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Three months ago, the 2020 presidential race was the most important story of the year. The Democratic field was a multi-headed hydra, the caucuses were packed and the debate stage was a battleground for the national zeitgeist.
Then the coronavirus happened.
¿Hable español? Esta guía ha sido traducida por Kensington Voice
Elections were postponed. Millions lost their jobs. Virtually overnight, the nation faced its most sudden economic gutpunch in modern history. Politics? Who had time for politics anymore?
At the same time, government actions took center state. State policymakers emerged to the forefront of the national pandemic response. From PPE to unemployment applications to small business aid, the power of state and local elected officials has been cast in stark relief — and virus or not, it’s time to vote.
Four of Philadelphia’s state senators and all of its state representatives are up for reelection in this year, alongside a slew of statewide officials. Several seats are contested.
The crisis has hit these races particularly hard. Social distancing mandates rendered traditional campaigning impossible, complicating efforts to reach voters and raise money. With door-knocking in the rearview, candidates pivoted to virtual town halls, some even converting their campaigns into COVID-19 resource centers and developing policy platforms around the pandemic.
And it’s all been harder to keep up with than ever. Good news: The Billy Penn procrastinator’s guide is here to help. Take a look through this guide now, then bookmark it for a quick refresher as you fill out your mail-in ballot or head to the polls on Tuesday, June 2.
Still have questions? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your polling place
Are you registered? You can find your voter status here. Where do you vote? Find that here. This will also have info about what ward and division you’re in. You can enter your address here to find all of your district and representation info.
Important note: Polling places will be significantly consolidated this year due to the crisis, so be sure to double- or triple-check your location before going.
If you go vote in person, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Unless it’s your first time voting at a particular location, you do NOT need to show any identification.
For the first time ever, you don’t need a reason to vote by mail in Pennsylvania. This option was made available long before the coronavirus threat became real to Philadelphians — way back in November — but officials say it could help reduce viral spread by allowing people to vote from home.
More than 150,000 Philadelphians have registered to vote by mail so far in the upcoming primary election. That’s a lot of voters — more than a quarter of the usual turnout for a noncontested presidential primary, according to City Commissioner Al Schmidt.
Want to vote remotely? There’s still time to apply: Mail-in ballot applications will be accepted until May 26.
You’ll have to return your ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day — and you won’t have to worry too much about finding a stamp. The United States Postal Service recently confirmed it would get the ballots where they need to go, even if they lack stamps.
Jump to a section:
- U.S. President
- Pa. Attorney General
- Pa. Auditor General
- State Treasurer
- U.S. Congress
- Pa. Senate
- Pa. House of Representatives
Voters will weigh in on two proposed changes to Philly’s Home Rule Charter. Read more about them here:
- Should Philly relax the anti-corruption ban on political activity?
- Should Philly create a permanent labor department to protect workers’ rights?
President of the United States
Donald J. Trump (Incumbent)
Pennsylvania was key to President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory — the state swung Republican with just 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast across the state. Although Philly and its surrounding counties went blue, almost all the rest of Pa. voted red. Our battleground state is expected to be equally important for the incumbent president this time around.
Trump has visited Pennsylvania a few times since he took office. During a December 2019 rally in Hershey, the UPenn alumnus praised the Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania Steel and Hershey chocolate. The president’s visits to Philly have mostly yielded protests — in fact, it was an anti-Trump gathering that first turned Gritty into a mascot of the resistance.
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente is known nationwide as a “serial candidate.” Because there are technically no residency requirements, the Republican Trump challenger has run for Senate in California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming — losing all the primary contests.
De La Fuente says his priorities as president would be reforming the U.S. health care and immigration systems. He also ran for president in 2016, earning less than 1% of the Republican primary vote in Pennsylvania.
Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, suspended his campaign in March, but his name will still appear on the ballot in Pennsylvania.
Weld is a super conservative dude. He’s been repeatedly cited by the Cato Institute as among the most fiscally conservative governors in the country. His proposed policies reflect that. His top priorities include slashing taxes and propping up the economy by ending Trump’s trade wars.
The longshot candidate has struggled to get support from the political establishment. The New York native has said Pennsylvania is a key piece of his strategy to clinch the Republican nomination.
Yes, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential primary, and yes, you can still vote for him in Pennsylvania. The Vermont senator said he decided to remain on the primary ballot to earn as many delegates as possible and hopefully influence the party.
