2018 Primary Election Round-Up

2018 Primary Election Round-Up

With Pennsylvania’s 2018 primary election in the books, there is a lot to be excited about, especially for millennials. Several first-time candidates, with new ideas and fresh energy, were victorious on May 15 and will be looking to earn elected candidacy during the general election on November 6. Even more, 75% of Philly Set Go’s endorsed candidates won their primary races for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, all of which are millennials.

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Even with so much exciting opportunity, there is also a lot of work still to be done, as the vast majority of registered Philadelphian’s did not vote during this primary.  Philly.com has reported that only 17% of registered voters in the city voted this primary, meaning that just one out of every six potential voters determined the outcome of this election.  

Philly Set Go’s endorsed candidates for this primary election included Maggie Borski, who ran in the 177th Legislative District; Malcolm Kenyatta, who successfully secured the Democratic nomination in the 181st Legislative District; Elizabeth (Liz) Fiedler, who won the Democratic bid in the 184th; and Andrew Lewis, who won the Republican nomination in the 105th.  All of these candidates ran exceptional campaigns and often against strong political headwinds.  

Malcolm, running in North Philly, was the target of homophobic fliers that were circulated leading up to election day, however this did not prevent him from making history, becoming the first openly gay candidate of color to win a primary election for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  Liz also successfully prevailed in South Philly, overcoming a highly competitive Democratic primary.  Both Malcolm and Liz are running in districts that were long represented by incumbent state representatives and Philly Set Go is proud to have helped Malcolm and Liz with their “get out the vote” efforts and with election day poll watchers.

We are also excited Andrew secured the Republican nomination for the 105th, which falls outside of Harrisburg.  Andrew is Philly Set Go’s inaugural Liberty Lands Initiative candidate, meaning that while Andrew’s district falls outside of Philadelphia, his bipartisan approach to governance makes him an important voice in improving our Commonwealth.  We also could not be prouder of the campaign run by Maggie and team. At only 24 years old and while still in law school, Maggie led a very effective campaign in highly competitive race.  We have no doubt that Maggie will be a leader in our community for many years yet to come.

alschmidt.JPGPhoto source: Al Schmidt, City Commissioner, @Commish_Schmidt

While these primary election results support the notion that positive change is taking place across our city and state, we have to believe that we can do more.  Reports of less than okay voter turnout numbers point to the fact that for many people, especially younger citizens, they did not even realize that it was election day.  We must do better and while one of six registered citizens turning out to vote should never be acceptable, as City Commissioner Al Schmidt noted in a blog after last year’s primary election, no age cohort in Philadelphia increased in turnout as dramatically as the millennial generation.  While this year’s demographic results are still a work in progress and yet to be released, our hope is that drastic growth in millennial turnout only continues and helps to propel new and worthy leaders like Liz, Andrew, Malcolm and Maggie.

Help Philly Set Go support great candidates and empower more millennials to vote in future elections -- contribute to our crowdfunding effort.