Yesterday was Election Day here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and like virtually every day after there is both good news and bad news to report. But first, thanks to all of you who took time to vote, and for all those who helped distribute our Voter Guide. We hope you found it helpful.
Now, to the results.
In the statewide judicial races, Democrat candidates swept. Based on what is known about those candidates (and the organizations that supported them) this does not bode well for pro-life or religious liberty issues that may come before our courts. These winners had all been endorsed by abortion giant Planned Parenthood and the largest LGBT groups. At stake were three seats on the Supreme Court and one seat on both of our Superior and Commonwealth Courts – which hear state level appeals on matters such as challenges to Pennsylvania’s laws.
Special State Senate Election
In a Special Election to fill a state senate seat in suburban Pittsburgh (left vacant by Matt Smith, a Democrat), Republican Guy Reschenthaler defeated Democrat opponent Heather Arnet. The good news is that senator-elect Reschenthaler is pro-life, while Arnet was endorsed by the political arm of Planned Parenthood. This election now expands the GOP majority in the state senate to 31-19.
Good News Pennsylvania Roundup
In an important local race, Theresa Santai-Gaffney won re-election as Schuylkill County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court. You may recall her for taking a strong public stand as the only county official in Pennsylvania to appeal the decision of U.S. District Judge John Jones, who struck down Pennsylvania’s law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Gaffney won by more than 3,000 votes over her Democrat opponent and by more than 8,000 votes over the Independent candidate.
Our congratulations to State Rep. Tim Krieger, who won a close election (by a little more than 100 votes) as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Westmoreland County. Judge-elect Krieger has been a close ally on legislation involving the sanctity of life and constitutional liberty. We also note the election of family law attorney and friend of the Pennsylvania Family Council, Christopher Menges as Common Pleas Judge in York County.
Good News Around the Country
Houston, Texas: Houston voters said “NO” on their city’s ballot to a radical ordinance that would have allowed men to use women’s bathrooms and would have trampled the religious freedoms of Houston’s citizens. Proposition 1 was voted down by a two to one margin. Pennsylvania Family Council’s sister organization, Texas Values, was a leader in the two-year battle leading to this victory.
Note: Pennsylvania faces a similar law that would amend our state’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include gender identity and sexual orientation as special protected classes. The “bathroom bill” is part of this legislation and it must be stopped. Click here to take action.
Kentucky: Republican Matt Bevin won the governor’s race, defeating that state’s sitting Attorney General Jack Conway. One of the big issues separating the candidates was Conway’s previous refusal to defend traditional marriage in a lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s constitutional definition of marriage that had been approved by 75 percent of Kentucky voters in 2004. In contrast, Bevin was seen as a supporter of marriage and religious liberty as he supported the right of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to refrain from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Ohio: To the surprise of many political pundits and the media, by a 2:1 margin, Ohio voters defeated a statewide referendum to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, despite $25 million dollars that was poured into the campaign by interested parties to get it passed. Opposition included Jen Shepherd, who moved her family from Colorado due to the legalization of marijuana and the proliferation of commercial pot derivatives there in the form of candies, cookies and sodas. As our colleagues at Citizens for Community Values put it: “Legalizing recreational and medical marijuana without the proper oversight is dangerous for Ohio families.” We agree.