Sunday, November 04, 2018

The LuLac Edition #3921, November 4th, 2018



Tom Wolf: Democrat.

Scott Wagner: Republican

A lot of money was spent but it looks like the failure of Wagner to present himself as a reasonable alternative to Tom Wolf has failed. He has a good, compelling story to tell but his temperament will do him in. He offered himself as a “mini Trump” and perhaps his rise was more truthful and successful than the President’s. But thinking people can only deal with one cantankerous figure at a time and whatever panache Wagner might have hoped he’d gain from that was blunted by Trump.


Bob Casey Democrat

Lou Barletta Republican

Despite what anyone will tell you, this was not supposed to be Lou Barletta’s race. Republicans as early as 2016 were lining up behind Congressman Pat Meehan out of the Philly suburbs but Meehan was sidelined by a sexual harassment issue with a staffer. Enter Barletta who could have been a Congressman for life had he not entered the race.
He’s been under funded and has not had the help he needed from the Republican Senate committee because they are busy elsewhere trying to knock off Dem seats in Missouri, Montana and Indiana.
He’ll close the gap but not by much. Look for him to land in the Trump administration somewhere perhaps as Drug Czar.



Matt Cartwright Democrat

John Chrin Republican

Cartwright wins but it will be a battle. Chrin is concentrating on making inroads in the he The Lu and the Lac (the other day he was at Holy Rosary Church in Duryea after the 4pm Mass campaigning) to gain an advantage. His backers in Luzerne Count are the diehards who helped Donald Trump.
The hope is to keep totals down in those places for him to get through.
Most experts are calling for Cartwright to win and most likely he will. But this race has been more animated than some have expected.
Plus here’s something to really think about. Cartwright has brought millions of dollars to this district as a member of the Minority. Imagine what he could do if the Democrats take the House.
If Chrin wins and the House goes Democrat, the title of Ben Bradlee Junior’s book “The Forgotten” will take on a whole new meaning!

The 9th

Denny Wolff (Democrat)

Dan Mesuer (Republican)

Meuser has the registration lead and has been constant in his advertising since before the primary. Most have been negative, others positive but they include concerns about immigration and sanctuary cities. I’m sure these issues were tested with this population and that’s the messaging strategy.
But Meuser’s opponent s Denny Wolff who was Agricultural Secretary and a Farmer. May have a puncher’s chance. With the district being rural, the voters there will have to decide if they vote philosophy and registration or for one of their own. Meuser wins but Wolff come close.


22nd District

John Blake Democrat

Frank Scavo Republican

Scavo has been making Property Tax Reform a signature issue. He has done well in sowing the seeds of that issue especially since Blake was the deciding vote against it in the Senate. It will be a tough haul for Scavo and we’ll see how this plays out on Election Night.



Kyle Mullins Democrat

Ernest Lemoncelli Republican

Democrat Mullins won in a tough primary in the spring, he is a former staffer for State Government officials. Lemoncelli has campaigned for this post before, like Scavo he’ll have a high mountain to climb. But look for Mullins to prevail in the seat to replace Kevin Haggerty who chose not to run again.


Karen Boback Republican

Lou Jasikoff Independent.

Boback in a walk even though Jasikoff is very engaging and believes in his efforts.


Gerald Mullery Democrat

Justin Behrens Republican

This could be the sleeper of the year. Behrens came close last time against Mullery and has money pouring in from the State Republican House committee. It is reminiscent of the money Aaron Kaufer got when he was running against Eileen Ciprianni in 2014. Mullery has been on the scene and fighting back in his attempt to retain the seat formerly held by State Senator John Yudichak who is running unopposed If I had to call an upset, it would be Behrens by a nose but never, ever underestimate the staying power of a Yudichak backed candidate.


Eddie Day Pashinski Democrat

Sue Henry Republican

This race was originally supposed to feature Greg Wolovich who entered the race to oppose Pashinski because of Property Tax Reform. After winning the primary, Wolovich stepped aside for Sue Henry who had a contract dispute from her radio station. While the news at first stunned Democratic operatives, there has been a rallying round Pashinski who has come out with his own version of Tax Reform. This is a heavily Democratic District that has not gone Republican for at least 60s years.
Henry’s campaign has been joined by taxpayer groups across the state and in the County. There is support for Property Tax Reform because of the new Wilkes Barre Area School District being built and the impact voters worry it will have on their homes.
Both candidates have been working extremely hard in a campaign of contrasts. Incumbent-new comer as well age and gender differences.
Here’s where the votes may turn. It will depend entirely on how focused the Democratic organization is in the district and whether that can offset any effect from Henry. There is an uptick in GOP registration in the County but will it help in the 121st? The GOP infrastructure of the 121st has always been the weakest district in the GOP Count supply chain. One must ask whether Independents who Henry has met on the trail will out match the registration lead by the Democrats.
Henry was recently on WILK Radio with the afternoon talk show host and acquitted herself very well. Every caller who spoke with her pledged their support. Problem was I heard caller unable to vote for her.
The bottom line here is this. The race is too close to predict because of the unknowns. Has Henry, who is charismatic and well known as well as Pashinski who is also charismatic and well know fit the district? Will the one issue that Henry has championed pull her through or will the totality of Pashinski’s record get him to the finish line?
The key places to look at are totals from Wilkes Barre Twp., Ashley ad Mountaintop. How those towns go will decide who stays in the seat or who goes to the sidelines in this race.
As I said on TV Friday about this race, “I just don’t know!”


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