Before the Democratic Socialist dropped out of the race, he had a robust plan for Philadelphia — which included opening five neighborhood campaign offices in the city. Locally, he’s known for protesting the closure of Hahnemann Hospital and buddying up with Councilmember Helen Gym.
When Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, he clocked more than 40% of the vote in Pennsylvania.
Joseph R. Biden
The only Pennsylvanian up for executive office, Joe Biden has a ton of connections to our region. He was born in Scranton before being raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and his wife Jill’s father worked in Chestnut Hill.
The longtime Amtrak and ice cream lover has Big Philly Democratic Establishment Energy. Some prominent local politicians are pulling for the 47th VP, including former mayors Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter. Biden also scored a fundraiser from Comcast VP David Cohen at his Philly home.
Notably, Biden didn’t get an immediate endorsement from Mayor Jim Kenney — who opted for former candidate Elizabeth Warren instead.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii dropped out of the primary in March — after clinging for dear life weeks after many other Democratic candidates dropped out. Still, like Sanders, her name will be on Pennsylvania’s ballot, so you can still vote for her.
A veteran, Gabbard is the first female combat veteran to run for president. She’s big on national security, having served on the foreign affairs, armed services and homeland security committees.
Also, one time, she did a meet and greet at Philly’s Love City Brewing Company.
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Philly has three congressional districts under the recently redrawn map — two which cover most of the city and one that includes part of South Philly. You vote for one candidate on either ticket.
Brendan F. Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)
Incumbent Brendan Boyle’s been in the U.S. House since 2015. Before that, the Harvard grad worked as a Pennsylvania state rep for six years. Since he became a federal official, the 2nd district legislator has backed Democratic causes, like raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, and also railed against Trump.
In 2018, Boyle filed the infamous Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act — also known as the STABLE GENIUS Act. Basically, it would ensure a president is fit to lead by requiring they undergo a medical exam by the secretary of the navy and report the results. Burn.
Fun fact: Boyle and his brother, Kevin, are the first brothers to serve simultaneously in Pennsylvania’s state house.
David Torres (Republican)
The name might look familiar — David Torres ran for the exact same seat, against the exact same opponent, in 2018. The East Torresdale resident earned 21% of the 2nd district vote that year, and now he’s taking another crack at it.
Torres is a retired sales manager who lost his son three years ago to a fatal opioid overdose. He has said he wants to reevaluate the current resources dedicated to Philly’s addiction epidemic and work toward humane immigration reform.
Dwight Evans (Democrat, incumbent)
Germantown native Dwight Evans first scored his U.S. House seat in 2016, defeating then-indicted incumbent Chaka Fattah. Evans is an alum of a handful of Philly schools: CCP, La Salle and Temple. He worked as an employment counselor at the Urban League of Philadelphia, a Philly public school teacher and a Pa. representative for a few decades.
In Congress, Evans introduced a bill to ban confederate monuments on federal property. He’s also served as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Michael Harvey (Republican)
West Philadelphia native Michael Harvey is vying for the 3rd district seat after working for 15 years as a paralegal. The Temple alum is a veteran of the Navy and the Air Force, plus he’s a block captain and a 60th ward committeeperson.
Mary Gay Scanlon (Democrat, incumbent)
The 5th district representative Mary Gay Scanlon is now seeking her second full term. She took over Pat Meehan’s seat in 2018 after he revealed that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment case.
Scanlon graduated from UPenn with a law degree, and throughout her career, she’s mostly worked on public interest law. She’s coordinated free legal services for people with low incomes, and worked as an attorney at the Education Law Center.
In Congress, Scanlon has supported universal pre-K and marijuana decriminalization. She’s stopped short of backing a federal $15 minimum wage, calling it an eventual “goal, but I do think we need to be careful and probably stage it.”
Rob Jordan (Republican)
A lifelong Democrat, Rob Jordan came out as gay 30 years ago and always felt obligated to support the Democratic party. But 10 years ago, he swapped parties and in 2016 he voted for Trump in 2016.
Now running for the 5th district seat, Jordan recently relaunched the Pennsylvania Log Cabin Republicans — the local chapter of a national LGBTQ Republicans group.
He’s come to support more conservative causes: Jordan said he’s OK with banning transgender people from the military, and he’s against abortion and Philly’s proposed supervised injection site.
