Decision 2019

5 Races to Watch on Election Day in the Philadelphia Region

There are local races in the Delaware Valley that could produce noteworthy outcomes — and have effects on policy-making in the region — in the Nov. 5 elections.

The Philadelphia mayor's race is a highlight of local elections when it's on the ballot and if there is no incumbent mayor running for re-election.

That is not the case this year, and incumbent Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney is expected to easily win a second term over his Republican challenger, attorney Billy Ciancaglini. A landslide re-election victory is in large part due to a 7-to-1 ratio Democrats hold in the city.

Polls open at 7 a.m. in Pennsylvania and 6 a.m. in New Jersey. In both states, polls close at 8 p.m. There are no elections in Delaware this year.

There are other local races in the Delaware Valley that could produce noteworthy outcomes — and have effects on policy-making in the region — on this Election Day.

Here are Five Races to Watch on Tuesday:

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- Delaware County Council: Three Democrats and three Republicans are running to fill three open seats on the five-member county board. Two years ago, two Democrats beat out Republican incumbents to win the party’s first seats on Delco’s governing body in more than 50 years. As we pointed out last week, registered Democrats in the county now outnumber Republicans. Here are the numbers showing Republicans long slide.

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- Philadelphia City Council: All 17 seats on the city governing body are on the ballot. They include 10 district seats and seven at-large seats. This year, third-party candidates, some with the backing of popular Democratic leaders, hope to knock Republicans out of seats long held by the GOP.

- Chester County District AttorneyTom Hogan, the county’s DA the last eight years, is not running for a third term. That leaves a vacancy for top prosecutor in the large and diverse Southeastern Pennsylvania county. Hogan’s departure also means an exit from the political scene of one of the region’s most recognizable law enforcement officials with moderate conservative credentials.

- Philadelphia Sheriff: The Democratic nominee, Rochelle Bilal, is set to become the first female sheriff elected in the city's history.

- Delaware County District Attorney: Republicans across Delco are under siege in this election, with moderate incumbent Kat Copeland facing a challenge from Democrat Jack Stollsteimer. Progressive billionaire George Soros, who gave $1.7 million to help get Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner elected two years ago, has thrown some of his money into the race for Stollsteimer.

Many other local races, including a contentious re-election bid of first-term Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, a Trump acolyte, make up an Election Day that will eventually be dissected for trends heading into the presidential election year in 2020.

In New Jersey, every seat in the 80-member General Assembly is on ballots across the Garden State. Democrats hold a large majority in the legislative body.

Turnout will also be something to watch in the off-year election. As always, voter watchdog groups like Committee of Seventy and law enforcement agencies like the Philadelphia District Attorney's office will monitor polling places and ballot box issues. 

To report problems on Election Day in Philadelphia, call (215) 686-1590.

The state of Pennsylvania offers voters a portal to search for their polling place, as does the state of New Jersey and the city of Philadelphia

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