Many local races still too early to call


TPN file photo

Incumbent Mike Doyle (D) easily overcame challenger Luke Negron (R) in the 18th Congressional District.

By Rebecca Johnson, News Editor

With much of the country focused on the presidential race, a number of state and local seats were up for grabs on Tuesday. But many of the elections are still too early to call, as of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

County boards of elections in Pennsylvania must receive mail-in ballots from voters by Friday at 5 p.m., and they must be postmarked on or before Tuesday in order to be counted. This buffer time between the end of the election and the deadline for mail-in ballots means there is still time for election offices to receive and count more votes even after Tuesday as the ballots trickle through the postal system.

Allegheny County said 151,022 of 348,485 ballots received have been scanned as of approximately 12:30 a.m. This is about 43% of the ballots.

Races that are decided
18th Congressional District: Mike Doyle (D, Incumbent)
Doyle easily overcame challenger Luke Negron (R) with 48.44% of precincts reporting. Doyle has 67.09% of the vote compared to Negron’s 32.91%. Doyle — who has been in office since 1995 — supports creating common sense gun laws, defending Social Security and protecting the Affordable Care Act.
Pa. State Senate District 43: Jay Costa (D)
Costa ran unopposed for his Senate seat. He supports more accessible voting through same-day voter registration, and he cosponsored a bill to expand disability benefits for students.
Races that are yet to be called:
Attorney General:
Heather Heidelbaugh (R) currently leads Josh Shapiro (D, Incumbent) with 67.02% of precincts reporting. Heidelbaugh has 53.39% of the vote compared to Shapiro’s 43.81%. Third-party candidate Daniel Wassmer (L) has 1.85% of the vote and Richard Weiss (G) has 0.95%
Heidelbaugh’s campaign focused on corruption within government, the opioid epidemic and special interest groups within politics. She served as chair of the state advisory commission on selection of a U.S. attorney, United States Marshall and federal judiciary.
In his time as attorney general, Shapiro secured national injunctions to protect women’s access to no-cost contraception and served as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Shapiro supports criminal justice reform as well as protecting reproductive rights for women and the Affordable Care Act.
Auditor General:
Timothy DeFoor (R) is ahead of opponent Nina Ahmad (D) with 68.49% of precincts reporting. DeFoor has 56.28% of the vote compared to Ahmad’s 39.38%. Jennifer Moore (L) has 3.24% and Olivia Faison (G) has 1.1%.
Ahmad was the deputy mayor for public engagement under Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and supports increased funding for state-supported education programs and stricter gun legislation. 

DeFoor formerly served as a special investigator in Pennsylvania’s Office of the Inspector General. His campaign goals include ending political loopholes that allow state agencies to keep taxpayer-funded contracts hidden from public knowledge.
Pa. Treasurer:
Stacy Garrity (R) is leading against Joseph Torsella (D, Incumbent) with 68.56% of precincts reporting. Garrity has 55.58% of the vote compared to Torsella’s 40.96%. Third-party challengers Timothy Runkle (G) has 2.31% and Joseph Soloski (L) 1.12%.
Torsella currently serves as state treasurer. He has banned the use of middlemen to win investment contracts as well as created the first conflict-of-interest policy for the treasury.
Garrity served in the U.S. Army Reserve. She also serves on the board of Bradford County United Way and is a trustee of Guthrie Hospital. Garrity supports maintaining the state’s 529 Tuition Assistance Program and returning unclaimed property to taxpayers.
Citizen Police Review Board charter amendment:
The charter amendment has secured a wide lead for approval, roughly 75% to 25%, with 94% of precincts reporting. It would require police officers to cooperate with investigations conducted by the independent Citizen Police Review Board. The board includes seven members who review other citizens’ complaints about police misconduct among City of Pittsburgh police officers.
This amendment would authorize the board to audit the police bureau and change board member removal procedures. Police officers suspected of misconduct would be required to cooperate during a CPRB investigation. In addition, officers could be terminated if they didn’t cooperate with an investigation.