Dasha Pruett (Republican)
Dasha Pruett moved to the U.S. from Russia when she was just 10 years old — and she’s used her migration as a catalyst for her political career. After being raised in a socialist country, the Drexel Hill resident has built her entire platform around rejecting socialism. That’s basically her whole thing.
She cites upholding the Second Amendment and halting funding to Planned Parenthood among her top priorities. On Facebook, Pruett shares memes advocating to “make Delco great again” and reopen society amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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The attorney general is the state’s top prosecutor, tasked with investigating and charging thousands of criminal cases every year. Both the Demcorat and Republican candidates are running unopposed in the primary.
Josh Shapiro (Democrat, incumbent)
In 2018, incumbent Josh Shapiro dropped a scathing and expansive grand jury report on sex abuse inside the Catholic church. It named 301 “predator priests,” more than 1,000 victims and pointed a finger at the entire diocese where officials actively covered up the scandal. The report ignited an avalanche of victims’ accounts, and led to state legislation that extended the statute of limitations for Catholic church abuse victims.
Shapiro earned his political chops as a staffer for various congressmen including as Chief of Staff for Pa. Congressman Joe Hoeffel. After four terms as a state Rep., the Montco native was elected to his hometown’s Board of Commissioners twice before a successful run for state attorney general.
Heather Heidelbaugh (Republica)
Unlike Shapiro, Heidelbaugh is running for AG with decades of previous career experience as a trial attorney. The Western Pa. Republican, originally from Saint Louis, told Pittsburgh’s WESA she believes incumbent Shapiro pursues “headline-grabbing” cases to raise his political profile.
Heidelbaugh and Shapiro do agree on using the AG’s office to tackle addiction, noting that the opioid epidemic has especially harmed rural communities on her campaign website.
She served one term as an at-large Allegheny County City Council member.
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With incumbent Eugene DePasquale running for Congress out of the 10th District, the field is wide open for a new auditor general. Here’s a look at those vying for the office, charged as the government spending watchdog.
H. Scott Conklin
Some voters will see H. Scott Conklin’s name on their ballot twice. The 77th District state rep. is running for that seat’s reelection and for Auditor General.
Conklin is a seven-term state rep. who has represented Centre County since 2007. There, he’s Democratic chair of the Gaming and Oversight Committee. As auditor general, Conklin wants to downsize the legislature, impose term limits and institute early voting. After AG Josh Shapiro’s 2018 grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic church, Conklin introduced a measure that would stiffen penalties for anyone who failed to report abuse.
This isn’t Conklin’s first bid for statewide office. He won the 2010 Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Allegheny County’s Dan Onorato but lost to Republican Tom Corbett and Jim Cawly.
Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb has held that role since 2008. As City Controller, Lamb opened data about all of Pittsburgh’s city contracts, campaign contributions and expenses. Lamb was a co-founding board member for Pittsburgh’s public school advocacy organization, A+ Schools.
Before taking on the role of controller, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of the city, and ran for mayor again in 2013 before dropping out and endorsing another candidate. This time around, Lamb says he’s focussed on tackling public corruption. He has support in the Philly region, too: Mayor Jim Kenney endorsed him.
Lamb is a Penn State grad and got his law degree from Duquesne University. Congressman Connor Lamb is his nephew.
Tracie Fountain has worked inside the auditor general’s office for nearly three decades. Most recently the Audit Bureau Director, Fountain resigned in the fall with hopes to lead the office. She’s also had time leading the office’s school audits, state-aided audits, Volunteer Firefighter Relief Association audits, liquor audits and the children and youth services audits.
According to her campaign website, Fountain wants to address personnel matters within the office, which saw its budget cut by 10% last year.
A Pittsburgh native, Fountain attended Drexel University for undergrad where she got a degree in accounting. She’s a certified public accountant.
Rose Marie “Rosie” Davis
Rose Marie Davis, or Rosie, is an Oklahoma native who’s lived in Monroe County for 8 years.
She is a certified public accountant with a three-decade accounting career largely outside of state and local government. She’s worked in corporate auditing at private firms including PriceWaterhouseCoopers, her campaign website says.
Davis’ big ticket issues include increasing efficiency and transparency within the elderly care program system and an audit of school spending statewide.
Nina Ahmad’s name might be familiar to Philadelphians.
She was the president of the local National Organization of Women chapter and served as deputy mayor for public engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney before resigning in 2017 to run for Bob Brady’s then-congressional seat. Not long after, Ahmad pivoted to run a last-minute race for Lt. Governor where she came in 2nd place. Ahmad immigrated to Pennsylvania from her native Bangladesh at 21 and earned a Ph.D in Chemistry from Penn.
