Philly helps push Biden to White House

People march as they celebrate media announcing that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election, in Philadelphia, on Nov. 7.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Angelique Hinton cried Saturday when she heard that major national news organizations had called the presidential race for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

She has been coordinating a team of Philadelphia high school students since April to boost civic participation, particularly among young people, hosting voter registration drives across the city and virtual conversations about the importance of local politics.

“I felt like the work we did really paid off,” said Hinton, of West Norriton, who works with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote.

Biden, on Election Day, said “Philly’s the key,” and the deeply Democratic city helped push his campaign over the edge. It also became a center of international attention as officials worked for days to tally the votes.

Celebrations broke out around Philadelphia after the former vice president was called the winner on an unseasonably warm Saturday.

REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski

As of Sunday, Biden had a 42,747 vote advantage over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. If that margin stands, it would be slimmer than Trump’s 2016 victory in the state, when he won by less than 1% of the vote.

Biden built up a massive lead in Philadelphia. Through Sunday afternoon, he had captured 81% of the vote and his lead in the city stood at about 440,000 votes.

Results continued to be tabulated Sunday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which had been a hub of rallies and demonstrations.

Nearly all of the 2.6 mail-in ballots have been counted in Pennsylvania. Less than 56,000 remain, according to a state dashboard.

Trump did well in some parts of the city, even eclipsing his 2016 vote margins in some areas.

REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski

In South Philadelphia’s 26th ward, the president carried 55% of the vote. Four years ago, he beat Hillary Clinton by a few hundred votes in the ward; this time, he outpaced Biden by more than 1,100.

Meanwhile, in the Far Northeast, Trump appears to have won the 56th ward, which narrowly went to Clinton in 2016, and he garnered nearly 2,000 more votes than Biden in the 66th ward.

Mike Doyle, a real estate agent and progressive organizer who lives in Parkwood, had been hoping to unseat state Rep. Martina White, the leader of the city’s Republican Party.

White, the only elected Republican from a Philadelphia district in Harrisburg, has a commanding lead in the Far Northeast race.

Democrats didn’t gain as much ground in the state capital— or in Congress, for that matter — as they had wanted, but Doyle believes his and other campaigns helped get voters to the polls.

REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski

“I think, at the end of the day, what we were all able to do, if we didn’t win those seats at the bottom of the ticket, we were able to at least energize the base and get them out to vote,” he told Metro.

“We definitely helped push that, I think, over the top, so I was happy to be a part of that,” Doyle added.

Trump has yet to concede, and, on Sunday, he again attacked the electoral process. He called Philadelphia a city “with a long series of election problems” in a tweet which was apparently quoting attorney and professor Jonathan Turley.

Twitter marked several of Trump’s messages as “disputed.”

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, and other campaign officials held a news conference Saturday at a bizarre location, Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a small business in Holmesburg next to an adult book store and across the street from a crematorium.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses the media with the Trump legal team at Four Seasons Landscaping company in Philadelphia. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Giuliani, the former New York mayor, criticized the city’s monitoring of mail-in ballots and promised legal action.

“Philadelphia is a professional place for voter fraud because you have a decrepit Democratic machine that you have had in power for 60 years,” he said.

There’s been no evidence of fraud in Philadelphia during this election.

Not far away from the landscaping operation, at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, two men are behind bars after they were spotted Thursday night with guns near the Convention Center.

Authorities said they received a tip from the FBI that the armed pair were heading to Philadelphia from their homes in Virginia.

Joshua Macias
Antonio Lamotta

Officers detained them after police noticed their silver Hummer. One of the men was allegedly openly carrying a handgun in a holster and the other had one hidden under his jacket. Neither had the proper permits, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators said they also discovered an AR-15-style rifle and ammunition from inside the Hummer.

Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio Lamotta, 61, were both charged with firearm violations and are being held at the jail on $750,000 bail, of which each must pay 10%.

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