PA, Philly go blue, with help from NoLibs, Fishtown and rest of the River Wards and other election news


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By the Friday after Election Day, the writing was on the wall. As outstanding votes from mail-in ballots and the most Democratic areas of the state were counted – the last of the bunch – Joe Biden would surpass President Donald Trump’s vote tally in Pennsylvania. The gap between the two eventually became wide enough for major networks to call the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes in favor of the former vice president the next day, pushing him over the pivotal 270 mark. And with that, former Vice President Joe Biden became President-elect Joe Biden. He accomplished the feat with help from all six voting wards in the River Wards going blue: Ward numbers 5, 18, 25, 31, 33 and 45. The Fishtown and Northern Liberties areas were the most lopsided for Biden. Here are the numbers:

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Ward 5 (Northern Liberties, eastern half of Center City)

Biden: 86.13%
Trump: 12.92%
Turnout*: 59.3%

Ward 18 (Fishtown)

Biden: 82.51%
Trump: 16.05%
Turnout: 66.3%

Ward 25 (Southern part of Port Richmond)

Biden: 64.69%
Trump: 33.61%
Turnout: 52.4%

Ward 31 (Olde Richmond and East Kensington)

Biden: 77.34%
Trump: 21.22%
Turnout: 67.1%

Ward 33 (Kensington, Harrowgate and the southern part of Juniata)

Biden: 78.70%
Trump: 20.64%
Turnout: 49.1%

Ward 45 (The rest of Port Richmond and Bridesburg)

Biden: 51.06%
Trump: 47.67%
Turnout: 59.3%

*The Philadelphia City Commissioners have defined turnout as ballots cast divided by registered voters, not eligible voters.


Hohenstein beats Nungesser

Incumbent state Rep. Joe Hohenstein (D-177th dist.) defeated Republican challenger John Nungesser by a margin of 59% to 41%. 

“I am eternally grateful for the support I received throughout this campaign from the voters, my dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and from my friends and family,” said Hohenstein in a statement on social media on Saturday. “Much has changed since I was first elected two years ago. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession upended our lives – but one thing that has not changed is my commitment to helping our community. I am proud of the foundational work we’ve done these past two years. I will continue the work of educational, environmental, and economic justice for the 177th District, the City of Philadelphia, and the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the years to come.”

Nungesser conceded last week.

“The people of the district have spoken and I respect their decision,” he said. “I sincerely hope that Rep. Hohenstein lives up to the trust the constituents have placed in him and I wish him the best of luck.”

State Reps. Mary Isaacson (D-175th dist.) and Angel Cruz (D-180th dist.) ran unopposed.


Nikil Saval officially becomes first Asian American elected to state Senate

Nikil Saval, who defeated incumbent state Sen. Larry Farnese (D-1st dist.) in the Democratic primary, was officially elected in the general election after running unopposed. 

“Nearly a year ago, we launched our campaign for State Senate,” said Saval in a statement on social media. “Thanks to dedicated staff, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of supporters, we won. I am excited to be the first Asian American to join the Pennsylvania Senate and will be honored to represent the First District.”

The 1st Senatorial District includes parts of Fishtown, Kensington, Northern Liberties and Port Richmond.

State Sen. John Sabatina (D-5th dist.) also won re-election in his race. He ran unopposed. 


Ballot Question 2 passes

Ballot Question No. 2, which creates an Office of Victim Advocate in Philadelphia, passed by an 86% to 14% margin. The effort to include the question was spearheaded by Kenyatta Johnson. 

“I will now work with the Kenney Administration to fund the office, find it a home, select the new Victim Advocate, and assemble an advisory board of citizens to help guide the work of the Victim Advocate,” said Johnson in a statement. “Thank you for supporting the mothers, fathers and families who have lost loved ones to gun violence in recent years by approving the Office. I put this question on the ballot for them.”

In a press release, Johnson said he hopes to have the new office “up and running by the middle of 2021.”

According to Billy Penn, the scope of the office will include advocating for victims of crimes both as individuals and as a group; ensuring that crime victims know their rights; promoting cooperation among agencies that serve crime victims and providing training; and support to agencies that interact with crime victims.

Ballot question No. 1, which changes the city Home Rule Charter so that it sets forth a statement that calls upon the police department to end the practice of stop and frisk, also passed by a margin of 83% to 17%. Ballot question No. 3, which creates a Citizens Police Oversight Commission, passed 79% to 21%. Ballot question No. 4, which authorized the city to borrow $134,000,000 for capital purposes like transit, streets and sanitation, municipal buildings and parks and recreation, passed by a margin of 76% to 24%.

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