Her priorities for the auditor general’s office include improving access to healthcare by addressing issues like price gouging. She’s been endorsed locally by the Southwest coalition, which includes Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, state Reps. Joanna McClinton and Jordan Harris and Sen. Anthony Williams.
Christina M. Hartman
Nonprofit consultant Christina Hartman believes her experience managing government-funded projects, some with budgets up to $44 million, help qualify her for a role as the state’s fiscal watchdog.
The Lancaster County native has run twice for Congress in 2016 and 2018.
Hartman’s campaign site outlines her priorities as education, healthcare, and criminal justice reform. She wants to look at low standards and high funding for charter schools, rising drug costs and elder care. Hartman earned a degree in international affairs from George Washington University, and a Master’s from Fordham University.
The lone Republican auditor general candidate, Timothy DeFoor was recently elected to a second term as Dauphin County Controller. He was the first African-American elected to the role when he won in 2015 and his work making the county’s financial reporting more transparent earned the office a national award.
DeFoor is a retired special agent who spent time in the Attorney General and Inspector General’s offices. His auditor general campaign priorities are to cut government spending and open more data related to state contracts.
A Harrisburg native, DeFoor attended Harrisburg Area Community College, where he now sits on the board. He also attended Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh, and has a Master’s from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, according to his LinkedIn.
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The treasurer is the state’s financial custodian who watches over roughly $100 billion in taxpayer dollars. Choose wisely!
Joe Torsella (Democrat)
Raised in Berwick, Pa., incumbent Joe Torsella’s Philly roots run deep. He was deputy mayor for planning and policy under then-Mayor Ed Rendell in the early 90s before going on to establish Philly’s National Constitution Center.
Moving through local, state and international government ranks, Torsella served on the state Board of Education and was an ambassador to the United Nations for budget and management reform. He was elected treasurer in 2016.
As treasurer, Torsella’s picked some high profile opponents, including Facebook, when he called on CEO Mark Zuckerburg to step down as the tech company’s board chairman. Pennsylvania’s treasury was named the lead plaintiff in a suit that argues several top banks conspired to hike bond prices, adversely affecting investors and retirees.
If elected for a second term, Torsella wants to launch a savings fund for Pa.-born students, expand open data and create a Pennsylvania IRA program for private workers in the state, according to his campaign site.
Torsella graduated from Penn with a degree in economics and history. He also studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
Stacy L. Garrity (Republican)
Stacy Garrity’s campaign slogan, “One of us – Not a politician,” touts her lack of career political experience while her website spotlights her military service.
Now a retired Army Reserve colonel, the Iraq War veteran earned national recognition for her leadership at a U.S.-run Iraqi internment camp. There, she earned the title “Angel of the Desert” for her treatment of Iraqi detainees.
Like candidates across the board, Garrity wants to improve transparency within the treasury office. She wants to address wasteful government spending by looking at fees and make college more affordable through the PA 529 tuition assistance program.
In 2019, she launched a failed bid for the 12th House District special election.
Four Pennsylvania senators are up for re-election this year, but only the 1st District seat is contested. No Republicans are on the ballot for these races, so whoever wins is all but guaranteed to serve the next four-year term.
Larry Farnese (Democrat, incumbent)
Farnese is a Center City attorney who soared into office in 2009. He’s the local Democratic Party’s darling candidate — but he’s pushed back against the opposition narrative that he’s not a progressive.
Among his victories in office, Farnese touts his early effort to roll back the controversial DROP retirement plan. He says cites $14 million in state grants he helped secure for affordable housing in the district, as well as his advocacy for LGBT groups. He co-sponsored legislation to move the state toward all-renewable energy by 2050.
His time in Harrisburg hasn’t been without dustups: Federal prosecutors indicted Farnese in a vote-buying scheme, but a jury later acquitted him on all charges.
The senator has a vast list of backers in the local Democratic party, as well several influential labor unions.
Nikil Saval (Democrat)
Author, literary mag editor, South Philly ward leader and left-wing political organizer. Saval, who launched his campaign late last year, is an eclectic political personality by Philly standards.
A co-founder of Reclaim Philly, his roots trace back to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign — and his policies are styled in step. He proposes to establish 1,000,000 new units of affordable housing, statewide rent control, subsidized family care and a Green New Deal climate plan for Pennsylvania. He has also campaigned on criminal justice reforms like ending cash bail.
