Democrats Sweep State Row Offices

For the first time, Pennsylvania Democrats have swept the three state row offices on election night. Kathleen Kane has been elected Attorney General; Eugene DePasquale will be the next Auditor General; and Treasurer Rob McCord was re-elected to a second term.

Kane’s victory is particularly historic. She becomes not only the first Democrat to be elected Attorney General since it became an elected office in 1980, but also the first woman selected for the post by voters. Two women have served as Attorney General, but both were appointed, including Linda Kelly who is currently serving out the remaining term of Tom Corbett.

DePasquale defeated fellow State Representative John Maher to become Auditor General and McCord bested Republican challenger Diane Irey Vaughan in the Treasurer’s race.

The Polls Are Open

Polls opened statewide at 7:00am this morning, as voters begin the process of selecting a recipient for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. Both the Obama and Romney campaigns turned up the heat in the Keystone State in the campaign’s final days after largely ignoring Pennsylvania for months, or sending surrogates to campaign.

Pennsylvania voters are also selecting a U.S. Senator and three state row officers (Attorney General, Auditor General & Treasurer). All 203 seats in the state House are also up for election, as are half of the seats in the state Senate.

The polls will be open until 8:00pm this evening.


RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 10.26.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul provide details on the approach of “Frankenstorm,” a massive weather system that seems headed for the Keystone State in the early part of next week. Components include Hurricane Sandy from the south, an early winter system from the west and arctic air from the north. Included in the program: information about state preparations and tips for riding out the storm at home. We also bring you portions of the debate between the state Attorney General candidates and profile the Republican running for state Treasurer (check back next week for a profile on Democratic incumbent Rob McCord).

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:


Kathleen Kane Takes Democratic Nomination for Attorney General

Pennsylvania has never elected a Democrat to be state Attorney General. Pennsylvania has never elected a woman to be state Attorney General. With one more victory in November, Kathleen Kane could invalidate both of those statements in one fell swoop.

Kane won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General on Tuesday, coming out on top in a bitter campaign against former Congressman Patrick Murphy. A heated ad war highlighted the rough and tumble election, making it one of the most widely watched races as the returns came in on Tuesday evening. Kane led all the way on Tuesday and with more than 99% of precincts statewide reporting, she had taken the win by more than 40,000 votes. Kane will move on to face Republican David Freed in November. Freed is Cumberland County’s District Attorney.

Tom Smith Wins GOP Nomination for U.S. Senate

He didn’t have the state party’s endorsement or the approval of Governor Tom Corbett, but self-proclaimed Armstrong County “farm boy” Tom Smith will be the Republican party’s nominee for U.S. Senate this November. Smith prevailed in a 5-man field that included the party-backed Steve Welch and former State Representative Sam Rohrer.

Smith will face incumbent Democrat Bob Casey in November and took aim at his fall opponent in his victory speech Tuesday evening, saying Casey is a “big part of that problem” in Washington. Casey will be running for his second 6-year term in the Senate. He defeated Rick Santorum to win the job in 2006.

Smith financed his own Senate campaign with more than $5 million of his own money, and he was not lacking confidence fresh off his victory Tuesday night, predicting a November victory.

Rick Santorum Takes Three States, GOP Race Continues

    Rick Santorum won three states on Super Tuesday, tasting victory in North Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The former Pennsylvania Senator fell just short of taking the key state of Ohio, finishing a very close second to Mitt Romney.

    Romney won six states on Tuesday, including Massachusetts, where he served as governor. Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. Ron Paul was shut out, winning no states and only picking up a little more than 20 delegates.

    Santorum’s showing on Tuesday means the race for the GOP nomination continues. The focus now shifts to Kansas, which holds it caucuses on Saturday. Then it’s on to Alabama’s primary on March 13th. Pennsylvania Republicans go to the polls on April 24th, and with every Santorum win, it’s looking more and more like the primary race will still be undecided once the vote comes to the Keystone State. If so, it would be the second time in the last two elections that Pennsylvania’s primary mattered. In 2008, the hotly-contested Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton gave us six weeks of heavy campaigning in the Commonwealth.


Super Tuesday Showdown

    Voters in ten states go to the polls today for their primary elections. Of course, all eyes are on the GOP presidential primary, as Republicans today have the chance to send a clear message about who they want to run against President Obama this fall.

    Much of the attention today will be on neighboring Ohio, where front-runners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have been neck-and-neck in the polls heading into today’s vote. Romney is coming off a win in the Washington caucuses last weekend, while Santorum is hoping to regain his February momentum by appealing to the most conservative wing of the party.

    The other states voting on this Super Tuesday are Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. Pennsyvania’s primary will be held April 24th.


Santorum Falls Short in Arizona & Michigan

    The roller coaster ride that is the 2012 Republican presidential primary season continued Tuesday with votes in Arizona and Michigan. The Michigan primary was of particular interest as it is Mitt Romney’s home state, where his father served as governor.

    On Tuesday, Romney got exactly what he needed: a double victory over the surging Rick Santorum. Romney topped Santorum by about 3 points in Michigan and defeated him soundly in Arizona. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul were distant also-rans in each contest. Santorum’s campaign had stumbled a bit in recent weeks over the contraception issue and his campign tactics in Michigan, which Romney called “a new low.” Santorum funded robo-calls to democrats, urging them to switch parties to vote against Romney. Michigan’s primary is open to all voters, meaning a voter can request either party’s ballot in a primary election.

    Santorum vows to continue his campaign. Next up, the Washington state caucuses on March 3rd and then Super Tuesday on March 6th. That’s when voters in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming go to the polls.

Rick Santorum Finishes a Strong 2nd in Iowa

    Rick Santorum proved on Tuesday night that you don’t have to finish in first place to score a victory. His strong and surprising 2nd-place finish in the Iowa caucuses has earned him new respect and the attention of talking heads throughout the political world. In a near photo-finish, Santorum finished just 8 votes behind Mitt Romney, making it the closest finish in the history of the Iowa caucuses (30,015-to-30,007).

    Santorum still faces serious fundraising issues heading into New Hampshire, but a similar strong showing there could vault Santorum’s status and his bank account.

    In Iowa, Santorum was lifted by the evangelical Christian vote, a block that does not have the same level of influence in New Hampshire, but the former Pennsylvania Senator has spent more time in the Granite State than just about any other GOP candidate in the past year. We’ll find out on Tuesday of next week if Santorum’s strong showing in Iowa provides enough momentum to lift him to similar results in New Hampshire’s primary.

    Santorum is wasting no time in making his final-week push in New Hampshire. He’s scheduled to appear at a town hall meeting tonight in Brentwood.