WEATHER: Philadelphia: sunny, high of 51; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 56; Pittsburgh: sunny, high of 58.


* In the wake of victories across the state that saw Democrats capture all four available statewide appellate court seats, win executive races in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, and sweep several school board races, the chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party believes there are several lessons to take away from the Nov. 7 general election results. 

* As the crowd at Cannstatters in Northeast Philadelphia watched the third presidential debate Wednesday night – barely 24 hours after what was widely seen as a disappointing election for Republicans in Pennsylvania – there was a sense that those in the bar wanted to see something different than what the GOP has presented voters in recent years. 

* In last week’s Winners & Losers, we saw the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police elect a new president, a Blair County judge lose a retention election and more.


* High-stakes, high-spending partisan campaigns could become standard for judicial elections in Pennsylvania, a premier presidential battleground state where the state Supreme Court has issued pivotal decisions on major election-related cases in recent years, The Associated Press reports. 

* Pennsylvania lawmakers are signaling a willingness to move legislation after a year that’s seen a prolonged dispute over spending and few bills cross the finish line. With little fanfare, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro has recently signed several bills that chip away at the state’s five-month-old budget impasse by addressing issues in need of immediate attention, Spotlight PA reports. 

* Pennsylvania leads the nation in Lyme disease cases, and the continued development of forested areas increases people’s risk of being bitten by the species of tick that transmits the illness, Spotlight PA reports. 

* Philadelphia’s building trades are likely to continue to hold and exert significant influence in City Hall next year when Parker takes office. And this year’s election proved that John Dougherty’s legal trouble is not damaging the trades’ political power, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* Sinceré Harris and Aren Platt were the architects of a campaign that culminated in Parker’s history-making victory last week. And come January, they will be two of the most important officials in the administration of Philadelphia’s first female mayor, the Inquirer reports. 

* Cherelle Parker’s elevation to become the first woman in history to serve as mayor of America’s sixth-largest city and the birthplace of democracy has been, for many, a long time coming. It’s been described as an inspirational moment for Black women, in particular, who finally see themselves represented in the city’s highest office, the Inquirer reports. 

* Chris Santa Maria was asked in 2016 by a state teachers’ union officer to run for one of the unpaid trustee seats on the board that oversees the taxpayer-funded school pension system PSERS. He couldn’t have anticipated what else lay ahead: bad math, boardroom revolts, factional division, federal investigations, weekly secret meetings, executive departures and market collapses that made billions disappear, the Inquirer reports. 

* As the City of Chester on Friday marks the first anniversary of its entry into a rare and often tempestuous municipal bankruptcy that likely will continue at least two more years, Mayor-elect Stefan Roots says the state-appointed receiver is looking for “every dollar,” the Inquirer reports.

* Point Park University President Chris Brussali began to publicly promote a new seven-year strategic plan passed by the board – dubbed Pioneer Vision 2030 – that he hopes will turn around the university’s fortunes. One of the biggest measures of its success will be an attempt to bring its enrollment just above its peak level in 2017, a 30% increase from its current level, WESA reports.

* Bathroom bans and other provisions targeting transgender students have cropped up in a number of Pennsylvania school districts in recent years, part of a wave of state and local laws to restrict everything from trans health care to participation in sports, USA Today Network reports. 

* A lawsuit brought by conservative parents over religious exemptions to West Shore School District’s character-building program is expected to be settled after the parties agreed to a final stipulation in the case, PennLive reports.  


* The Philadelphia Inquirer has an op-ed from Sharon D. Wright Austin and N’Jhari Jackson, who write that African American women who are chosen to lead at the local government level routinely experience racism and sexism and are often held to a higher standard than their white counterparts.

* PennLive has an op-ed from U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, who writes that if Congress doesn’t act, the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania households and the tens of millions of American families that rely on the Affordable Connectivity Program will be kicked off the program, likely leading to families being forced to give up their broadband access.


* Conservative activists for parental rights in education were dealt several high-profile losses in state and school board elections on Tuesday. The results suggest limits to what Republicans have hoped would be a potent issue for them leading into the 2024 presidential race – how public schools address gender, sexuality and race, The New York Times reports. 

* South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate, announced on Sunday that he was suspending his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination after months of struggling to gain ground in polling with an uplifting message that was out of step with today’s party, The Washington Post reports.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Rep. Ryan BizzaroWant to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to


9:15 a.m. – The House Human Services Committee meets, Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg. Watch here.

10 a.m. – The House Education Committee meets, Room 515, Irvis Office Building. Watch here.

10 a.m. – The House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee meets, Room G50, Irvis Office. Watch here.

10:30 a.m. – The Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee meets to approve the 2022 Annual Report and hold an informational meeting with the PIAA, 8E-B, East Wing. 

11 a.m. – PennDOT, Pennsylvania State Police, PEMA, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, National Weather Service and AAA representatives will come together to highlight holiday travel safety, Rest Stop on I-81 at approximately MM 80. 

12 p.m. – The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee meets, Room 8E-A, East Wing. Watch here.

12:30 p.m. – The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meets, Room 461, Main Capitol. 

Off the Floor – The Senate Appropriations Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room. 

Off the Floor – The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room.  

Off the Floor – The Senate State Government Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room. 

Off the Floor – The Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee meets, Rules Committee Conference Room. 

Call of Chair – The House Appropriations meets, Room 140, Main Capitol. Watch here.

Call of Chair – The House Education Committee meets, Room 515, Irvis Office. Watch here.

Call of Chair – The House Judiciary Committee meets, Room 523, Irvis Office. Watch here.


“Judicial elections used to be sleepy affairs, and that’s changed in recent years both in Pennsylvania and across the country.” – Shanin Specter of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, via the AP

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