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Fetterman, Shapiro deliver Democratic wins in Pa.'s marquee midterm races

Plus, Pa. environmentalists look to block a $1.1B recycling plant.


No matter the politician or political party in power, Spotlight PA will never relent in producing independent, nonpartisan investigative and public-service journalism for you. We renew that commitment today, and we need you to make it possible.

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— Colin Deppen, PA Post editor

A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA

Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
November 9, 2022
What happened on Election Day, what happens now, misinformation watch, and Rob Thomson gets snubbed. It's Wednesday. This is PA Post.

Democrat Josh Shapiro has won the election to be Pennsylvania’s 48th governor, cruising to a decisive victory over far-right Republican Doug Mastriano.

The Associated Press called the race for Shapiro early Wednesday morning. 

Mastriano, a state senator from Franklin County, spoke to supporters at a campaign party in Camp Hill shortly before midnight and did not concede.

Read the latest on Shapiro's victory from Spotlight PA

Democrat John Fetterman has also defeated Republican Mehmet Oz to become the state's next U.S. senator, the AP projects.

Find Spotlight PA's comprehensive, on-the-ground Election Day recap here.

NOW WHAT? State officials said Tuesday that some outcomes would likely be slow again due to the prevalence of mail voting and Pennsylvania's continued lack of a pre-canvassing law that would allow a head start on tabulations.

Complicating matters is a last-minute change to Philadelphia’s vote-counting plan, made under pressure from Republicans. Read the full story here.

FACT CHECKS: False and misleading claims were also circulating around Pennsylvania's midterms before and during Election Day.

On Tuesday, Spotlight PA and Votebeat quickly debunked a viral claim that said a Pennsylvania judge had ordered local officials to count mail ballots received six days after Election Day. Read the full fact check here.

Spotlight PA has also debunked several other false and misleading claims in the run-up to Tuesday's balloting. Find that reporting here.

Finally, if you appreciate the tireless coverage you've seen from Spotlight PA these past two months (and continuing in the days and weeks ahead!), please support Spotlight PA and as a special bonus, your gift will be DOUBLED.


"In some areas, I had to pick the lesser of two evils..."

—Daulton Zschunke, of Hazleton, a registered Republican who voted for candidates in both major parties in Tuesday's midterm election
This is Spotlight PA's most important fundraising campaign of the year to sustain our nonpartisan, independent investigative journalism in 2023.

The end of the year is the time to invest in the causes we believe in most. If you've benefitted from Spotlight PA this year, pay it forward and make a generous gift in support of our vital, independent journalism.

As a special bonus, every single dollar you gift will be DOUBLED.

Thanks to the 39 people who gave Tuesday, including Jean W., who said, "Your reporting is fantastic!" Join Jean and give now »
» ABC27: Track Pa. vote counts in key races
» AP: Another state neighboring Pa. approves legalized recreational pot
» INQUIRER: PA's Senate race most expensive in the country (paywall)
» THE HILL: Why the DOJ monitored five Pa. polling sites on Tuesday 
» WITF: Why were there so many unopposed candidates in Pa.? 
Your Election Week moment of zen, courtesy of Cathy Z. Also: I now know yesterday's photo was of a chipmunk in a tree, not a squirrel (ed. note: I'm Colin's editor and I messed this up, I'm bad at rodent identification). Send us your pictures of mystery rodents, or anything, really. Email them to us here, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
ON VIDEO: Mercer County Sheriff Bruce Rosa is defending the deputies seen in viral video disabling home security cameras before detaining someone in a residence over an arrest warrant, per The Herald. Rosa cited officer safety, but this tactic has raised First Amendment concerns around the right to film police and also their ability to interfere with home cameras without a specifying search warrant.

WASTE CASE: A Philly environmental group is taking steps to block a $1.1 billion “advanced” plastics recycling plant on the Susquehanna River in Northumberland County. Inside Climate News reports the move comes months after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration exempted the facility from a pollution-minded permit, and years after the GOP-controlled legislature made that possible.

SURGE TENT: Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and other respiratory illnesses are swamping children's hospitals nationwide this cold and flu season. UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh has opened a treatment tent to expand its capacity by 8 to 10 beds and help meet the growing demand. The hospital reported ER wait times of up to six hours on Tuesday, down from 12 hours last week

SAFE STRIPS: A new law (set to take effect in 60 days) has legalized fentanyl test strips in Pennsylvania after years of lobbying and overdose deaths tied to the powerful opioid. New York City has a useful visual guide to using the strips, while NEXT Distro has a guide to finding and buying them — often for 99 cents a piece or less — and which street drugs should be tested and which shouldn't

INFO VOID: WITF explains how a Pennsylvania assault case that wouldn't normally capture national attention became a right-wing cause célèbre. The case involves the arrest of a 47-year-old Bucks County anti-abortion activist named Mark Houck for an alleged attack on a 72-year-old Planned Parenthood volunteer. WITF reports that few confirmable facts presented ideal conditions for disinformation.

LIFESAVER: A delivery driver for the Tribune-Review newspaper pulled two people, one a stroke survivor, from a burning home in Tarentum on a recent morning route. Afterwards, Jennifer Colarossi said, “I still had about 50 papers to deliver, so I called my daughter... and then went back to work.”

TRANS-ATLANTIC: Reddit has a visualization of two centuries of the Atlantic slave trade that shows ships headed to port in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Tribune says the first shipment came on a vessel named the Isabella that carried 150 enslaved people to Penn's Colony in 1684.

TIL: Deer flies are also carriers of Lyme disease bacterium, but it's not yet known if they can transmit it to humans or pets through a bite. What is clear, entomologists at Penn State report, is that the bug is more widespread in Pennsylvania and the U.S. than previously known, via PennLive.

NO FLOWERS: Rob Thomson, the manager who took a 22-29 Phillies team to the World Series this year, its first since 2009, is not National League Manager of the Year, and you can feel the outrage in this CBS3 report.

ICYMI: Tuesday's record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball prize belongs to a single (!) ticket sold in California, not Pennsylvania. Better luck next time.  

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. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Copyrightable

Congrats to our daily winners: Barbara F., Patricia M., Don H., Susan D., Wendy A., Jon W., Susan N.-Z., Elaine C., Michelle T., James B., Craig W., Kimberly D., Bill S., Stanley J., and David W.
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Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

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