 2007, then ran and became the first female Mayor in Hatboro in 2017. Guenst is campaigning on raising the minimum wage and addressing budget shortfalls in PennDOT and the Department of Environmental Protection. During protests this summer, Guenst joined calls to dismantle systemic racism.

Karen Houck (Republican)

Republicans tapped Houck, a civic leader in Montgomery County, to succeed longtime state Rep. Thomas Murt, who announced his retirement earlier this year. She’s the sole Republican running on the ticket, endorsed by the GOP in both counties. She has served as a school board director in Harrisburg. Houck supports providing property tax relief and a raft of fiscal reforms. Most notably, she supports a “No-Budget, No Pay” policy for her legislators in the General Assembly — and ending the heavily scrutinized per diem system.

John Weinrich (Independent)

John Weinrich, a realtor from Upper Moreland Township, vows to eliminate school tax on residential real estate. If elected, he promises to create a more free market through regulation reforms. Running a grassroots campaign, Weinrich denies any and all donations from PACs. He promises to increase minimum wage, abolish the state-controlled liquor stores and give “no cost” community college for students in need.

170th District

Martina White (Republican, incumbent)

Despite her majority Democrat district, Republican Martina White is riding on a strong wave of support for her third term in office. The recently elected Philly GOP party leader has championed legislation strict on immigration, such as a stalled-out bill that sought to punish sanctuary cities for certain crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. Backed by the police union, she has also introduced legislation that would block cities from releasing the identities of police officers who shoot civilians on duty. White also pushed bills to address false claims from squatters pretending to be tenants. She is entering this race with endorsements by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 along with 15 local labor unions.

Mike Doyle (Democrat)

Mike Doyle ran unsuccessfully against White in 2018. He did not register to run as a Democrat in this year’s primary, but later launched a late write-in campaign and secured enough votes to appear on the ballot in what would have been an uncontested race. Doyle is a harm reduction advocate who wants to see more funding for food crisis workers, social workers and therapists. He supports a Green New Deal plan for Pennsylvania. On police reform, Doyle wants to restructure the local Fraternal Order of Police union, a powerful institution in the Northeast. Doyle has been endorsed by Reclaim Philadelphia, a grassroots progressive movement supporting progressive candidates.

172nd District

Kevin J. Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)

Boyle is running unopposed in the primary to retain his seat. Part of a prominent Northeast Philly political family (his brother is U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle), the 40-year-old has served this district since 2011. He was endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers, and has been active in the 2020 election reform process. He recently supported legislation such as no-excuse mail voting and giving people more time to vote before an election, from 15 days to 30. Boyle has also pitched a bill allowing municipalities to set their own minimum wage, as long as it’s higher than the statewide wage.

Aaron Bashir (Republican)

Born in Pakistan, Bashir came to the U.S. in 2001 after surviving a close call with a rare blood disease. According to his campaign website, he has worked as an accountant, real estate investor, professor and now PhD candidate. He’s campaigning with a focus on seniors and education. A 2nd Amendment champion who is anti-abortition, Bashir won endorsements from the political action committee Firearm Owners Against Crime, and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

177th District

Joe Hohenstein (Democrat, incumbent)

Elected in 2018, Hohenstein is seeking his second term in this lower Northeast Philly district that was previously under Republican control. A former immigration attorney, Hohenstein is backed by city labor unions and a host of elected officials. He recently co-sponsored a bill in the House to expand federal emergency sick leave benefits during the coronavirus crisis. He does not support supervised injection sites in his district. Hohenstein wants to ban the purchase of assault weapons like the AR-15, and sign legislation that would allow the use of gun violence restraining orders. If re-elected, Hohenstein says he’ll secure more economic relief for local families and businesses from the state. He recently received endorsements from Temple Association of Professionals and Planned Parenthood.

John Nungesser (Republican)

Nungesser, a Port Richmond native and Temple grad, is opposed to Mayor Jim Kenney’s “sanctuary city” policy and does not support supervised injection sites, according to his Facebook page. He says he’ll bring more trade schools to the district to help prepare students for the workforce. He is a strong supporter of police and fire first responders, and has railed against Governor Wolf’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

182nd District

Brian Sims (Democrat, incumbent)

Seeking his fifth term, Sims is perhaps the loudest of the outspoken progressives in the Pa. House. He’s openly gay, non-religious, and a common target of right-wing lawmakers in Harrisburg. Sims loves to post virtual rants, like his impassioned Facebook video after the legislature’s Republican leadership allegedly withheld info from Democrats about a lawmaker testing positive for coronavirus.

Before that, Sims incited a national controversy last year after he filmed himself yelling at a Planned Parenthood protester in Center City. He was recently vindicated in a three-year ethics investigation about his non-government work as speaker on LGBTQ issues.

Drew Murray (Republican)

Murray has worked in sales and as a civic group leader in Logan Square. He says he’ll fight against SLAPP lawsuits and try to reform the city’s wage tax. He opposes supervised injection sites and Mayor Kenney’s “sanctuary city” policy.

