Democrat Interim Mayor Ray O'Connell has won the race to finish the remaining two years of the term of ex-Mayor Ed Pawlowski. O'Connell easily turned aside Republican Tim Ramos by a two-to-one margin. At the county level, there's a big change coming on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners. All four Democrats on the ballot Tuesday won, meaning all four Republicans, including incumbents Brad Osborne and Marty Nothstein, lost. In addition to incumbent Dan Hartzell, newcomer Democrats Dave Harrington, Bob Elbich and Zakiya Smalls were Tuesday's winners.
For the fourth straight time and sixth time overall, Sal Panto has won Easton's mayoral election. He tells supporters this will probably be his final term, but he won't go out on cruise control. "I can assure every person in this city that I have the same passion, the same energy, the same drive to make sure that those four years are the same as the past 12 and we move this city forward so that we are still and continue to be the pride of the Lehigh Valley," Panto said. Panto earned more than 80 percent of the vote Tuesday. In the Northampton County DA race, Democrat Terry Houck appears to be the winner, earning 54 percent of the vote. Soon-to-be former Northampton County DA John Morganelli and Victor Scomillio have easily won the two seats up for grabs on the county's common pleas court.
All the votes in Northampton County had to be recounted following a malfunction in voting machines there. Workers had to take each paper ballot used and recount them all. The voting machines used in Northampton County were employed for the first time ever on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania's acting secretary of state Kathy Boockvar says there were no widespread problems during Tuesday's elections. Rebecca Warren, an attorney for the state Republican Party, doesn't buy that. "There has been chaos today across the state as a result of the new election voting machines," Warren said. The Pennsylvania Republican Party is suing to make sure every vote was counted Tuesday after reported issues across the state. Warren says there was one reported case out of York County where ballots that couldn't be scanned were placed into a suitcase.
A crime victim rights measure was approved by Pennsylvania voters on Tuesday. Marsy's Law was approved by a wide margin, meaning it would trigger an amendment to the state constitution. But the future of that law is uncertain due to a legal challenge. Tuesday's votes won't be certified after the state Supreme Court on Monday upheld a ruling to prevent the certification.
The votes aren't official yet, but New Jersey Democrats are currently looking like they'll maintain their massive majority in the state Assembly. All 80 seats were up for grabs Tuesday and it appears at least 38 Democrats have won, while 14 Republicans have also been victorious. Six more Democrats are leading their races, while eight GOP candidates are leading theirs. 14 races remain too close to call. Democrats, before yesterday's election, held a 54-to-26 majority.
Police in Bethlehem Township are looking for a man who recently threatened to shoot up the Nazareth Walmart. Police say the unidentified suspect told an employee at the store on Nazareth Pike last Friday he was going to return with a gun and attack.
A Pennsylvania woman faces charges she faked a cancer diagnosis. Chester County prosecutor Michael Noone calls it disturbing. "This defendant preyed on the kindness of strangers by lying about having cancer and then she lied about her own father's death essentially just to get a day off from work," Noone says. Jessica Smith is accused of collecting more than $10,000 through social media pages, claiming she needed the money to help pay her medical bills.
State meteorologists are saying 2019 has seen the second-most tornadoes in Pennsylvania recorded history. The tornado confirmed in Delaware County last week was the 35th confirmed this year. That puts 2019 in second place for the most twisters, but nowhere near the lead. In 1998 there were 61 tornadoes in Pennsylvania, the most since records started being kept in 1950.