None of you voted yesterday, but here’s what happened
Yesterday’s election was one for the ages. Because it’s been ages since so many of you stayed home.
“I’m afraid we may see the lowest turnout in many, many years,” wrote Committee of Seventy vice president and policy director Ellen Kaplan in last night’s final media update from the good government group, sent out at 8:40pm.
That was preceded by a 5:10pm email noting, “A quiet day has gotten even quieter,” and, before that, a 12:31pm email which said “It has been a slow day at the polls in Philadelphia.” The biggest scandal throughout the day happened when the Butkovitz for Controller campaign sought an injunction to enjoin his primary opponent, Brett Mandel, “from distributing campaign material and electioneering inside polling places.”
Late night election results confirmed the day’s turtle-like pace. By last count, a whopping 83,817 people in the city voted—just nine percent, according to Philly Election Results.
Among the races, there was little excitement. The most written-about bout in the city, the City Controller’s race, was a complete blowout. Controller Alan Butkovitz destroyed his primary challengers Brett Mandel and Mark Zecca, taking in more than 60 percent of the vote. While less of us came out this year than in 2009, Butkovitz’s vote total increased, as did his margin over Mandel (who challenged him then, too). The “budget bulldog’s” (Mandel) vote total went down by more than 5,000 total votes (24,329 in 2009; 19,051 in 2013).
“I think they saw that we’ve had major accomplishments, that we’ve had major anti-corruption successes in terms of the sheriff’s office, charter schools, other corruption issues,” Butkovitz said last night, according to Newsworks, “that they have an independent financial watchdog who’s looking out for them that can be trusted.”
Mandel noted the poor turnout may have had something do with his loss.
“We tried everything we could to connect with voters, through media, through outreach, through one-on-one contact,” Mandel said, “but clearly a lot of people didn’t show up.”
With regard to the traffic court races, none of the scary candidates won. Warren Bloom, who received the most ink citywide due to his past crimes and unpaid taxes, did not come close despite receiving a top ballot position.
The winners were Omar Sabir, Marnie Aument Loughrey and Donna DeRose who received 16 percent, 12 percent and 9 percent of the vote, respectively.
Little did you know: There was Karen Brown’s election—remember her? She ran for mayor against Nutter in 2011 and released the most bizarre, Humanoids From The Deep-esque commercials we’ve ever seen. She won her division race for Judge of Election, garnering a whopping 14 votes to her non-existent opponent’s zero. So, that happened.
Elsewhere, Democrats held onto two state House seats in special elections as Dan Miller, an attorney (and not the guy who lost the mayoral primary in Harrisburg), will replace Matt Smith in Allegheny County; and Kevin Schreiber will replace Eugene DePasquale in York. DePasquale is now the Auditor General of the state.
When someone tweeted that “Big wins in house specials were referendum on @GovernorCorbett,” the Pennsylvania Democratic Party offered a modified tweet of the quote, adding one word: “Truth.”
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