PSA: Surprise! Today is Election Day!

Philly will pick three new state legislators today. Here's a cheat sheet to the race.

Election Day in Philadelphia | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke

Election Day in Philadelphia | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke

It’s OK if you didn’t know it was Election Day until now.

But it’s an important race: Voters from three sections of the city will choose new representatives in the state House, two of which will replace lawmakers who pleaded guilty to corruption charges earlier this year. Very few people will likely turn out to the polls, though, since it’s the middle of August, it’s rainy, and this is a special election.

Here’s the basic info you need to know about the contest: Democrat Ed Neilson is running against Republican Timothy Dailey in Northeast Philly’s 174th District; Democrat Joanna McClinton, Republican Charles Wilkins and Independent Tracey Gordon are vying for the seat in 191st District, which includes Southwest Philly and Darby Township; and Democrat Donna Bullock, Republican Adam Lang and write-in candidate Judith Robinson are going at it in the 195th District, which includes parts of North and West Philly.

Don’t know which House district you live in? Enter in your address on this state website to find out. Polls close at 8 p.m.

Want to know more? Read these five pieces on the special election:

  • The Philadelphia Daily News has a short and sweet rundown of the eight candidates’ bios.
  • The elections watchdog Committee of Seventy has a slightly longer writeup of the candidates’ backgrounds, an explanation of why each House seat opened up, and a description of how the Democratic and Republican nominees were selected. Here’s their piece on the race in 174th Districttheirs on the 191st District, and theirs on the 195 District.
  • Chris Brennan of the Inquirer wrote a great story about how McClinton has been campaigning for the 191st District seat with former state Rep. Ronald Waters, who resigned from that position earlier this year after pleading guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. Brennan also reminds readers that Gordon is currently under investigation by the city’s Board of Ethics, and that this is the third time that Neilson has run for office in a special election.
  • How difficult is it to run as an outsider in a special election? Really, really hard. Read this article by NewsWorks’ Dave Davies to find out why.
  • What are the stakes in this election? Citified broke down why this race matters last month. In short, it will be a test of whether the city’s Republican Party is moving in the right direction, and it’s an opportunity for Philly’s delegation in Harrisburg to become a tiny bit better.