Voters in Philadelphia cast their ballots Tuesday for handful of local offices, including district attorney and controller, as well as several judgeships.
Democrats prevailed across the board, with incumbents Alan Butkovitz and Seth Williams picking up over 75 percent of the vote in the races for Controller and District Attorney, respectively. Butkovitz defeated 2010 Fels graduate, Republican Terrence Tracy on Tuesday, and 1993 Fels graduate Brett Mandel in a contentious Democratic primary in May.
The race for controller, an elected auditor who functions independently of the Mayor’s office, grew heated earlier this year with Mandel and Butkovitz taking jabs at each others’ track records up until election day, where Butkovitz easily defeated his challenger.
Butkovitz and Tracy, who has managed retail stores for several national clothing companies, joined a growing group of Penn-affiliates currently running for political office. John Hanger, 1984 Law School graduate, and 1989 Wharton MBA recipient Rob McCord are facing off in a crowded Democratic primary field for Pennsylvania governor.
Fels Institute of Government faculty member Marjorie Margolies and Perelman School of Medicine professor Valerie Arkoosh are vying for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s congressional seat in Pennsylvania’s 13th district. Both races will occur in May 2014.
Turnout on Tuesday was low throughout the city, in line with some analysts’ predictions of only around 10 percent, and is likely attributable to the relatively few and less visible offices up for grabs. Turnout in 2011, when voters re-elected Mayor Michael Nutter, ranged from 17 to 36 percent, depending on ward. In 2009, a race that featured a similarly low-profile slate of elections, just 10.8 percent of registered voters turned out.
While statewide races in Pennsylvania were limited to a couple of judgeships, voters in New Jersey and Virginia voted in races for governor, which occur in off-years in the two states. In New Jersey, incumbent Republican Chris Christie easily held on to his office, and in Virginia, businessman Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican and current state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in a closer race than polls had indicated. Last month, the Penn Democrats sent a group of volunteers to Virginia to canvas for McAuliffe.
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