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GOP voters largely undecided weeks from primary

Plus, state universities freeze tuition once again.


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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
April 15, 2022
Candidate support, fracking fails, price freeze, misconduct claims, Yass king, mask check, and soldiers get stuck in the trees. Happy Friday!
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With just a month to go until the May 17 primary, many Republican voters are still undecided about their pick for governor, a new poll shows.

Nearly 50% of respondents to a Franklin & Marshall survey said they had yet to pick from the nine GOP candidates who will be on the ballot or didn't prefer any of them.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who has risen to prominence by promoting false allegations of widespread election fraud, came in first among the candidates with 15%, followed by former federal prosecutor Bill McSwain (12%) and ex-U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (10%). 

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running unopposed for the Democratic nod. 

The picture was much the same for the GOP U.S. Senate primary race, with 49% of voters surveyed still without a preference or currently decided against the seven candidates on the ballot. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick virtually tied for first, with 16% and 15%, respectively. 

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, on the other hand, has a sizable advantage on the Democratic side of the U.S. Senate race, with 41% support in the poll. 

THE CONTEXT: The poll results for the GOP U.S. Senate race come with a major asterisk, PennLive points out: The survey was primarily conducted before former President Donald Trump endorsed Oz.

Trump has still yet to pick his favorite from among the large gubernatorial field, though he has publicly announced he won't support McSwain

Pennsylvania has closed primaries, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for their party's candidates (independents and other voters, however, can still vote during a primary on ballot questions). 

If you aren't registered to vote in the May 17 primary, register here before May 2; if you don't know if you're registered, check here. Mail ballots can be requested here by May 10 but the sooner the better.
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“It’s an honor to be recognized as a member of Congress who is personally sanctioned by the totalitarian government of Russia because I choose to stand for freedom, democracy, and the people of Ukraine.”

U.S. Rep. John Joyce (R., Pa.) on being on one the hundreds of U.S. lawmakers recently hit with retaliatory sanctions by Russia

» BROKEN RULES: Join us Wednesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. EST via Zoom for a free discussion on Pa.'s medical release law for state prisoners, who the law impacts, and the strain it places on people in prison, their families, and taxpayers. Register here and submit questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
Harrisburg Senators opening night, via @yatskoSend us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
BOOM TIMES: A Pittsburgh-area nonprofit blames Pennsylvania's Department of Health, various governors, and the General Assembly for ignoring or underestimating the public health impacts of the fracking boom. A white paper from the Environmental Health Project says that in a rush to reap the economic benefits of fracking, the state prioritized the industry's needs over those of the public, via EHN.

TUITION FREEZE: A tuition freeze at state-run universities will continue for a fourth straight year, the AP reports. Students will continue to pay $7,716 in base tuition for 2022-23 and the technology fee is also staying the same. The 14-school system is seeking more funding from the state legislature, arguing it has kept its end of a deal to trim costs. In the latest on that front, the Post-Gazette reports two Edinboro dorms are going up for sale to reduce unused inventory.

ALLEGED MISCONDUCT: Bloomberg has an in-depth look at the misconduct allegations against Frank Snyder, who was recently elected president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFL-CIO. The outlet spoke to a woman who "says she faced routine humiliations and witnessed other female colleagues endure the same." A Snyder spokesperson called the accusations "unfounded." The investigation into Snyder was first reported by the Capital-Star.

MONEY MAN: Jeff Yass is not only the richest person in Pennsylvania, he also had the sixth-highest income of any American between 2013 and 2018. Despite his wealth, Yass — co-founder of a trading firm and a powerful money player in politics — pays a lower income tax rate than most Americans, the Inquirer reports using data collected by ProPublica.

MASK MODEL? Philadelphia plans to reinstate its indoor mask mandate Monday, a move automatically triggered by a risk measurement system that looks at COVID-19 case counts in the city, among other criteria. WHYY examines how the process compares to other areas, and whether it's too sensitive or a useful model that should be replicated
HAZING CASE: A Tamaqua Area High School football player expelled over an alleged hazing incident involving teammates has now been charged with related misdemeanor and summary counts, the Times News reports. A federal lawsuit alleging a coverup has been filed against the district. 

PAIN PARK: A New York woman is suing Westmoreland County over a giant slide at Mammoth Park in Mount Pleasant that she says left her injured. It's the fourth such lawsuit involving the 100-foot steel racing slide.

ON REPARATIONS: A group of Philadelphia Quakers is planning a series of events and services intended to return $500,000 to Black Germantown residents over the next decade as a form of reparations, per Billy Penn.

'HOLY EXPERIMENT': Tonight marks the start of Passover, Easter is Sunday, and the holy month of Ramadan is in full swing. In 2018, the AP took a look at the role religious tolerance played in the founding of Pennsylvania.

CRASH LANDING: Six U.S. soldiers practicing parachute jumps from a helicopter got stuck in trees at Gettysburg National Military Park on Tuesday. Wind was a factor, per Fox43. Two of the soldiers had to be rescued.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.

*This week's theme: Spring cleaning
Yesterday's answer: Degreaser

Congrats to our daily winners: Barbara F., Craig W., Mike B., Kevin H., David S., Don H., Jill M., Ted W., Bonnie R., Becky C., Michelle T., Diane P., Susan N.-Z., Kevin M., Eddy Z., Pat B., Susan R., Susan D., Chris H., Elaine C., Deb N., Beth T., George S., Heidi B., Judith D., John F., Nancy S., Kimberly S., Starr B., Bill S., James B., David W., Dianne K., Kyle C., Elizabeth W., John H., and Starr B.
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