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Tom Wolf declared Dem gubernatorial victor ... now sort through the details

Published by Post-Gazette on .

demgovernorcandidates480

PG Politics Editor Jim O'Toole offers a first take on preliminary results showing Pennsylvania Democrats tonight picking millionaire businessman Tom Wolf as their nominee to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett after Wolf dug deep into his own pocket to finance months of folksy TV ads that catapulted him to the top of a four-way race. A quick out-take from the top of his report:

His [Wolf's] victory over a strong field of Democratic competitors with more extensive political resumes sets the stage for an election that will test the unbroken Pennsylvania tradition of rewarding incumbent governors with a second term.

And now you can illuminate the granular details of that victory at our Primary Election page with county-by-county tabulations plus more details on other down ballot contests.

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Rap Master Malloy

Published by James O'Toole on .

No matter what happens in in the ballotting, the highlight of this primary for Early Returns will be our old colleague Dan Malloy's rap on the election lineup in Georgia.   Dan's hanging his hat in the Washington bureau of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution these days.  Even if you don't care about Georgia politics,  but then, who doesn't, this is must-see TV.


 

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Primary day is here

Published by Karen Langley on .

It's primary day, and the polls are open.

It you missed it Sunday, read James O'Toole's rundown of the Democratic primary for governor. It ledes: 

Tom Wolf entered the election year with name recognition and party support that was within the margin of error of invisible. Five months later, polls suggest he is poised to seize the Democratic nomination for governor by a commanding margin in Tuesday's primary.

And an interesting point:

If Mr. Wolf were to win the nomination Tuesday and go on to prevail in the general election, he would be the first governor since the late Milton Shapp to capture the state's top job without having held another significant elected office.

Another similarity between Mr. Wolf and Shapp: Both were millionaire businessman who leveraged their own fortunes in bids for political victory.

But really, read the whole thing.

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Suffolk U: Bellwethers for Wolf

Published by Karen Langley on .

Like statewide polls, a survey of "tightly screened Democratic voters" in the bellwether counties of Susquehanna and Wayne shows Tom Wolf walking away Tuesday with the nomination to take on Gov. Tom Corbett.

Suffolk University, in Boston, uses bellwethers -- parts of a state in which electoral outcomes mirror those of the whole state -- to predict winners. The model has been 85 percent accurate in forecasting the top vote-getter, though it is not designed to predict margins of victory, the university says.

In the last Democratic primary for governor, in 2010, the outcomes in Susquehanna and Wayne counties, both in the northeast, reflected the statewide order of the finishers. Suffolk University shows the 2010 results in this chart:

Candidate Statewide %Susquehanna %Wayne %
Dan Onorato 45 48 50
Jack Wagner  24 22 22
Anthony Williams 18 18 17
Joseph Hoeffel   13 12 10

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McGinty on "second chances"

Published by Karen Langley on .

McGinty diner

When Katie McGinty stopped at the Front Street Diner in Harrisburg on Wednesday, people gathered to meet her brought up a topic that hasn't gotten much attention at debates or in ads.

They talked about how long-ago criminal convictions can hinder people's efforts to become productive members of society because of problems finding work and housing.

Marsha Banks, who runs a non-profit organization in Harrisburg that serves former prisoners, mentioned her own conviction 20 years ago and spoke of the expungement legislation sponsored by state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, a McGinty supporter who co-hosted the diner event.

McGinty sounded sympathetic: "People aren't getting a sentence -- they're really getting a life sentence, because they can't get out."

In an interview after the event, the Rendell-era DEP secretary said the state should invest in education and job-training programs, but that it also should adopt policies designed to give second chances to people with criminal offenses in their pasts.

"I have seen story after story of a vicious circle of young people who come out, having made a minor mistake, not able to get a job, not able to get housing and therefore turning right back to a life of crime, not as their first choice but as their only resort," she said. 

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