Democrats seized historic victories in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburban counties on Election Day, adding to a blue wave that swept over the region in the 2018 midterm elections.
Three Democrats running for Delaware County Council were poised early Wednesday to complete a stunning flip of the once-Republican stronghold just outside Philadelphia.
Monica Taylor, Elaine Paul Schaefer and Christine Reuther each received 15,000 votes more than Republican candidates Mike Morgan, Kelly Colvin and James Raith overnight.
With their victories, in fact, Democrats now control county governments in Delaware and Chester counties for the first time since the American Civil War, according to numerous reports.
In Philadelphia, a similarly stunning defeat occurred as Republicans also lost one of their two at-large City Council seats.
Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party received 5,800 more votes than both Republican incumbents David Oh and Al Taubenberger to place sixth overall among the at-large candidates on the ballot. Oh finished seventh. Five Democrats on the ballot finished atop the vote count. The top seven vote-getters win Council seats.
Brooks' victory means there is an at-large City Council seat in the hands of a third party for the first time.
The Democratic challenger for Delaware County district attorney, Jack Stollsteimer, beat Republican incumbent, Kat Copeland. His victory is another win for progressive billionaire George Soros, who gave $100,000 in support of the Democrat.
Soros gave $1.7 million to Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner's election effort two years ago.
The blue coup in Delco would have been almost unthinkable just three years ago, leading up to the election for the other two seats on the county council. For decades, the entire council was made up of Republicans. Then in 2017, two Democrats beat Republican incumbents.
Election results in Philadelphia — and across Pennsylvania — were being reported very slowly as numerous counties used new voting machines for the first time. Results in Philadelphia weren't final until after 1 a.m. Wednesday.
LIVE RESULTS: Watch real-time Election Day results as the votes are tallied on NBC10 or at THIS LINK on NBCPhiladelphia.com and the app.
The upstart liberal victories overshadowed the long-expected victory of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who was elected in a landslide to a second and final term.
Kenney was long expected to romp in his bid for re-election over little-known Republican Billy Ciancaglini on this Election Day. The Associated Press called his victory at 10:22 p.m.
After he beat two opponents earlier this year in the Democratic mayoral primary — the first contested primary for an incumbent mayor in 32 years — Kenney vowed to fight for better education for all young people and improve the lives of the impoverished and working-class residents of the poorest big city in the country.
"Serving as your mayor has been the greatest honor of my life," Kenney said in his victory speech May 21. "There’s something special about being mayor when you walk into a pre-k classroom and see how a quality education empowers our children. My frequent school visits serve as a powerful reminder of what we’re fighting for each and every day."
Here's a rundown of other races from around the region:
— The next Philadelphia sheriff will be Democrat Rochelle Bilal, who will be become the first female sheriff elected in the city's history.
— In Chester County, Republican Tom Hogan, the county’s DA the last eight years, didn't run for a third term. With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, Democrat Deb Ryan crushed Republican Michael Noone. All other Democrats running for countywide office in Chesco also appeared to win against Republican opponents.
— A contentious re-election bid of first-term Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, a Trump acolyte, wasn't close. Gale easily defeated Republican challenger Fred Conner. Democratic incumbents Val Arkoosh and Kenneth Lawrence Jr. were re-elected to their seats on the three-member body.
— In New Jersey, every seat in the 80-member General Assembly was on ballots across the Garden State. Democrats were expected to hold onto their large majority in the legislative body.
Turnout will also be something to watch in the off-year election.
In Philadelphia, the city grappled with a "clumsy system" during the first use of new voting machine technology as well as the first time the City Commissioners' office housed results on its own website, according to an official in the office.
There were also reports of long voter waits across the state, where 45 of 67 counties began using new voting systems for the first time.
In York County, election officials apologized for long voter waits and inconveniences.