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Pat Toomey to call it quits, races 'wide open'


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Jordan Wolman
October 5, 2020
Toomey to call it quits, Pa.'s prez doctor, an untimely IT outage, a bag of hats, and escaping it all in a rental treehouse. Monday. (Again? Already?)

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey won't run for re-election or seek the governor's office in 2022, sources told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Toomey was widely viewed as a serious contender to run for the governorship in 2022 after the term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf leaves office. Toomey has served in the U.S. Senate since 2011, and previously served in the U.S. House representing Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district.

The Context: This is a big one. Toomey's decision leaves two huge holes in big statewide Pennsylvania races for Republicans. 

Toomey won two tight races to join and then remain in the U.S. Senate. In 2010, he won the election by beating his Democratic opponent by two percentage points. And in 2016, he won even more narrowly, by 1.5 percentage points, walking a tightrope to distance himself from then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Toomey later said he voted for Trump.

Toomey has been a reliable Republican in terms of his voting record. Ballotpedia reports Toomey voted with the Republican Party about 90% of the time in 2013 and 2014, the most recent years its data shows. 

So what does the 2022 field look like now? "Wide open," per Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman. 

“We have no idea, in the president, whether it will hasten his recovery.”

–– Dr. John Mellors, chief of the infectious diseases division at UPMC and an expert in antiviral treatments for HIV and AIDS, on one of the treatments given to President Donald Trump for the coronavirus
POST IT: Another amazing shot submitted by @mark_in_pa of Tuscarora Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park. Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
'DOG WHISTLE': Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put up billboards featuring the faces of people who violated immigration laws and then were arrested or charged with crimes in the U.S. The decision was described by CNN as "an unprecedented move" in a swing state.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Bucks County native Sean Conley, the president's personal physician, has been thrust into the spotlight because of Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, The Morning Call reports. His handling of the situation is under intense scrutiny

WORKING OVERTIME: By 2022, workers who make $45,500 or less will be eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours a week. TribLIVE reports that the biggest beneficiaries will be women and people of color. 

OVERRULED: The state Superior Court agreed with a county judge that the smell of marijuana alone can't form the basis for a vehicle search, the Associated Press reports. Still, the court reversed a Lehigh County judge's ruling in one particular case. 

UNTIMELY OUTAGE: Online voter registration, the form to request a mail-in ballot, and several other services went dark across Pennsylvania state agencies because of an equipment failure at a data center. The outage was first reported Saturday evening and was still not fixed by late Sunday. Election forms can still be downloaded and printed.

STICKING TOGETHER: These two Lancaster County cancer patients are helping each other get through their fight against the disease. Their "traveling bag of hats" is providing solace as they keep pushing through, together.

HOW 'BOUT THEM APPLES: It's autumn, which means sweaters, cider, and apple picking. If you're looking for a spot in the Philadelphia area, this list has you covered.

LIVING A CHILDHOOD DREAM: With all of the stress of *gestures to the world,* you may need an escape. What about a literal treehouse where you can spend the night?

HELLO, CLARICE: Do you want to own an extremely spooky part of movie history? You're in luck: The Fayette County house where "Silence of the Lambs" was filmed is for sale. 

AN UNLIKELY FAVORITE: We all know about the pandemic shortages of 2020, from toilet paper to hand sanitizer to coins. But one of the biggest winners? Tofu. Apparently its popularity is at an all-time high.

Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out the winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.
R O S W C E A R C 

Friday's answer: Constellation

Congrats to last week's winner: 
Theodore W.

Congrats to Friday's winners: Brandie K., Chris W., John C., Irene R., Chip K., Craig W., George D., Alex L., Gail H., Mark O., Lynne E., Tracey C., Carol D., Patricia R., Karen W., Ronald R., Tish M., Dianne K., Craig E., Beth T., and Stuart K. 
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