DeLissio wins 194th state-rep race, defeats Henderson by 567 votes [video]

Northwest Philadelphia residents headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast their votes in the primary elections for Pennsylvania governor, various state legislative races, three ballot questions and a special election for City Council.

NewsWorks was out and about all day and filed updates from poll openings to when the post-election parties ended.

7:45 a.m. update

According to AP, with all precincts reporting in the 194th House District, state Rep. Pamela DeLissio defeated challenger Dave Henderson by 567 votes (3,758 to 3,191). 

11 p.m. update State Rep. Pam DeLissio claimed victory late Tuesday night in a hard-fought campaign for the state-representative primary race for the 194th District.

She told NewsWorks that she received 53.119 percent of the vote and received a congratulatory email from the House Democratic Campaign Committee. According to AP, with all precincts reporting, DeLisso defeated challenger Dave Henderson by 567 votes (3,758 to 3,191).

“I am grateful for all the support from voters who have given me the opportunity to represent them in Harrisburg,” she said. “I plan to work even harder than I have in the three years I’ve already served them.”

She said that an estimate 850-vote win in the district’s Lower Merion section, offset by a 300- to 400-vote loss in the Manayunk, Roxborough and newly added East Falls portion means that her lead is safe.

“We’ve double and triple checked the numbers,” she said. 

To challenger Dave Hendersonm, though, the election-night party ended with no final chapter written.

“We’re not going to know tonight,” Henderson told supporters and campaign staff at St. Lucy’s in Manayunk.

On awaiting results from Montgomery County, he said, “Based on polling data we have from the past, it’s going to be a very tight race and will come down to absentee ballots and checking signatures at the polls.

“What does this mean to me? I love my community. This tells me that our door-to-door campaign worked. We’re going to keep fighting. The community that we talked to loved it and we love them back.”

Chris McGuigan, of Henderson’s campaign staff, told NewsWorks via text message that the vote totals are still “very, very tight. This won’t be called for at least a day possibly. [It’s] unbelievably close at the moment and could come down to a double- or single-digit call.”

Check back Wednesday for more on the race.

10:40 p.m. update The 194th District state-rep race between Pam DeLissio, an incumbent whose district now stretches into East Falls because of redistricting, and challenger Dave Henderson has not yet been called.

As it stands with 90 percent of the vote counted, DeLissio trails Henderson by 255 votes (52 to 48 percent).

10:20 p.m update State Sen. Leanna Washington, facing corruption charges, trails her two challengers in the Democratic primary. With 61 percent of the vote counted, Washington has garnered 23 percent of the vote. She trails Brian Granlick (45 percent) and Arthur Haywood (32 percent).

10:15 p.m. update With 87 percent counted, challenger Dave Henderson leads incumbent state Rep. Pam DeLissio by just over 300 votes (53-47 percent).

9:43 p.m. update State Rep. Pam DeLissio, behind with just 18 percent of the vote counted, took a moment to thank supporters for their efforts in her re-election bid, according to Bas Slabbers, who is at her party in Roxborough shooting pictures for NewsWorks.

9:30 p.m. update With around 10 percent of the vote counted, state Rep. Pam DeLissio and Dave Henderson are in a dead heat, with 322 votes each, in the 194th District primary.

9:07 p.m. update With just 14 percent of the vote counted, the Associated Press has called the Democratic gubernatorial primary for Tom Wolf, who garnered 55 percent of the vote.

Allyson Schwartz is currently in second place with 23 percent followed by Rob McCord (15) and Katie McGinty (7).

9 p.m. update State Rep. Pam DeLissio tells NewsWorks that results of her race against challenger Dave Henderson are “mixed,” with no numbers available yet from the Lower Merion portion of the district.

Chris McGuigan of the Henderson campaign offered results from 3 of the 45 divisions: Henderson leads DeLission 105 votes to 98.

This is, obviously, very early in the process.

6 p.m. update The line inside the Allens Lane Arts Center in Mt. Airy was several voters long — and growing — as Tuesday’s rush hour got underway.

Turnout in the city’s Ninth Ward often exceeds city’s averages.

As of 4:30 p.m., it was roughly 20 percent, according Democratic committeewoman Marilyn Monaco.

“I hope we get 40 or 50 percent,” she said as voters headed towards a pair of booths inside a downstairs dance studio.

“Instead of complaining about big issues when the election is over, come out and vote. That’s what I want to go tell everyone in the neighborhood, come over here and vote. Many people don’t know all the issues but all they have to do is educate themselves about the issues,” said Minority Inspector Eugene Archer at the Ladder 21 fire station on Germantown Avenue and Carpenter Lane. 

