What has been expected ever since primary election day on May 17th became official Wednesday afternoon. "As acting secretary of state, I'm required by the election code to order all county boards of election to conduct a recount of the race," says Leigh Chapman. She explains what comes next in the David McCormick-Mehmet Oz Republican U.S. Senate primary. "Counties may begin their recount as early as Friday, May 27th, but must begin no later than June 1st. They must complete the recount by noon on June 7th and submit the recount results to the Department of State by noon on June 8th," Chapman says. After more than 1.3 million votes were counted, Oz leads McCormick by just 902 votes, or less than one-tenth of percent, well below the five-tenths of a percent threshold that triggers an automatic recount.
While national attention is focused on the Mehmet Oz/David McCormick recount, another recount could be in the offing in the Lehigh Valley. While Jarrett Coleman has declared himself the winner in the 16th State Senate Republican primary over incumbent Pat Browne, Browne is considering asking for a recount. Unofficial vote counts have Coleman ahead of Browne by 19 votes. Browne has issued a statement saying he is considering asking for a recount and hopes residents in the 16th District would view that as reasonable. Automatic recounts like in the Oz/McCormick race are only required in statewide races.
Gov. Tom Wolf has released a statement on the massacre inside a Texas elementary school. The governor writes, "I am horrified by this tragedy and I am angry that our lawmakers continue to fail to address gun violence. I strongly urge our General Assembly and Congress to enact common sense legislation that will help stem the tide of gun violence."
Both Pennsylvania senators have tweeted reactions to the massacre inside a Texas elementary school Tuesday. Republican Pat Toomey writes, "Today, I join all Americans in mourning those whose lives have been stolen in Uvalde. This tragedy is as horrifying as it is heartbreaking." Democrat Bob Casey tweets, "We cannot continue to stand by as more of our children are killed in mass shootings. The United States is the only country on the planet where this happens regularly. These victims need more than thoughts and prayers. They need action. We need commonsense gun legislation."
Reaction from two men seeking statewide office in November to the school shooting massacre in Texas on Tuesday. "I'm sickened by this horrific act of evil and I want children to feel safe in school and for families to feel safe sending their children to school because that is the last thing you expect," Senate hopeful Mehmet Oz tweeted. "Our kids deserve leaders to stand up and make a damn change," tweeted Democrat gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro.
Following the school shooting in Texas, Democratic lawmakers are calling for action here in Pennsylvania. Legislators and civic leaders gathered at the state Capitol to say that too many lives have been taken here in the commonwealth because of gun violence. The lawmakers say the state's surplus is in the billions and they would like to use some of that money to fund resources against violence.
The state House of Representatives voted 111 to 87 Wednesday against an effort to ban certain weapons, in light of the school shooting in Texas. Democrat Danielle Friel Otten of Chester County wanted the house to take up the bill that would ban owning, selling or making high-capacity, semi-automatic firearms. But it went nowhere. Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff argued it should have to go through a committee first. However, the measure has spent more than a year in the judiciary committee, where most proposals to restrict guns remain in limbo.
Michael Horvath's murder trial is continuing in Monroe County. The trial resumed at the courthouse in Stroudsburg yesterday as Horvath's wife, Cathy, took the stand and said she called police on her husband after she found chloroform in their basement. Police say 41-year-old Holly Grim's remains were found on Horvath's property in Ross Township six years ago. They believe he kept notes as he stalked his former coworker at Allen Organ in Macungie before kidnapping and murdering her.
The business that puts on a popular July fourth fireworks show says they've had to permanently cancel the display. Schmoyer Funeral Home, the sponsor of Breinigsville's Independence Day fireworks spectacular, has announced on social media that it will no longer be staging the show. The post only referred to "numerous factors" as the reason for the shutdown. The show had taken place annually in Earl Adams Memorial Park for almost 40 years. There were no shows the past two years because of the pandemic.
Martin Guitar has unveiled a new exhibit honoring U.S. veterans. The exhibit features photographs of current and past Martin employees who served in the military. It also features American flags, service medals, various photographs and a Union soldier's cap from the Civil War. The exhibit also displays certificates that were gifts from some soldiers for guitars they received. Martin has donated guitars to servicemen serving overseas for decades. The exhibit is at 510 Sycamore Street in Nazareth and is open to the public Monday-Friday from 9-4:30.
A bill amending Pennsylvania's controlled substance law to allow for the use of personal testing equipment has passed a house committee. The measure, including fentanyl test strips, unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee this week. Republican St. Rep. James Struzzi says his proposal would help prevent overdose deaths by allowing people who are addicts to possess and use test strips to assure their own safety. The state logged over 5200 drug overdose deaths last year.
The annual Memorial Day seat belt enforcement campaign is now underway in Pennsylvania. PennDOT and its law enforcement partners are reminding motorists to buckle up in connection with the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement mobilization. It started last Monday and runs through June 5th.
New Jersey's top attorney is instructing law enforcement to stop arresting people wanted on certain bench warrants. Under AG Matthew Platkin's directive, authorities are not allowed to arrest anyone with a bench warrant worth $500 or less. A municipal judge typically issues an arrest warrant if someone fails to show up to court for traffic or ordinance violations. An officer will now give the individual notice and a new court date before releasing them unless there is a safety risk.