Election 2020

Speaking Mam In MAGA Country: Immigration, Education And The Teenage Boy In The Middle

Feb 26, 2020
Jeffrey Stockbridge / Keystone Crossroads

Pressure is mounting on 15-year-old Fredy Garcia Morales.

In January, he was called into a meeting with a truancy officer for his school in Chambersburg. His jaw dropped when he learned he’d missed 33 days of class.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Heather Kass, whose endorsement by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee has generated more than a week of controversy, is now facing a challenge to the legitimacy of her election petitions. If that lawsuit is successful, Kass could be taken out of the race to replace retiring state Rep. Harry Readshaw, leaving a smaller field in the 36th state House district — and a festering wound within the local party.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

As 2020 presidential candidates court voters in early states, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has introduced legislation to make polling places more accessible to voters across the country, addressing a concern among many voters with disabilities.  

John Bazemore / AP

The deadline is past for candidates for president of the United States and for state attorney general, treasurer and auditor general to file paperwork to make Pennsylvania’s April 28 primary ballot.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania doesn’t appear to have a backup plan if a federal lawsuit succeeds in getting at least one voting system banned before the presidential election.

Summer Lee for PA

When Democratic Party leaders endorse a candidate running in the spring primary, they hope doing so will help unify the party. On Sunday, the Allegheny County Democratic Committee may have done so by accident: From the state level on down, just about every Democrat not on the committee is denouncing one of its choices. 

Could Pennsylvania’s 43K New Citizens Make The Difference In 2020 Election?

Feb 18, 2020
Emma Lee / WHYY

At least 43,000 immigrants have become Pennsylvania citizens since the 2016 presidential election. That’s almost as many voters as the margin Trump won by, according to recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Emily Previti / PA Post

Steve Ulrich stirred controversy when he took over York County’s elections office on Jan. 10 — just days before a special election — for his left-leaning social media posts and having zero experience running elections.

Matt Smith / Keystone Crossroads

Carmelo LaMantia stops by Mi Casa Su Casa, a breakfast and lunch cafe in downtown Reading, quite a bit. Exactly how often is in dispute. 

Mel Evans / AP

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee gathered for its annual endorsement meeting on the South Side Sunday – and for a handful of young, progressive, female candidates in closely-watched races, the outcome wasn’t pretty.

Patrick Semansk / AP

California billionaire Tom Steyer is the first Democratic presidential candidate to file signatures to get on Pennsylvania's primary ballot. That's according to information from the state election office Friday.

Matt Rourke / AP

On today's program: The Allegheny County Executive and FBI Pittsburgh weigh in on local election security; the origin of two architectural marvels in Homewood and Larimer; a journalist recalls the forced migration of 2,000 minority residents nearly 100 years ago; and why firefly species could be in danger. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County election officials have been on a shopping spree, having bought 40,000 blue pens, 15,000 folders, 5,000 clip boards, eight high-speed scanners, two high-speed letter openers and 1,400 rolls of "I Voted" stickers ahead of the 2020 primary.

Carrie Antlfinger / AP

Pennsylvanians can now apply online to vote by mail, without an excuse.

Brad Larrison / WHYY

A slate of brand-new voting laws will be used for the first time in Pennsylvania’s April primary —and counties are working to prepare.

Rob Mercuri Campaign

Rob Mercuri is a relative newcomer to politics, but he can already claim a leg up on many more seasoned politicos: While insiders and journalists spent much of their week trying to figure out what state House Speaker Mike Turzai was planning to announce this Thursday, Mercuri already knew Turzai would not run for office again.

A day after Turzai said he was stepping down, in fact, Mercuri announced his campaign for Turzai’s House seat – with Turzai’s endorsement.

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.

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