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Sen. Toomey says Trump’s actions after losing 2020 election should disqualify him from public office

Alex Brandon

On today’s episode of The Confluence: 

Pat Toomey says Republicans should look to the future and growing the party
(0:00 - 12:28)

After spending six years in the U.S. House and another 12 years in the U.S. Senate, Republican Pat Toomey will be leaving his position at the end of the year. Toomey announced in the fall of 2020 he would not seek re-election.

Following the results of the midterm election, Toomey says members of his party should look to the future.

“It's very clear candidates whose main message or main image with voters was their closeness to Donald Trump, their echoing of his false claims of having had the election stolen from him, candidates of that ilk did very, very badly,” says Toomey.

He says Trump himself should be “disqualified” from public office for his behavior after the 2020 election and through the Jan. 6 insurrection. He says the GOP should instead be pursuing a “pro-growth message.”

Toomey did not say what his plans are after leaving office.

Control of the Pennsylvania House could shift to Democrats
(12:36 - 18:10)

Pennsylvania Democrats are close to gaining control of the Pennsylvania House for the first time in a dozen years. If they do, they would control the governor’s office and the House while Republicans maintain an advantage in the Senate.

So far, Democrats have a one-seat lead over Republicans in the state house for races that have been called. Results aren’t yet official for two races, but a Republican is leading in one, while a Democrat is leading in another.

“Boards of elections in Montgomery and Bucks County are meeting to determine the fate of things like provisional ballots overseas and military ballots, and that's even before those contested, undated, unsigned mail in ballots that have been of much court focus,” says WESA’s capitol bureau chief Sam Dunklau. “We could very well see those races decided in the next week, it all depends on how close things are.”

Allegheny County Democrats Summer Lee and Austin Davis also won races for other offices, U.S. House and lieutenant governor, respectively. Those seats will go up for special elections. There is also an open seat due to the death of Rep. Tony DeLuca (D, Allegheny).

Some local libraries want to expand services, but first they need a funding boost
(18:16 - 22:30)

In Allegheny County, there are wide disparities between libraries in the wealthiest communities and the poorest. In a joint reporting project with PublicSource, 90.5 WESA’s Kate Giammarise takes us to one local library that wants to bring its services to more people and has just expanded its hours as it slowly recovers from the pandemic.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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