Traffic court abolished, local races shaken up on Pa. primary day

Traffic court abolished, local races shaken up on Pa. primary day

Who says politics is boring? Pollsters were embarrassed and cynical predictions about local races were disproven during Pennsylvania’s primary on Tuesday.

Kate McGinty, the former state environmental protection director, was nominated as Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in November.

While some polls showed former Navy admiral Joe Sestak far ahead of her in the primary, with Braddock Pa. mayor John Fetterman in third place in the single digits, McGinty came out ahead of Sestak with 44 percent to his 33 percent, while Fetterman got 20 percent of the vote.

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Despite early returns on primary day showing him with a lead, indicted Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah was eventually defeated by challenger state rep. Dwight Evans, with 42 percent over Fattah’s 34 percent of the vote.

Fattah’s trial on federal corruption charges is scheduled to begin in May. Evans will go against Republican James Jonesin November for the seat.

In the race to succeed Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who is not seeking re-election and will leave office at the end of the year,Montgomery County commissioner Josh Shapiro edged out Western Pennsylvania prosecutor Stephen Zappala.

Shapiro’s popularity rose and fell abruptly in Philly, particularly taking a hit when the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers removed their endorsement of him from their website. According to theInquirer, the removal was a response to his acceptance of a donation by the pro-charter school group Students First PA.

That didn’t stop him from winning with 47 percent of the vote to Zappala’s 36 percent.He’ll go against Republican opponent state sen. John Rafferty in November.

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Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters formally abolished the famously corrupt Philadelphia Traffic Court, while in Philadelphia, voters also came out in favor of establishing a permanent Commission on African American Males. The commission is designed to “study and recommend responses to challenges facing African-American males in Philadelphia.”

The D.A.’s office said their election fraud task force received 81 calls with complaints about things like electioneering and poll conduct, but no “major issues” were reported.

The biggest problem during primary day seems to have been the voting machines left locked in a closet at a polling place.

Commissioner Al Schmidt said he and other city employeeshad to break in to the closet to get the machines out on Tuesday.