Don’t Forget to Vote: Rundown of nominations up for grabs; three important ballot questions

May 14, 2018

Don’t forget to vote in the primary election this Tuesday (May 15), when Pennsylvanians from both parties will choose candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, the U.S. House of Representatives and the state legislature. Only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for party candidates in the primaries. Independents can only vote on the ballot questions.

First thing’s first. Go here to check your voter registration status. If you’re not sure what district you live in for state legislature or congressional races (it can get confusing with all the redistricting), check here. Go here to find your polling place. 

U.S. House candidates

District 3:


Dwight Evans – The incumbent by way of appointment and former long-time (35 years) state representative from Oak Lane.
Kevin Johnson – A pastor and community activist who moved to Philadelphia in 2007.


Bryan Leib – The 32-year-old treasurer of the Philadelphia Young Republicans and the GOP-endorsed candidate.



Tom Wolfe – Elected governor in 2014, Wolfe is the only Democrat running.


Laura Ellsworth – Pittsburgh-based attorney.
Paul Mango – Business consultant from Allegheny County.
Scott Wagner – State senator from York County who has received the GOP state committee endorsement.

Lieutenant Governor


Nina Ahmad – Served as deputy secretary for public engagement in the Kenny Administration.
Kathi Cozzone – Third-term Chester County Commissioner and chair of the Chester County Prison Board.
John Fetterman – Mayor of Braddock, Penna. who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2016 and did suprisingly well.
Ray Sosa – Montgomery County banker and a former chair of the Governor’s Human Rights Advocacy Commission in Florida.
Mike Stack – The incumbent Lt. Governor and Northeast Philly native served four terms in the state Senate.


Jeff Bartos – Lower Merion contracting and real estate executive aligned with gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner.
Kathleen Coder – Allegheny County business consultant and civic activist.
Peg Luksik – Anti-abortion activist who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and for governor in 1990.
Diana Irey Vaughan – Washington County Commissioner (the first and only woman to hold that position) aligned with gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango.

State Senate

District 8:

One choice here: Democratic incumbent Anthony Williams, a political fixture in the city, is running unopposed. No republican candidates are running for the seat.

State House of Representatives

District 188 (Parts of Spruce Hill, Squirrel Hill, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Garden Court, Beige Block and University City):


Jeff Curry – Lawyer who worked in the City Solicitor’s Office from 2005 through 2013. Now in private practice. Delaware County native and Spruce Hill resident.
James Roebuck – Longtime incumbent has represented the 188th District since 1985.
Diane Settles – President of the Kingsessing Area Civic Association and West Philly native.


No candidates running.

District 190 (includes parts of Cobbs Creek, Belmont, Carroll Park, Cathedral Park, Mill Creek, Haddington, East Parkside, West Powelton, Allegheny West and Lehigh West):


Raymond H. Bailey – West Philadelphia native and longshoreman active in ILA Local 1291.
Vanessa Brown (Facebook page). Incumbent seeking her fifth term.
Wanda Logan – Longtime community activist making her fourth bid for the seat.

District 191 (includes parts of Cobbs Creek, Southwest Philly, Darby and Yeadon):

Democrat Joanna McClinton, who won the seat in a 2015 special election, is running unopposed. No Republican is running.

District 192 (includes parts of Overbrook and Millbourne):

Democrat Morgan Cephas, the incumbent and a former aide to City Council Member Curtis Jones, is running unopposed. No Republican is running for the seat.

It wouldn’t be an election in Philadelphia without some ballot questions. There are three this time around. They include:

• Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require an appropriation in each annual operating budget of $500,000, or such greater amount as Council decides, to the Police Advisory Commission or any successor body or bodies?

This would set a minimum budget for the Police Advisory Commission, established in 1994 to “improve relationship between the Philadelphia Police Department and the community.” The commission’s budget has been as low as $200,000 in recent years and many believe a stable, robust budget would make it more relevant.

• Shall the Educational Supplement to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to restore local control by confirming the Board of Education’s independent responsibility to administer the School District of Philadelphia, providing for public participation in the Educational Nominating Panel process, revising eligibility requirements, requiring City Council confirmation of School Board appointments, requiring a stated reason for removing a School Board Member and establishing a Parent and Community Advisory Council?

This amendment to the Charter would provide City Council oversight to the new Board of Education, which gets up and running July 1 after years of state control of the school district.

• Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for mandatory training for all City officers and employees regarding sexual harassment in the workplace?

All City employees (including elected and appointed officials) would have to take sexual harassment training at least once every three years.

If you come across a potential election law violations on Tuesday in Philadelphia, call the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office at 215-686-9641.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Naomi Segal Says:

    Independents can vote on the ballot questions. Is that enough reason for them to go vote? Doubtful. Independents so disenfranchise themselves, since some of the elections are decided in the primary.

  2. Rachel Rawlings Says:

    On the contrary. I’ve been a Green for years and always moke sure to turn up at the primaries if there are ballot questions. Not belonging to a majority party does not make you irrelevant, and Greens have also been fighting to restore local control of the School District.

  3. West Philly Says:

    What Philly really needs is a change in government. I don’t think the Republicans can do worse than the Democrats. Change long overdo.

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