Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

Vetting the local candidates on your primary ballot

Plus, bankrupt Pa. city 'could cease to exist.'

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.

Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Election studies, city shutdown, Democrat island, college chaos, post-Roe data, planned expansion, and town crier wanted. This is PA Post.

Our latest deep-dive into how an alleged corruption scheme in the city of DuBois, Pa., went on for years without anyone noticing is the latest example of the need for tough, nonpartisan investigative reporting across Pennsylvania. That's what Spotlight PA is all about. Help sustain and expand our vital investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account by making a one-time or recurring gift to Spotlight PA now.

As a special bonus, all new monthly gifts will be matched at their ANNUAL value — that's a 12X match. We can't do this vital work without your support.

You can also give via PayPal here, or send a check to: Spotlight PA, 228 Walnut St., #11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Thank you!

—Christopher Baxter, editor in chief

Along with statewide races for Pennsylvania's appellate courts, this year’s primary will also feature elections for school boards, mayorships, councils, local judgeships, and more, depending on where you live.

Spotlight PA has a guide to finding your sample ballot, vetting your local candidates, scanning their endorsements, and possibly learning who is funding their campaign (some counties make this easy, most don't). 

Read the full report: Pa. primary election 2023: A basic guide to vetting candidates for school board, judge, and more.

THE CONTEXT: Pennsylvania has a closed, partisan primary system. Only Democrats can vote for Democratic candidates vying to move to the November general election. The same goes for Republicans.

But all voters, including those who are unaffiliated or who are registered to a third party, can vote on local ballot initiatives and in special elections that coincide with a spring primary. There are two specials on May 16, one in Delaware County and one in and around Northumberland County.

Join Spotlight PA at 6 tonight for a free virtual panel on the candidates for state Supreme Court and why this election matters.


"His beliefs are not even good Biblical criticism or theology. I decided not to participate in giving him a platform."

—Transgender scholar Deirdre McCloskey, who backed out of a "transgenderism and womanhood" debate at Pitt against right-wing commentator Michael Knowles; the event was slated for next week
» How Spotlight PA will cover Pa.'s 2023 primary election

» How to vote, find your polling place, understand mail ballots

» A guide to vetting candidates for school board, judge, and more

» A guide to the Commonwealth, Superior Court candidates

» Los candidatos a la Corte de la Commonwealth y Cortes Superiores

» A guide to the Pa. Supreme Court candidates

» High court candidates with party backing show fundraising edge

» Guía completa de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del Estado

» Court decision does little to clear up ballot curing confusion

» Register to vote in the May 16 primary here; deadline May 1

» Request your mail ballot for the May 16 primary; deadline May 9

Support Spotlight PA's public-service election and voting coverage now. Become a sustaining monthly donor and get your gift matched 12X! 
PRIMARY PRIMER: Join us TODAY from 6-7 p.m. ET via Zoom for a free panel on Pa.’s Supreme Court candidates and why the 2023 election matters. Register here and submit questions to events@spotlightpa.org
An abandoned 19th century well site in the forest in Aleppo Township, Greene County, via Colleen N. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag @spotlightpennsylvania.
Old well site equipment in the woods.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.CITY CRASH: The state-appointed receiver who filed for bankruptcy on behalf of Chester last year says the city's finances are so bad it could cease to exist. WHYY reports Receiver Michael Doweary is weighing disincorporating the city, a move he wants to avoid. Doweary’s office says recovery plan and bankruptcy pushback from local officials has prevented his office from rescuing the city's finances.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.'TUG OF WAR': Pennsylvania's 72nd Legislative District in Cambria County has more registered Republicans than Democrats but remains "a lone blue dot" in a sea of red, the Tribune-Democrat reports. With Democrats holding a one-seat majority in the state House, attention is being paid to the anomalous district and challenging its eight-term Democratic incumbent, state Rep. Frank Burns.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.LATE NOTICE: Pitt is reviewing its emergency notification system after hoax active shooter calls led to chaotic evacuations on campus this week. WESA reports the school did not send out a message to students or employees for more than an hour. At least one bullet was fired by a responding police officer who shot at a locked door to break the glass and gain entry to the Hillman Library building.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.POST-ROE: A new report counts 32,000 fewer legal abortions in the U.S. after June's overturning of Roe v. Wade. In Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.) is lauding last week's federal court decision to curb access to medication abortions nationwide. Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro is vowing to protect access here while facing calls to end state funding of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.CHIP PLANT: Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has pledged more than $1 million in state grants for the expansion of a Schuylkill County facility supporting the production of semiconductors. The AP reports an electronics subsidiary of German health-care giant Merck says it will spend $300 million to expand the Hometown facility where special gases used in semiconductor manufacturing will be produced.

PAPER RECORD: The Daily Collegian has a look at 136 years of Penn State history through the eyes of the student-run newspaper, which is currently appealing a steep funding cut from the university.

LOGGED OFF: Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WESA is logging off of Twitter for the time being, citing the social media company's antagonistic relationship with NPR and the media under owner Elon Musk. Background here.

PICK PAUSE: Pennsylvania says this spring, leave the dandelions alone. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the weeds are good for insects, wildlife, and even the soil

FIRE WARNING: As a wildfire burned in New Jersey's Pine Barrens on Wednesday, Pennsylvania was placed under a "red flag" wildfire warning due to low humidity, moderate winds, and dry conditions.  

CRY ABOUT IT: Hear ye, hear ye: Easton is hiring a town crier, @MollyBilinski reports. The position is voluntary, unpaid, and costumed.

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: Participatory

Congrats to our daily winners: Becky C., Wendy A., Irene R., Barbara F., Susan D., Jon W., Lynne E., Susan N.-Z., Don H., Elaine C., Jane R., Dianne K., Craig W., Kimberly D., Dennis M., Bill S., Stanley J., Tom M., Sarah B., David W., Nancy S., and Elizabeth W.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
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.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
228 Walnut St., #11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.