Republicans headed for judicial sweep in PA

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District Attorney Larry Krasner
Jack Tomczuk

District Attorney Larry Krasner cruised to another four-year term as Philadelphia’s top prosecutor Tuesday, while Republicans appear headed toward a sweep of the statewide judicial contests.

The incumbent, with 96% of the in-person votes and 46,393 mail-in votes tallied Wednesday afternoon, secured 69% of the total, compared to just over 30% for his challenger, Republican attorney Charles Peruto Jr.

“Honored to serve you all for a second term,” Krasner tweeted Tuesday night. “Time to get back to work.”

In a heavily Democratic city, Krasner was widely expected to be reelected after besting long-time prosecutor Carlos Vega in the May primary.

Peruto did well in parts of South and Northeast Philadelphia, earning 81% of the tally in the Far Northeast’s 66th Ward and about three-quarters of the vote in South Philadelphia’s 26th Ward and the 63rd and 58th wards in the Northeast.

However, Krasner share of the ballot eclipsed 90% in broad swaths of West, North and Northwest Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson, a Republican, appears to have beat out Democratic Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Brobson had an advantage of nearly 106,000 votes, carrying just over 52% of the total, as of Wednesday afternoon. Several major media outlets have called the race for Brobson.

Megan Sullivan, a GOP candidate for Superior Court, emerged victorious Tuesday, garnering nearly 56% of ballots, to Democrat Timika Lane’s 44%, according to unofficial state election results posted Wednesday.

Republicans are also ahead in the race to fill two positions on the Commonwealth Court. Stacey Marie Wallace likely won one of the seats, and the GOP’s Drew Crompton held a small lead over Democrat Lori A. Dumas. David Lee Spurgeon, another Democratic candidate, appears to have finished fourth.

City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and 17 judicial candidates for the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court ran unopposed, essentially guaranteeing their positions.

Residents voted “yes” on all four city-wide ballot questions.

The questions asked voters whether whether the city should urge the state to legalize marijuana; whether the city should create a department for fleet services; whether the “rule of two” for civil service jobs should be eliminated; and whether City Council and the mayor should be mandated to devote 0.5% of the municipal budget to affordable housing programs.

Turnout was predictably low, with no particularly high-profile competitive races on the ballot.

About 18.5% of registered voters in Philadelphia participated in the election, according to data uploaded Wednesday by the City Commissioners. The number could rise with mail-in ballots that have yet to be tallied.

Veronica Degraffenreid, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of state, said shortly after polls closed Tuesday night that it was a “very smooth election” with “no major or widespread incidents.”

In Montgomery County, election officials did obtain a court order to extend voting hours at two polling places — Gotwals Elementary School in Norristown and Cole Manor Elementary in East Norriton.

Equipment was delivered to the wrong polling locations, causing a delay in opening, according to the county. Both sites continued to serve voters until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

In addition, county officials said a printing error with mail-in ballots and a “higher than usual” amount of ballots that cannot be read with a scanner affected a combined 23,000 votes.

The misprinted ballots are undergoing a separate counting process approved by both parties and state leaders, and the other votes are being reviewed by bipartisan teams, officials said. Both processes are expected to delay results.

State officials have cautioned residents that tabulating the final results could take days, possibly extending to the end of the week in some cases.

“Counties are committed to counting votes as quickly as they can, but their priority is and must be to accurately and securely count every single eligible vote,” Degraffenreid said.

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