Among Democratic challengers running this year, Saval was also an early adopter of a policy response to COVID-19 response platform, calling for a moratorium on rent among other proposals.
His campaign has the backing of several progressive groups, City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas and the local Laborers’ District Council union.
Sharif Street (Democrat, incumbent)
Street is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket. The former Mayor John Street first, he is seeking his second term in the district. He’s been a big advocate of the state’s medical marijuana rollout, at one point using his office to help onboard new patients in his North Philly district.
John Sabatina (Democrat, incumbent)
Elected in 2016, Sabatina is also running unopposed. A former state representative and assistant district attorney, he hails from a prominent political family — known for public feuds with their political rivals in Northeast Philly. He served in the state House for years before rising to the Senate.
Vincent Hughes (Democrat, incumbent)
Hughes has been representing this half city-half suburban district since 1994, when he succeeded his mentor, former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr. He’s running unopposed for his seventh term.
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Pa. House of Representatives
Philly has 26 districts in the Pa. House, some of which stretch into the surrounding counties. These seats are up for reelection every two years, and for this election, a whopping 14 incumbents are running unopposed, meaning they’re virtually guaranteed victory in the primary and general.
Nancy Guenst (Democrat)
Guenst is the sole Democrat in the running for this district, a Montgomery County district that includes a slice of upper Northeast Philly. A U.S. Army veteran, she is a small business owner and the first female mayor of Hatboro.
Karen Houck (Republican)
Republicans tapped Houck, a civic leader in Montgomery County, to succeed longtime state Rep. Thomas Murt, who announced his retirement earlier this year. She’s the sole Republican running on the ticket, endorsed by the GOP in both counties.
Kevin J. Boyle (Democrat, incumbent)
Boyle is running unopposed in the primary to retain his seat. Part of a prominent Northeast Philly political family (his brother is a U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle), the 40-year-old has served this district since 2011.
Aaron Bashir (Republican)
Born in Pakistan, Bashir came to the U.S. in 2001 after surviving a close call with a rare blood disease. According to his campaign website, he has worked as an accountant, real estate investor, professor and now PhD candidate. He’s campaigning with a focus on seniors and education.
MaryLouise Isaacson (Democrat, incumbent)
Isaacson is fighting to retain the seat she won through a special election after her former boss, former state Rep. Mike O’Brien, vacated the seat shortly before his 2018 death. Since taking office, Isaacson has She also introduced a bill that seeks to make sending unsolicited nude photos a crime in Pennsylvania. She has stated support for supervised injection sites — a divisive issue in this district that runs from Fishtown to Queen Village.
Jeff Dempsey (Democrat)
One of four Democrats running, Demsey, a Fishtown resident, comes from a background in gun violence prevention with CeaseFire PA. His entrée into politics came as a campaign manager for Northeast Philly state Rep. Kevin Boyle, and he later worked as the lawmaker’s deputy. Dempsey vows to fight to close gun access loopholes in Pa. He also supports supervised injection sites.
Vanessa McGrath (Democrat)
McGrath is an attorney who worked in immigration lawyer and clerked for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She supports supervised injection sites and stronger charter school regulation. She also says she’ll fight to expand protected bike lanes in the district, and look at more funding for SEPTA through congestion and rideshare taxes.
Andre Del Valle (Democrat)
Del Valle worked as an aide to Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez before running for office. He supports legalizing marijuana statewide and expanding state tax credits for people with high student loan debt. He would support supervised injection sites that are placed in medical facilities outside of residential areas like Kensington.
Joe Hohenstein (Democrat, incumbent)
Elected in 2018, Hohenstein is seeking his second term in this lower Northeast Philly district that was previously under Republican control. A former immigration attorney, Hohenstein is backed by city labor unions and a host of elected officials. He recently co-sponsored a bill in the House to expand federal emergency sick leave benefits during the coronavirus crisis. He does not support supervised injection sites in his district.
John Nungesser (Republican)
Nungesser is the GOP’s young alternative to Hohenstein, and he’s running unopposed in the June primary. According to his Facebook page, he is opposed to Mayor Jim Kenney’s “sanctuary city” policy and does not support supervised injection sites. He says he’s campaigning on youth investment and will expand trade schools in the district.
