It’s finally here: the 2018 midterm elections and a political barometer for local, state, and national politics. Whether Republicans will hold onto their majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate remains to be seen; however, throughout the state and Philadelphia-area races, Democratic candidates are set to sail to smooth victories on Nov. 6.
But polls or no, national dream or nightmare, the sacrosanct American right of the vote cannot be ignored, and it is the duty of every citizen with the right to vote to get out to their polling place.
So read on for a guide to everything you need to know about your local elections.
Despite a less-than-smooth first term, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s no-nonsense yet laid-back style has seen him performing well in polls ahead of his reelectionbid for a second term, unlike his predecessor, one-term Republican governor Tom Corbett.
As of Nov.2, Wolf, a York, Pa. resident and former businessman, was polling about 26 points ahead of GOP challenger, state senator Scott Wagner, also a businessman from York, according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll.
The race has been at times ugly, with Wagner aping Trump’s aggressive style on issues like immigration and crime, and it has been awkward, like when Jeopardy host Alex Trebek moderated the sole gubernatorial debate of the season between the two men – and by all accounts, including Trebek’s own, completely flubbed the entire process.
But voters have indicated they are going to bat for Wolf – who also raised millions more in campaign donations than Wagner.
If re-elected, Wolf will be bringing along one newcomer to Harrisburg: his Lt. Governor candidate, brash, bald, Braddock Pa. mayor John Fetterman, who mounted an unsuccessful run for Democration nomination for U.S. Senate against Pat Toomey in 2016, and who is known for tattooing on his right arm the date of every death by gun violence in Braddock since he became mayor. Fetterman is set to replacing
Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is also appearing likely to easily win against GOP opponent Lou Barletta, former mayor of Hazleton, Pa. and a Pa. state rep. since 2011, despite campaign endorsements for Barletta from Trump, VP Mike Pence, and Trump Jr.
As of Nov. 2, Casey was about 15 points ahead of Barletta, according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll. He also out-fundraised Barletta by millions of dollars.
With its Congressional district lines completely redrawn by the majority-Democrat Pennsylvania Supreme Court – a map that the majority-conservative U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld, by refusing to hear the state GOP’s appeals of its constitutionality – some races for Congress from Pennsylvania will look a little different: others won’t change much.
U.S. Rep – 3rd District – Philadelphia
Democrat Dwight Evans, a North Philadelphia native, was first elected in 1980 to represent West Oak Lane as a state representative in Harrisburg.
Some 36 years later, as U.S. Rep. for the 2nd District Chaka Fattah’s career went down in flames after the feds indicted him for illegal fundraising activities related to his unsuccessful 2007 bid for mayor of Philadelphia (Fattah is currently serving 10 years) Evans took up the race for Fattah’s seat.
Evans easily won and moved up to Washington D.C., where now, he is running for re-election of what, under the re-drawn Congressional district lines, is now the Third Congressional District of Pennsylvania.
Evans is forecast to have a 99 percent chance of winning in solidly Democratic Philadelphia against GOP opponent Bryan E. Leib.
Other Congressional races include:
1st District: Republican U.S. Rep. Fitzpatrick v. Democratic challenger Scott Wallace
2nd District: Brendan Boyle (D) v. David Torres (R)
4th District: Madeleine Dean (D) v. Dan David (R)
5th District: Mary Gay Scanlon (D) v. Pearl Kim (R)
6th District: Chrissy Houlahan (D) v. Greg McCauley (R)
To report election fraud, contact the Philly DA’s Office Election Fraud Task Force at 215-686-9641, 9643 or 9644.
For questions, problems or information, call the City Commissioners’ Election Day Hotline from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 215-686-1590.
For more information and to find your polling place, visit PhiladelphiaVotes.com.