U.S. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Williamsport) surprised nobody as he moved on to his fifth term in congress with sixty-seven percent of the vote, defeating only mediocre challenges to the allusion voters have an actual choice in their selection for congress inside what is now the twelfth district. Marino was, hilariously, twice nominated and withdrawn to serve as President Trump's "Drug Czar", despite legitimate questions about his connections to the very industry he was supposed to regulate.
Pennsylvania easily handed Gov. Tom Wolf a second term over his Trump-endorsed opponent, Scott Wagner. U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who was in Williamsport a few days before the election with his wife, was also handed another term over Republican Lou Barletta.
Higher-than-average voter turnout in Lycoming County was the only exciting thing to happen as a result of the election on 6 November 2018. No surprises, no changes.
In Lycoming County, Rep. Garth Everett garnered under eighty percent and Rep. Jeff Wheeland won almost sixty-six percent over their Democratic opponents, both first-time candidates. Conclusions all but guaranteed since their primaries, to be sure.
As for the referendum questions in the City of Williamsport, it seems voices were too loud on both sides for anyone to agree on anything but business-as-usual as to how city government functions.
Williamsport's government study commission was often seen as a political ruse against incumbent Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and his often erratic acts in office. Former Commission member Matilda Noviello was asked her perspective.
"Rhetoric is impactful to those fearful of change," Noviello said, mentioning even Mayor Campana also agreed it was a political attack against his leadership.
"You blow this whistle loudly and profusely enough to super voters, I think it's going to stick.... (our) message got scrambled with those arguing that each commission had an agenda."
Now As Williamsport looks ahead to the 2019 mayor's race: Business-as-usual? Or something different? What we know is this - business-as-usual sometimes comes dressed as something different. Beware of big promises and false hopes.
Wolf's election was different this year because of his new running mate, Braddock mayor and incoming lieutenant governor John Fetterman, locking strong left-and-centrist liberals in the states highest offices the next four years.
Fetterman - a western Pennsylvania mayor - alongside his popular wife, Gisele Baretto Fetterman (a former undocumented immigrant from Brazil), electrified many in the Democratic base. The bald, bulky man who notably does not wear suits and has numerous tattoos, now joins the Wolf administration as the states second-in-command, becoming governor should anything happen to Wolf.
Fetterman's entrance into the capitol signifies an active, vocal voice of liberals which Pennsylvania Republicans have yet to deal with, as opposed to the center/left policies of Governor Wolf. Republicans should be nervous of Fetterman not because his policy positions are wrong, but because he know's how to deliver the message.
President Trump controls the U.S. Senate and looks now to his 2020 re-election, facing legal issues way beyond the likes of Watergate or Whitewater. With Democrats now holding the majority in the House of Representatives, essentially little to nothing of legislative importance will be achieved the next three years or more. The country is arguably divided more now than it has in generations. As a result, do not disqualify Trump until he is officially out of office, one way or another.
The country keeps focusing on which big-league Democratic contender is going to capture the nomination and lead the Democrats to the White House in 2020. What I think people are possibly missing is the fact people could just be sick and tired of the "big league" people. They're ready for the underdog ("Jimmy Who?" in 1976). The one people didn't expect to see coming, like Bernie Sanders, who probably should be president.
But who I think we're missing as we discuss 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, is Tom Wolf, the governor of Pennsylvania. Why?
Tom Wolf is the least bought out of any Democrat who could win the nomination. He is incredibly smart, but soft spoken and firm in his convictions. And humble.
Smart. Soft spoken. Firm in their convictions. Humble: Imagine those qualities in a president when it is made to look and talk like a president.
How is it we can honestly expect an election to change any of this? Well, to be honest, it won't take a single election. It takes many, many elections to do it. Or, sometimes, it takes a sudden, collective action or act from the body politic, which could come in many different forms.