Brian Sims (Democrat, incumbent)
Seeking his fifth term, Sims is perhaps the loudest of the outspoken progressives in the state House. He’s openly gay, non-religious, and a foe of right-wing lawmakers in Harrisburg like state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe. Sims incited a national controversy last year after he filmed himself yelling at a Planned Parenthood protester in Center City. He was recently vindicated in a three-year ethics investigation about his non-government work as speaker on LGBTQ issues.
Marisa Shaaban (Democrat)
Shaaban is a first-time candidate looking to unseat the incumbent lawmaker. A Center City resident for 15 years, she has worked in government relations around education and healthcare issues. Shaaban has been involved in local politics as a Democratic committee person, as well as advocacy in the Philadelphia School District. More on her policy positions here.
Drew Murray (Republican)
Murray has worked in sales and as a civic group leader in Logan Square. The Republican party’s choice, he says he’ll fight against SLAPP lawsuits and try to reform the city’s wage tax. He opposes supervised injection sites and Mayor Kenney’s “sanctuary city” policy.
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Elizabeth Fielder (Democrat, incumbent)
A former WHYY reporter and a darling of Philadelphia’s progressive movement, Fiedler is now seeking her second term in the House. She serves as a member of the Philly leadership team and the House Appropriations Committee in Harrisburg. She has introduced bills to ensure advanced scheduling for retail and fast food workers. Fiedler generally supports supervised injection sites, but pushed back on the first Safehouse site after its controversial opening in South Philly earlier this year.
Lou Menna IV (Republican)
Menna is running on the Republican ticket. His Facebook page does not link to any information about his candidacy.
Pamelia Delissio (Democrat, incumbent)
Delissio is seeking her fifth term representing this part-Philly, part-Montco district. A Roxborough resident and cancer survivor, she describes herself as a “a moderate, aisle-crossing, smart, non-extreme legislator,” according to the Pa. House. Her priorities include voting reforms and redistricting.
Lisa Goldman Riley (Republican)
According to her campaign website, Goldman Riley is an attorney and Manayunk resident. She lists too much housing density and traffic congestion in developing neighborhoods among her top concerns. Riley supports expanding charter schools.
Darisha Parker (Democrat)
Parker is a protegé of retiring state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, who has held this seat since 1995. The 48-year-old has run constituent service operations in the district for the past two years, according to the Tribune. She also runs a public relations firm. Parker commits to fighting for the core issues of the North Philly district — better education, more public safety and less poverty — but her website lacks specific policy proposals.
Bernard A. Williams (Democrat)
The millennial Williams serves on the 39th Police District Advisory Council and currently works as a payroll consultant for a recruiting firm. He previously worked as an aide in the 182nd Pa. House district. According to his campaign website, he supports a $15 minimum wage and says he’ll address senior fraud in the district. City Councilmember Kendra Brooks endorsed him.
Fareed Abdullah (Democrat)
Fareed Abdullah is a teacher, activist and perennial political candidate. He’s run twice for public office in Atlantic City, and finished with less than 2% of the vote in the crowded City Council at-large race last year. His pitch to voters this time around? His Facebook page shows his activity in community events, but lacks a policy platform.
Supreme Dow (Democrat)
Supreme Divine Dow is the founder and executive director of the Black Writers Museum in Germantown, where his family has deep political roots. If elected, he told the Tribune he would work to improve library and research access for students in the district. His nonprofit executive’s campaign website lists support for a $15 minimum wage and other core Democratic issues, while offering few specifics.
Maria Donatucci (Democrat, incumbent)
Donatucci is seeking her fifth term representing this district, which covers deep South and Southwest Philly, the airport area and a slice of Delco. Most recently, the South Philly native took legislative action to try to prevent supervised injection sites from opening in her district.
Regina Young (Democrat)
Young is a counselor and community advocate in the district. She lists education and economic development as her top priorities, but her campaign website offers few policy specifics.
Gregory R. Benjamin (Democrat)
Benjamin is a West Philly ward leader. Announcing his candidacy last fall, he said he was looking to improve the services being offered in the district. He cites his past advocacy for neighborhood libraries, community centers and other community revitalization projects. His Facebook page does not link to a policy platform.
James Roebuck (Democrat, incumbent)
Roebuck has represented this district since 1985 — making him one of the longest servicing state lawmakers in Philly right now. He ranks among the top House lawmakers who received the most grant money for their districts from Gov. Tom Wolf. He’s backed by the Democratic party this time around, and has widespread support among sitting officials.
