Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Trouble sitting down

Well, of the four candidates I mentioned in my last post, only one actually prevailed in his primary. Currently, there are 98% of Pennsylvania precincts reporting, so that's plenty to make calls.

Chuck Pennacchio, the candidate about whom I felt most strongly, received about 9% of the votes in the Democratic senate primary. When compared with Bob Casey's 84.5%, it's pretty sad, although he did (meaninglessly) outdraw Alan Sandals. This one's almost enough to make me go back to third-party hell – I'm of the opinion that the only reason Pennacchio failed to win is that the Democratic leadership in Pennsylvania is mindlessly idiotic when it comes to picking their "chosen" pre-primary candidate, and so rather than Chuck winning on the issues, Casey won on his name and his funding. Of course, that doesn't really excuse the general public from their civic duty of researching candidates before they vote, but it's well known and probably eternal that the general public just doesn't and won't ever care enough to make an intelligent decision on their own. I'll vote for Casey in November, but I can't guarantee that I won't vomit on the voting machine in the process. Also, I'll make a November prediction now: Santorum will repeat in the November general election. Mark my words.

For Lieutenant Governor, incumbent Catherine Baker Knoll, despite her myriad shortcomings on the job, walked all over my chosen challenger Valerie McDonald Roberts, 61% to 20%. Knoll was able to overcome endorsements for Valerie by both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Despite leading early after the polls closed, Georgia Berner was unable to defeat Jason Altmire in the primary for the 4th Congressional District. This was, at least, a close race, but to tell the truth I wasn't wedded to either candidate. A single seat in the U.S. House just doesn't mean as much as a single seat in the Senate, and neither candidate really jumped out at me. I've heard that Altmire has a better chance to defeat Melissa Hart in the fall, so that's fine; Altmire it is.

My only success story comes in the 27-vote victory margin for Jaret Gibbons in the race for Pennsylvania's 10th Legislative District. Jaret successfully made Frank LaGrotta a lame-duck representative. LaGrotta was a reasonably progressive canditate and wrote at least one article for The Nation, but his increasing arrogance on the job and his attitude of being bulletproof were enough to bump him from his seat. Jaret's only 25 years old and, about to graduate from Pitt's law school, and, if I may say so, a smart kid. Now he needs only to defeat Chuck Morse, his Republican competitor, in November in a heavily Democratic district.

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