None of you voted yesterday, but here’s what happened

"I'm not voting. I think this is a mailbox. Santa reads letters all year, right?"

"I'm not voting. I think this is a mailbox. Santa reads letters all year, right?"

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.”

Follow Randy on Twitter: @RandyLoBasso

2 Responses to “ None of you voted yesterday, but here’s what happened ”

  1. Jordan Gwendolyn Davis says:

    I was once a supporter of Brett Mandel’s campaign. I believed that he was the best candidate for the job and tried to hook me in with his “reform” agenda. I was scammed.

    Brett is a monster, a user, and a bully. First off, he claims that he is some LGBT friendly progressive, when in fact, he wants to get rid of business taxes, jack up property taxes via AVI, and sell off public goods, such as the PGW. What good are LGBT rights when our city is in the toilet and services to our needy are being decimated.

    And speaking of LGBT rights, he used our community for his own purposes. I almost became a pawn in a game to get Michael P. Williams out of the primary, spreading false rumours about the legitimacy of his law firm (he even brought it up in his own office), and some of his people even were spreading rumours about him, a gay male, actually having a wife. Michael P. Williams has been a top notch activist-attorney and helped with the 2002 as well as 2013 gender identity bills, and was proud to work with him on the latter, and for Brett’s campaign to try to turn me into a zombie chihuahua was low.

    But not as low as him scoffing at Butkovitz standing up for his employees when a hate crime was committed at his office. His campaign and his surrogates made the issue about the two people and their character. I know some of his people may not be the most likeable to some people, but writing “x sucks y’s dick” is wrong, no matter who x or y is. I would stand up for my worst enemy if they were the target of transphobia or homophobia.

    I woke up around mid-April. I unsuccessfully pushed for Alan at Liberty City’s endorsement meeting, and worked for him at the polls yesterday at W5 D29 (William Way Community Center), where I was proud to make said division the only one within the Gayborhood to vote for Butkovitz. I managed to get this achievement with only myself battling a Liberty City worker early in the day.

    Alan Butkovitz shares my progressive values. He has created an app for reporting waste and fraud, he has criticized AVI, he has audited charter schools, and helped in best practices to get emergency services in a more timely manner, and has rightfully criticized the sale of public goods as “Romney-esque”.

    I am glad Alan won; and it was helped by the fact that Brett Mandel’s campaign was anemic. I guess no child cried when that bulldog was put to sleep.

  2. brendancalling says:

    interestingly, Warren Bloom did Karen Brown’s crazy-ass ad. So there’s that too.

    Philadelphia: not so much city, as a high comedy ABOUT a city.

Leave a Reply

Follow PW

Got a news tip?

If you see something interesting, odd, funny or, of course, illegal, let us know by emailing