When it comes to the governor’s race — the top of this primary’s ticket — it’s unclear which of the four Democratic candidates Ninth Ward voters are supporting.

The arts center, for example, is the former polling place for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who called Mt. Airy home for years before moving to Montgomery County.

And so, it’s not far-fetched to think she’ll get a number of votes at her old stomping ground as a result.

But in a somewhat unusual turn of events, Monaco said state treasurer Rob McCord received the ward’s endorsement by a 17-7 vote.

“My interpretation is that perhaps people didn’t view her as governor material,” she said. “As a congresswoman, she’s very strong on policy. That’s, I think, her strong suit.

“But in terms of the battle that you sometimes get into in the legislature, with the legislature, if you’re governor, that may not be a place where people felt she would be strong enough.”

Monaco also noted that voters were concerned about her chances against Gov. Tom Corbett.

McCord, on the other hand, has more experience running for state office and had more union support than Schwartz, she said.

5:10 p.m. update Naomi Paskin-Parsons, who has been working the polls at Roxborough High School since 2009 said Tuesday’s election was “close to the slowest” she’s ever seen. 

“This is ridiculous. People died for this privilege and it’s squandered,” she said. 

At the Chestnut Hill Free Library, Judge of Elections Abraham Schultz said they were hoping for 35 percent of voters to come out. At lunchtime, 10 percent of those registered had voted. 

At the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Meredith Seiple of the Democratic Committee said usually the church has a line of voters by 7 a.m. on Election Day and that was not the case on Tuesday morning. 

4:30 p.m. update 

llegations that 21st Ward leader Lou Agre created phony court orders saying dissident campaign material had to be removed are false.

The court order is real, and signed by Philadelphia Commons Pleas Judge George Overton. The legitmacy of the order was confirmed by a court employee to WHYY/NewsWorks reporter Elizabeth Fiedler. 

Dissident candidate Joe Driscoll called the order “ridiculous.” According to Driscoll, the materials were found to be unsuitable because they were posted by a political action committee that wasn’t registered in Philadelphia. He told Fiedler is his challenging the ruling and getting the materials reprinted. 

Philadelphia lawyer Irv Acklesburg said because the PAC didn’t raise more than $250, they don’t have to be registered. He has advised the group of candidates to have the material reprinted without the name of the PAC even though he thinks what they’ve done is perfectly legal.

2:30 p.m. update from Happy Hollow Playground in Germantown.

Poll worker Barbara Williams said today has been “slower than the norm.”

“Thank god it’s nice out. If it were raining or cold there would be no one,” said Williams. 

Poll worker Ray Willis added: “It’s been mostly seniors and retirees but we expect more after people get out of work. That’s how it usually goes.”

Casting a ballot

Among others, at stake is 194th District state Rep. Pam DeLissio’s spot in the general election as she goes up against first-time candidate Dave Henderson.

Henderson’s first stop of the morning was Roxborough High School, where he graduated from in 2003.

“I came back here because this is where it started for me and I wanted to see how everyone was doing,” he said. “We’re hoping for a good turnout, we’re hoping for everyone to get out there and vote.”

Later in the morning, Henderson headed to Hillside Recreation Center in Roxborough to vote with his godson.

He said his campaign has about 170 volunteers out and about today. 

After voting at Ladder 30 in Roxborough, DeLissio said she had a “huge field out” during the day. 

“I’m looking forward to winning this today as I did in 2010 and 2012,” she said. “I hope everybody who is registered comes out to vote today.”

DeLissio is running for a third term after being challenged earlier in the campaign season by some voters who questioned her residency in the district after she changed her driver’s license to her Harrisburg address.

Also up for a nomination is state Sen. LeAnna Washington. The election comes after she was charged with using her legislative staff for political fundraising duties earlier this year. She serves parts of Montgomery County and Philadelphia — including Mt. Airy, Germantown and Chestnut Hill.

Additional info

Don’t know where to vote? Check out the Committee of Seventy guide to polling places

Click here for NewsWorks’ live blog of the gubernatorial race and legislative races throughout the city. 

Check back throughout the day for updates from polling places throughout Northwest Philadelphia. 

An earlier version of the 4:30 p.m. update described false allegations against Lou Agre in a different way.

Aaron Moselle, Bas Slabbers, Brad Larrison, Marcus McCarthy and Michelle Barrett contributed to this report.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.