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November 03, 2015

Polls close in Pennsylvania, New Jersey

Elections Voting
11032015_Kenney Brian Hickey/PhillyVoice

Jim Kenney starts Election Day at 2nd and Jackson with a go-vote message for his and the Supreme Court races.

Polls in Pennsylvania and New Jersey closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday as voters headed to the polls today to elect a Philadelphia mayor, state judges and members of the state assembly.


In Philadelphia, candidates for mayor, City Council, row offices, municipal judgeships and three questions appeared on the General Election ballot.

In the race for mayor, Democratic nominee Jim Kenney, a former councilman, was challenged by Republican nominee Melissa Murray Bailey. Also on the ballot: Independents Jim Foster and Boris Kindij, and Osborne Hart of the Socialist Workers Party. Kenney was expected to win handily.

There were contested races for City Council At-Large seats, as well as in the 8th and 9th districts.

Regardless of party affiliation, voters could cast ballots for up to five candidates for City Council At-Large. At least two Republicans were guaranteed seats.

Democrats seeking the At-Large seats were Derek S. Green, incumbent Blondell Reynolds Brown, Allan Domb, incumbent William K. Greenlee and Helen Gym.


Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey, center, and her sister Lauren meet with a voter on Tuesday morning during her second stop of the morning at the Guerin Rec Center, 16th and Jackson, in South Philadelphia. (Brian Hickey / PhillyVoice)

Republicans seeking election were incumbents Dennis M. O'Brien and David Oh, Terry Tracy, Daniel Tinney and Al Taubenberger.

Other candidates were Kristin Combs, Green; Sheila E. Armstrong, Independent; Andrew C. Stober, Philadelphia Party; and John Staggs, Socialist Workers Party.

In the 8th District, Democratic incumbent Cindy Bass was opposed by Michael Galganski of the Free Dominion Party.

In the 9th District, Democrat Cherelle Parker was opposed by Republican Kevin Strickland and Independent Bobbie T. Curry.


Three questions appeared on the city ballot. All voters could vote "Yes" or "No" on the following questions:

#1: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs, headed by a Director of LGBT Affairs?

This proposed amendment to the Home Rule Charter would add a new office to the administrative branch of city government: the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs. The Office would be headed by the Director of LGBT Affairs, appointed by the Mayor.

#2: Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create a new Department of Planning and Development, headed by a Cabinet-level Director, to oversee the City's planning, zoning, development services and housing and community development functions; put the Historical Commission in the Charter and create a new Housing Advisory Board; and attach the City Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Art Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Housing Advisory Board to the new Department?

This proposed amendment to the Home Rule Charter would create a new Department of Planning and Development. The department would be headed by the Director of Planning and Development who would be a member of the Mayor’s cabinet.

#3: Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE MILLION NINE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($155,965,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

This ballot question, if approved by the voters, would authorize the city to borrow $155,965,000 for capital purposes, thereby increasing its indebtedness by $155,965,000. Capital purposes means, generally, to make expenditures that will result in something of value with a useful life to the city of more than five years, for example, acquisitions of real estate, or construction of or improvements to buildings, property or streets.


In Montgomery County, four candidates were seeking seats on the three-member Board of County Commissioners: Incumbent Democrats Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh, and Republicans Steve Tolbert Jr. and Joseph Gale.

District Attorney Risa Ferman was not seeking re-election. The office was sought by Democrat Kevin R. Steele, first assistant district attorney, and Republican Bruce L. Castor Jr., former county commissioner and district attorney.

In Bucks County, four candidates were seeking seats on the three-member Board of County Commissioners: Incumbent Democrat Diane Ellis-Marseglia; Democrat Brian Galloway; and Republican incumbents Robert G. Loughery and Charles H. Martin.

In Chester County, four candidates were seeking seats on the three-member Board of County Commissioners: Incumbent Democrat Kathi Cozzone and Democrat Bill Scott; and incumbent Republicans Terence Farrell and Michelle H. Kichline.

In the race for district attorney, incumbent Republican Thomas Hogan was challenged by Democrat Tom Purl.

In Delaware County, three seats were open on the five-member county council. Three incumbent Republicans – John McBlain, Colleen Morrone and Michael Culp – were challenged by Democrats Sharon Booker, Richard Womack and Christine Reuther, who were seeking to get party representation on the board for the first time in about four decades.


Pennsylvania voters also voted for a number of state judges for Commonwealth Court (one vacancy), Superior Court (one vacancy) and the scandal-plagued Supreme Court (three vacancies). All terms are for 10 years.

Five candidates were running for the Supreme Court: Democrats Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht; Republicans Anne Covey, Michael George and Judy Olson; and Independent Paul Panepinto. 


In New Jersey the focus was on seats in the Assembly.

In eight of the 80 seats up for election in the General Assembly in 2015, there was only one major party candidate running for election. A total of three Democrats and five Republicans were guaranteed election barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates faced off in the general election in 32 of the 80 seats up for election.

Two Assembly seats were available in each district. Candidates could run as part of a group or “bracket,” which means they are printed together on the ballot. Here is a rundown of the contested races in South Jersey:

District 1: Democratic incumbent Bob Andrzejczak, Democrat R. Bruce Land, Republican incumbent Samuel Fiocchi and Republican Jim Sauro.

District 2: Democrat Colin Bell, Democratic incumbent Vincent Mazzeo, Republican Will Pauls and Republican incumbent Chris Brown.

District 3: Democratic incumbents  John Burzichelli and Democrat Adam Taliaferro; Republicans Samuel J. Maccarone Jr. and Leroy P. Pierce III; and Independent John Kalnas (The People's Voice).

District 4: Democratic incumbents Paul Moriarty and Gabriela Mosquera; Republicans Kevin Murphy and Jack Nicholson.

District 5: Democrat Patricia Egan Jones, Democrat Arthur Barclay, Republican Kevin P. Ehret and Republican Keith A. Walker.

District 6: Democratic incumbents Louis Greenwald and Pamela Lampitt; Republicans Holly Tate and Claire Gustafson; and Green Party candidates James Bracciante and Amanda Davis.

District 7: Democratic incumbents Herbert Conaway Jr. and Troy Singleton; Republicans Bill Conley and Rob Prisco.

District 9: Democrats Fran Zimmer and John Bingham; Republican incumbents Brian Rumpf and DiAnne Gove.

To see the full list of Assembly races across the state, click here.