Rick Krajewski (Democrat)
Krajewski is a criminal justice reform advocate with ties to the city’s progressive movement. An organizer with Reclaim Philadelphia, his campaign has focused on issues around mass incarceration, and a Green New Deal-like plan for Pennsylvania. He co-launched a coronavirus policy plan with Pa. Senate candidate Nikil Saval. He’s been endorsed by City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier.
Karen Dunn (Democrat)
Usually, aides to lawmakers run for their bosses’ seat when it’s vacant, but Dunn, a former Roebuck staffer, is vying for his seat now. Dunn touts her 20 years in government work, and lists support for plans like the Green New Deal and criminal justice reform.
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Amen Brown (Democrat)
Brown is one of four Democrats running to take this district that has been embroiled in political scandals. The last incumbent, former state Rep. Movita Johnson-Harell, is now serving time for bilking her charity. Brown ran unsuccessfully in the March special election for this seat under the “Party of Amen Brown,” and is now running again on the Democratic ticket. His campaign page can be found here.
Roni Green (Democrat, incumbent)
Green, a business agent for SEIU Local 668, is technically defending her seat right now. The 60-year-old Democrat handily won the district’s special election in March, and win or lose in the general, she’ll finish out Johnson-Harell’s term for this year. Green has been offering help with COVID-19 relief through her Pa. House office. If elected again, she told the Inquirer she would focus on gun violence prevention and job creation in the district.
Danyl Patterson (Democrat)
Patterson is an attorney who touts 20 years of legal experience in the city. She lists mass incarceration, environmental justice and job growth among her top concerns on her campaign page.
Samuel Van Stone Downing (Democrat)
Van Stone Downing appears to have a Facebook page where he talks about his campaign in long posts. You can explore it here.
Wanda Logan (Republican)
Logan, a businesswoman, is the only Republican on the ticket. She ran for this seat for times before as a Democrat, before switching to the GOP ticket to give it a shot this year — twicel. With 87% voters registered Democrat in the district, she already lost once in the March special election to Green. But as the sole Republican running again, she’s guaranteed to advance to the general in November and face the Democratic nominee (again).
The uncontested races:
Here are the 14 districts where no other candidates filed to run, meaning your incumbent
- 170th District – Martina White (Republican, incumbent)
- 173rd District – Mike Driscoll (Democrat, incumbent)
- 174th District – Ed Neilson (Democrat, incumbent)
- 179th District – Jason Dawkins (Democrat, incumbent)
- 180th District – Angel Cruz (Democrat, incumbent)
- 181st District – Malcolm Kenyatta (Democrat, incumbent)
- 186th District – Jordan Harris (Democrat, incumbent)
- 191st District – Joanna McClinton (Democrat, incumbent)
- 192nd District – Morgan Cephas (Democrat, incumbent)
- 195th District – Donna Bullock (Democrat, incumbent)
- 197th District – Danilo Burgos (Democrat, incumbent)
- 200th District – Chris Rabb (Democrat, incumbent)
- 201st District – Stephen Kinsey (Democrat, incumbent)
- 202nd District – Jared Solomon (Democrat, incumbent)
- 203rd District – Isabella Fitzgerald (Democrat, incumbent)
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Vote for your convention Delegates
Voter choices in the primary select the nominee, but delegates have a hand in the process, too.
Delegates are assigned according to congressional districts, of which there are three across Philly. Depending on district, Democrats will be able to select between eight and 14 delegates. Republican voters can choose up to three delegates.
Overall, Pennsylvania sends 210 Democratic delegates and 88 Republican representatives to their respective national committees.
Delegate apportioning works differently for the two major political parties. Republican delegates do not have to pre-align. Democratic delegates pledge their support to a specific candidate — and you vote for them on that basis. Democratic delegates are expected to vote for the candidate they support at the Democratic National Convention roll call.
There’s also superdelegates, usually party leaders who align with the party candidate. This year, the DNC changed voting rules for superdelegates after complaints that the elected officials and hefty fundraisers had too much influence. Now, they can’t vote at all except in the highly unlikely scenarios that there needed to be a tiebreaker.
The Democratic party’s situation is also unusual this year because Sen. Bernie Sanders technically suspended his campaign.
He’s staying on the ballot in hopes to have some sway over the DNC. He’s got a little fewer than 1,000 delegates to candidate Joe Biden’s more than 1,400. Biden needs just under 2,000 delegates to clinch the nomination.