Election 2020

Mel Evans / AP

Pennsylvania’s primary doesn’t take place until late April, but the election cycle is officially underway in Allegheny County: Yesterday marked the deadline for announcing an interest in seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee. There were few surprises on the list of candidates vying for the approval of party insiders. But there were some notable omissions — and, as always, some criticism that endorsement filing fees themselves are anti-democratic.

Bloomberg Campaign Hiring Ahead Of Pennsylvania Primary

Jan 16, 2020
Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign has begun hiring dozens of staff members in Pennsylvania, an aggressive move in a late primary state where his chief competitors for the Democratic Party's nomination have inroads.

Shapiro Heads Into Reelection Year With $3M In Account

Jan 10, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will report that he headed into his 2020 reelection year with more than $3 million in his campaign bank account, about 40% of what he spent to get elected in 2016 to his first four-year term.

Pennsylvania State House

State Rep. Harry Readshaw, who has represented portions of Pittsburgh and nearby suburbs for a quarter-century, announced that this year would be his last in Harrisburg. And already there are hopefuls seeking to replace him. 

Allegheny County

Republican Committee of Allegheny County Chair Sam DeMarco has a New Year’s resolution for his party in 2020: Put up some local candidates for a change.

Pennsylvania Defends Voting Machines Blamed In Undercount

Dec 13, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration asked a federal court Thursday to reject a challenge to its certification of voting machines bought by Philadelphia and two other Pennsylvania counties, while the machine's maker accepted responsibility for problems that led to badly undercounted returns in a judicial race last month.

Warren Gets Campaign Effort Going In Pennsylvania

Dec 12, 2019
Charles Krupa / AP

Elizabeth Warren's campaign is moving to become the first in the Democratic presidential primary to hire field staff and open field offices in Pennsylvania, early moves in a late primary state that could become an important prize if the nominee remains in doubt past March.

John Minchillo / AP

 

On today's program:  Presidential hopefuls come to Pittsburgh to talk about education equity; ALCOSAN's green infrastructure might not be green enough; and the families of fallen officers lean on each other years after their loved ones are gone.  

Gov. Tom Wolf Says 'No' To Speculation About VP

Dec 11, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

The day after President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Hershey, Governor Tom Wolf is ruling out the possibility of serving as the eventual Democratic nominee’s running mate in 2020.

During a broadcast of Smart Talk at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg, Wolf sought to end speculation that he could join the race.

Fred Vuich / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is making another trip to the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania this year, this time in a campaign swing.

State Rep. Summer Lee, whose 2018 campaign has helped inspire progressive Democrats across western Pennsylvania, has drawn a primary challenger from a self-described moderate who emphasizes his pragmatism.  

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump returned to Pittsburgh Wednesday, just two months after speaking in Beaver County – and his speech at this week’s Shale Insight conference picked up right where his Beaver remarks left off.

Biden: Trump Has 'No Idea' About Working-Class Struggles

Oct 23, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Joe Biden cast President Donald Trump on Wednesday as a fraudulent populist whose tax policies, economic stewardship and erratic leadership have hurt U.S. workers and betrayed voters in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Trump 2020 Targeting Hispanic Vote In Nontraditional Places In PA And Elsewhere

Oct 23, 2019
Will Weissert / AP

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is making contrarian appeals in the most unusual places, trying to win over Hispanic voters in states not known for them, like Pennsylvania.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

President Donald Trump is set to speak at the Shale Insight Conference later this afternoon – although his presence is already being felt hours in advance. A number of protests were planned ahead of his arrival, starting with an 8:30 a.m. 

Voting Reform Package Emerges In Pennsylvania Capitol

Oct 21, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Legislation unveiled Monday would overhaul some aspects of how voters cast ballots in Pennsylvania while delivering much of the money counties need to buy voting machines ahead of next year's presidential election.

Is Ohio In Play? GOP Tilt Working Against Democrats

Oct 14, 2019
David Kohl / AP

Chris Gagin says he hasn't changed much politically, even as so much around him has.

The attorney from rural Belmont County, Ohio, became a Republican in 2013 after Democrats embraced environmental policies that he believed were detrimental to the area's coal mining and fracking industries. As an anti-abortion-rights, pro-gun conservative, he felt unwelcome.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Less than 24 hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey declared his support for the investigation.

Bryan Woolston / AP

Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke came to Pittsburgh Wednesday with a forceful speech that made a case for progressive values on a host of issues: gun-control, the environment, racial inequity – and the pressing need to impeach President Donald Trump.

Cliff Owen / AP

Vice President Mike Pence is dropping in on the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania to tour a robotics maker and headline a state Republican Party fundraiser dinner.

In Pennsylvania, Trump Touts 2020 Chances, Swipes At Biden

May 21, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

President Donald Trump voiced confidence Monday in his ability to win a repeat victory in Pennsylvania in 2020 and took a fresh swipe at one of his leading Democratic rivals, telling rallygoers that native son Joe Biden had abandoned them by representing Delaware in the Senate.

Evan Vucci / AP

Top advisors to President Donald Trump’s campaign had a big meeting with Pennsylvania’s Republican Party officials in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

Alex Brandon / AP

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is lobbying for a presidential primary debate in his home state, which is a projected battleground in the 2020 presidential election.

Casey's letter Monday to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says holding a primary debate in Pennsylvania would benefit the party in a state that holds great electoral importance to Democrats.

Casey said Democrats can't afford to lose Pennsylvania if they hope to beat President Donald Trump, after Trump in 2016 became the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988.

Bernie Sanders Planning Rally In Pittsburgh

Apr 8, 2019
Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced a campaign swing Monday that will take him to three Great Lakes region states that are a key part of the Democratic strategy to rebuild a "blue wall" and defeat President Donald Trump.

After 2016 Loss, PA Democrats Know They Need White Male Voters

Apr 8, 2019
Keith Srakocic / AP

When he moved to Pennsylvania about five years ago, it was a coin toss which party Brian Heitman would register with.

No longer.

Since Donald Trump's election in 2016, Heitman, who is 42 and white, has become a reliable Democrat. Last week, he voted for the Democratic candidate in a special state Senate election in Pittsburgh's affluent southern suburbs.

"A decade ago I probably wouldn't have even noticed this election was happening," Heitman said, "but I'm making a point in voting in every one I can nowadays."

Surprise? Pennsylvania's 2020 Primary Could Be Competitive

Mar 25, 2019
Charles Krupa / AP

Beto O'Rourke's splashy campaign event in Pennsylvania this week appeared to herald the start of the state's presidential primary season.

Democratic Group To Spend $100M Targeting 2020 Battlegrounds

Feb 22, 2019
John Locher / AP

A major Democratic group on Thursday announced plans to spend at least $100 million in battleground states during the 2020 election in hopes of denying President Donald Trump a second term.

Surveys conducted by Priorities USA suggest Trump is vulnerable in many of the same Rust Belt states that sealed his victory in 2016, such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well as Florida. Their research indicates antipathy toward Hillary Clinton drove some of the party's traditional voters to Trump and third-party candidates like Jill Stein, while others simply did not turn out.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Since the summer of 2017, Pittsburghers stuck in traffic at the intersection of Bigelow Boulevard and Herron Avenue could be greeted by a billboard with the same smiling face, positive message and personal phone number. Its message belonged to poet Rachel Ann Bovier.