Megan Rath’s Impossible Run


Turns out there are a few Republicans in Philly after all.

After my Tuesday column lamenting the lack of an effective opposition party in this city, I heard from a few of them. The most aggressive? Megan Rath, who asked for a coffee meeting with me.

Rath, it turns out, is Bob Brady’s Republican opponent for Congress this fall. Did you know that? I didn’t, and I try to pay attention to these things. No worries: Rath is running on the “Field of Dreams” theory of politics — if you build it, they (meaning voters) might come. They certainly won’t vote for Republicans who don’t contest elections.

“There’s a lot of people out there who would like good governance,” Rath says. “You’ve got to give them a choice.”

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1-in-5 Philly Voters May Have just Chosen Your Next Governor

“When all was said and done, about 20 percent of Philadelphia’s voting public came out to vote yesterday, according to,” the folks at Philly Weekly report. That’s only 1 percentage point better than 2010, when Democratic candidate Don Onorato eventually got trounced at the polls by … Tom Corbett. Omen? We’ll find out in a few months.


Wolf, Boyle, Neilson Win Tuesday Vote

AP Photo | York Daily Record, Jason Plotkin

AP Photo | York Daily Record, Jason Plotkin

Election results, we’ve got them:

• “Businessman Tom Wolf won the Democratic nomination for governor in Pennsylvania Tuesday, easily besting three other candidates including Rep. Allyson Schwartz. Wolf will now advance to a November showdown against Gov. Tom Corbett (R), regarded by many observers as the most vulnerable governor up for reelection. Corbett is struggling in the polls.” (Washington Post)

• “State Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania. Stack’s victory in Tuesday’s primary means he will be the running mate of millionaire businessman Tom Wolf, who has been chosen by voters to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the fall.” (AP)

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It’s Election Day!

It’s primary election day, and that means Pennsylvanians will be headed to the polls to decide any number of races today. Topping the list: Who will Dems select to challenge Tom Corbett in November’s gubernatorial election?

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30th Ward Reformer Fight: Are New Philadelphians Finally Flexing Their Political Muscle?


Back in 2012, Patrick Kerkstra wrote a seminal piece for Philly Mag entitled “What Will It Take for New Philadelphians to Clean Up City Hall?,” that wondered when the newcomers and Millennials who’d been driving the city’s recent population growth would get over their allergy to hand-to-hand electoral combat.

The New Philadelphians are no layabouts, he observed — they’ve just been choosing, for various reasons, to channel their civic energy into decidedly inoffensive activities on the edges of politics, rather than the longer-term project of seizing control of city government.

Two years later, the landscape has begun to shift, and nowhere is the shift more evident than in the quiet competition for 30th ward leader in Graduate Hospital, where 30-year-old Obama organizer TJ Hurst has been plotting a campaign to depose incumbent ward leader Marcia Wilkof.

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Ballot Question: Why “Resign to Run” Should Be Killed

Oh_largeCouncilman David Oh is the man behind a measure on your primary ballot May 20th; Philadelphia voters will be asked whether to revise the city’s “Resign to Run” rule that requires elected and appointed city officials to resign before running for any other office in the land.

Oh and his allies say tweaking the rule might allow politicians who have already gathered some clout and experience at, say, City Hall, to more easily run for a state office and give the city more clout in Harrisburg. (Opponents suggest it could lead to grandstanding and worse.) As it stands, Oh’s allies say, “Resign to Run” encourages officials to stick with safe seats instead of using their experience to seek higher offices and advocate for the city from that vantage.

Oh talked to Philly Mag about the measure last week.

How exactly will the rule be different under your changes?

The change will be that elected officials — and elected officials only —will be able to run for another position without first resigning. The second thing is that they will not be able to be on the ballot for two positions. Only one. … You cannot run for re-election and another position simultaneously. The other thing is that it would take effect in 2016, which skips this mayoral election. So, it would not take affect until after the mayoral election.

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