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Pa. elections heighten 2022 anxiety for Democrats

Plus, Pa. official sues Trump, Giuliani over Big Lie


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November 4, 2021
Political headwinds, election results, defamation claim, detention state, police tactics, Parnell allegations, and an open vault. It's Thursday. Happy Diwali.
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"Who the Republican Party didn't beat was her husband, powerbroker Jonathan Saidel. He solely raised as much money sitting on a bar stool in their condo as all their special interests groups combined."

—Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Maria McLaughlin's campaign touting her husband's fundraising prowess after Tuesday's loss
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» ALLEGHENY COUNTY: Women and Black candidates led the way in county court races, while The Advocate reports Xander Orenstein became the first nonbinary person elected to a judicial position in the United States.

» DELAWARE COUNTY: Democrats Kevin Madden and Richard Womack held onto two county council seats, and the special for Margo Davidson's former state House seat went to Democrat Gina Curry.

» ERIE COUNTY: Republican Brenton Davis won the race for county executive over Democrat Tyler Titus, Pennsylvania's first openly trans elected official.

» LACKAWANNA COUNTY: Democrat Thom Welby won the special election for the state House seat previously held by his former boss, Marty Flynn.

» LEHIGH COUNTY: Allentown voters rejected removing English as the city's official language and elected the city's first Latino mayor.

» NORTHAMPTON COUNTY: Incumbent Democrat Lamont McClure won against Republican Steve Lynch, who threatened school board members over school mask rules.

» WESTMORELAND COUNTY: Republican Nicole Ziccarelli ousted six-term Democratic incumbent John Peck in the race for district attorney. Republicans swept all four county office positions.

» YORK COUNTY: Four Republicans and two Democrats won seats on the Central York School Board, with incumbent Republican Veronica Gemma getting unseated after a high-profile ban on books by or about people of color. 
» RAMP UP: Some Pennsylvania providers already have doses of Pfizer's newly-approved child vaccine (ages 5-11). More will join them as plans to scale up to full capacity start next week.

» SHOT FINDER: CVS and Walgreens are now scheduling child vaccine appointments that will begin over the weekend. Rite Aid said it will start accepting appointments today for slots starting Saturday, per USA Today.

» NEW STUDY: A real-world study of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine finds it is 73.6% effective, CNN reports.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine, use the federal government's online tool, call 1-800-232-0233, or text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
» CANNABIS CONUNDRUM: Join us Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. EST via Zoom for a free Q&A on cannabis as a treatment for opioid use disorder, the debate in the medical community, and a look at what the research says. Register here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
A beautiful Thursday at Hawk Mountain, on the border of Berks and Schuylkill counties. Thanks for the photo, Paul K! Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
SLANDER SUIT: A voting machine warehouse supervisor from Delaware County is suing former President Donald Trump, attorney Rudy Giuliani, and other Big Lie purveyors, saying their allegations of a stolen election in Pennsylvania baselessly defamed his character, per Politico.

DETENTION CENTER: Months after immigration rights advocates celebrated the end of an ICE contract in York County, a project in rural Clearfield County could lead to record numbers of immigrants being incarcerated by federal authorities in Pennsylvania, WITF reports.

OFFICIAL INQUIRY: Lawmakers in the state House are set to vote next week on whether to launch an impeachment probe of Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage. The rare move follows employee accusations of sexual misconduct and calls for his resignation.

TRAFFIC STOPS: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has ordered city police to stop pulling over drivers for low-level offenses that critics say lead to disproportionate stops of minority drivers, the AP reports. Philadelphia is the largest U.S. city to enact such a ban.

ABUSE CLAIMS: Allegations of physical and verbal abuse against Trump-backed U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell have Republicans deeply concerned about his chances in what's expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country next year, per The Hill.

IN MEMORIAM: Cognitive therapy pioneer Dr. Aaron T. Beck died at his home in Philadelphia this week. He was 100 years old. Beck's New York Times obit says his "brand of pragmatic, thought-monitoring psychotherapy" transformed the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

NOW OPEN: The 1.5 million-square-foot, $1.6 billion Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is now taking patients in Philadelphia. Axios reports it's one of the largest hospital projects in the country

HEALTH PLAN: Pennsylvania's Affordable Care Act marketplace is now offering 2022 enrollments and features better deals than years past, The Inquirer reports. Here's what you need to know before signing up.

FOUND MONEY: Pennsylvania has a one-of-a-kind vault with $4 billion worth of unclaimed property inside, per WGAL. State Treasurer Stacy Garrity says the vault is "Ocean's Eleven"-worthy. See if any of your stuff is inside.

WINS, LOSSES: Pittsburgh is officially out of the running for "Best City in America," having been bounced by Chicago after wins over Philadelphia and Charlotte in Twitter's "2021 Gray Invitational."

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: Transportation
Yesterday's answer: Neckdown (soon to be "Sneckdown")

Congrats to our daily winners: Irene R., Bruce T., Michelle T., Jessica K., Judith D., Dan W., Elaine C., James B., Bill S.
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