184th District

Elizabeth Fiedler (Democrat, incumbent)

Fiedler, a former WHYY reporter, is seeking her second term in the Pa. House. She serves as a member of the Philly leadership team and the House Appropriations Committee in Harrisburg. She has introduced bills to ensure advanced scheduling for retail and fast food workers. Fiedler generally supports supervised injection sites, but pushed back on the first Safehouse site after its controversial opening in South Philly earlier this year.

Lou Menna IV (Republican)

A lifelong South Philadelphian, Menna is running almost 100 years after his great-grandfather by the same name held a Pa. House seat. Menna, a Girard Academic Music Program grad and kidney transplant recipient, hasn’t published a ton of info about his platform. A GoFundMe in his name briefly lists a few of his campaign priorities as: crime, taxes, no kill shelters and bike lanes.

190th District

Amen Brown (Democrat)

Brown beat out three other primary candidates to represent the party in the election for this district, representatives of which have recently been embroiled in political scandals. The previous seat-holder, Movita Johnson-Harell, is now serving time for bilking her charity. Brown ran unsuccessfully in the March special election for this seat under the “Party of Amen Brown.” His campaign page can be found here.

Wanda Logan (Republican)

Logan, a businesswoman, is the only Republican on the ticket. She ran for this seat before as a Democrat, (the registered party of 87% of district residents) before switching to the GOP ticket to give it a shot this year — twice. She already lost once in the March special election.

194th District

Pamelia Delissio (Democrat, incumbent)

Delissio is seeking her fifth term representing this part-Philly, part-Montco district. A Roxborough resident and cancer survivor, she describes herself as a “a moderate, aisle-crossing, smart, non-extreme legislator.” Her stated priorities include voting reforms and redistricting.

Lisa Goldman Riley (Republican)

According to her campaign website, Goldman Riley is an attorney and Manayunk resident. She lists housing density and traffic congestion in developing neighborhoods among her top concerns, and supports expanding charter schools.

Matt Balsar (Libertarian)

Balsar, who also ran for this seat in 2018, is a Philly-based managing consultant at IBM and chairs the Philadelphia Libertarian Party, according to his Facebook page. In 2019, he ran for Councilmember Curtis Jones’ seat and lost, earning 3.2% of the vote.

The uncontested races

Here’s a rundown of the Pa. House district candidates running with no competition.

  • 173rd District: Mike Driscoll (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking his fourth term in this Northeast Philly district.
  • 174th District: Ed Neilson (Democrat, incumbent) is also seeking his fourth term representing a slice of Northeast Philly in Harrisburg.
  • 175th District: MaryLouise Isaacson (Democrat, incumbent). After fending off a fleet of Democratic challengers in the primary, Isaacson is en route to her second term covering the Fishtown, Northern Liberties and Center City District.
  • 179th District: Jason Dawkins (Democrat, incumbent) has represented the Frankford area and parts of North Philly in Harrisburg since 2015. He is seeking his fourth term in office.
  • 180th District: Angel Cruz (Democrat, incumbent). A veteran in the state house, Cruz has represented this slice of predominantly Latino North Philadelphia since 2001. He ran a failed bid against Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez last year, and hasn’t faced a challenger for his state rep seat since 2014.
  • 181st District: Malcolm Kenyatta (Democrat, incumbent). Considered a rising star in the Democratic party, the 30-year-old Kenyatta is seeking his second term in the House — where he became the first gay person of color elected — after running unopposed in the primary.
  • 185th District: Regina Young (Democrat). With virtually no political experience, Young pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the primary against a veteran Democratic incumbent. She’s slated to become the first Black legislator in this majority Black district.
  • 186th District: Jordan Harris (Democrat, incumbent), one of the city’s more prominent state lawmakers with the Philadelphia Delegation, is seeking his fifth term in office.
  • 188th District: Rick Krajewski (Democrat) upset the Democratic machine in the primary by unseating veteran state Rep. James Roebuck with a progressive agenda.
  • 191st District: Joanna McClinton (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking her third term representing this district that covers parts of Southwest Philly and Delaware County.
  • 192nd District: Morgan Cephas (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking her third term representing this deep West Philly district.
  • 195th District: Donna Bullock (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking her fourth term in this North Philly district.
  • 197th District: Danilo Burgos (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking his second full term representing part of North Philadelphia.
  • 198th District: Darisha Parker (Democrat) is poised to take over for her former boss, the current state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, who is retiring at the end of the year.
  • 200th District: Chris Rabb (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking his third term in this Northwest Philadelphia district.
  • 201st District: Stephen Kinsey (Democrat, incumbent) has been representing parts of North and Northwest Philly in Harrisburg since 2013.
  • 202nd District: Jared Solomon (Democrat, incumbent). First elected in 2014, Solomon is seeking his third term representing this Northeast Philly district.
  • 203rd District: Isabella Fitzgerald (Democrat, incumbent) is seeking her third term representing parts of far North Philly.

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