Home News Voters to decide on several key legislative races

Voters to decide on several key legislative races

Election Day is next Tuesday, Nov. 6, and the top local race is in the 177th Legislative District, which will have a new representative for the first time in 34 years.

Election Day is next Tuesday, Nov. 6, and the top local race is in the 177th Legislative District, which will have a new representative for the first time in 34 years.

Republican Rep. John Taylor, elected in 1984, is not running for another term. He recruited Patty-Pat Kozlowski to replace him. She is a longtime community activist and former aide to City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski who resigned from the city Department of Parks and Recreation to run for the seat.

Joe Hohenstein, an immigration lawyer from Northwood, won a four-way Democratic primary. He challenged Taylor in 2016, taking almost 45 percent of the vote.

Hohenstein is backed by SEIU, Working Families, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, Boilermakers 13, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME District Council 47 and Sierra Club.

Koslowski has been endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, International Association of Fire Fighters and Paramedics Local 22, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 21, Steamfitters Local 420, Transport Workers Union Local 234, Elevator Constructors Local 5, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 53, United Union of Roofers Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 30, Laborers’ District Council and KML Regional Council of Carpenters.

Both candidates claim support from Operating Engineers Local 542, with Hohenstein receiving a letter of support in August and Kozlowski receiving a $2,500 check on Oct. 16.

The candidates have each sent nine mailings to voters in the 177th.

In addition, the liberal Pennsylvania Fund for Change has sent a mailing criticizing Kozlowski for calling a drug addict loitering outside her house a “junkie.”

Both candidates oppose safe injection sites.

Kozlowski wants more resources for law enforcement to get drug dealers off the streets and supports addiction treatment centers.

Hohenstein wants to freeze property taxes for senior citizens. On education, he wants to raise teacher pay, offer more career and technical programs, shrink classroom size and says in a mailing, “I’ll drive the bus to get our schools their fair share of school funding.”

The 177th District includes Bridesburg, Northwood and portions of Frankford, Wissinoming, Port Richmond, Tacony, West Mayfair, Holmesburg, Holme Circle and Lexington Park.

Hohenstein will do well in the overwhelmingly Democratic 23rd Ward, based in Frankford, and should handily win the 31st Ward in the southern end of the district.

Kozlowski will need to crush Hohenstein in her home territory in the 25th and 45th wards in Bridesburg and Port Richmond.

The combined vote totals in the 41st, 55th and 64th wards, in the northern part of the district, should be close.

State Rep. Martina White (R-170th dist.) is being challenged by Democrat Mike Doyle:

White has opposed proposed income and sales tax increases. She’s been endorsed by FOP Lodge 5, Fire Fighters and Paramedics Local 22, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 21, the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, Steamfitters 420, Pennsylvania State Troopers, Boilermakers 13, Sprinkler Fitters 692, Sheet Metal Workers 19, Operating Engineers 542, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, Elevator Constructors 5 and Transport Workers Union.

Doyle supports Medicare for All legislation. He’s been endorsed by Barack Obama, Ed Rendell, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFSCME District Council 47, Planned Parenthood, SEIU 32BJ, People for Bernie and Working Families Party.

Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) faces Democrat Daryl Boling. Both candidates are married with three children.

Murt, who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, has opposed proposed sales and income tax increases. He’s been recognized as a “Human Services Champion” and “Voice of Veterans.”

Boling promises to hold town halls and open his office on evenings and weekends. Boling is pro-choice and would support policies to create green jobs. He favors a Medicaid expansion and spending for infrastructure projects. He supports equal pay legislation, an assault rifle ban, universal background checks for gun purchases and measures to control purchases at gun shows. He wants to end gerrymandering, and supports automatic voter registration.

Six local House Democrats are unopposed on Tuesday. They are Reps. Kevin Boyle, Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson, Jason Dawkins, Jared Solomon and Isabella Fitzgerald.

Also unopposed is state Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.).

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat, is running in the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District against Republican David Torres.

In the U.S. Senate race. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. faces Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, the Green Party’s Neal Gale and Libertarian Dale Kerns.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his lieutenant governor running mate, John Fetterman, face Republicans Scott Wagner and Jeff Bartos, the Green Party’s Paul Glover and Jocolyn Bowser Bostick and Libertarians Ken Krawchuk and Kathleen Smith.

According to a RealClear Politics average of recent polls, Wolf leads Wagner by 16.8 percentage points.

RealClear Politics gives Casey a lead of 16.0 points against Barletta.

In an attempt to come back, Republicans are criticizing Wolf and Casey on issues such as sanctuary cities and the caravans of people making their way from Central America to the U.S. southern border.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania spokesman Jason Gottesman said, “Tom Wolf and Bob Casey have repeatedly refused to hold so-called sanctuary cities accountable, leaving open the question of how they plan to handle the migrant caravan heading toward the United States. As Tom Wolf and Bob Casey embark on their statewide bus tour, it is necessary that they be asked about, and held to account for, their positions in light of the thousands of illegal aliens heading to the country’s southern border as part of the migrant caravan.”

The Wagner for Governor campaign is spending $1 million on television ads this week.

In one ad, Wagner says, “If you want to see the failure of Tom Wolf’s policies, just drive through Philadelphia. Rampant crime, failing schools and exploding poverty,” as there are scenes of the city, including a sign that reads, “Welcome to Northeast Philadelphia.”

A city bond questions reads, “Should the City of Philadelphia borrow One Hundred Eighty One Million Dollars ($181,000,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?” ••

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