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Key Pennsylvania judicial races dot landscape

By Melissa Daniels
Robert Byer never grew accustomed to the politics. While serving an appointed term on Commonwealth Court in 1991, he campaigned for an open seat. He lost, but he remembers the rumor mill rumbling about whether a decision on the bench came down to who might donate to his campaign. “It ...

Sestak’s use of rank violates military’s code of ethics

By Salena Zito
Joe Sestak retired from the Navy in 2005, but he still prefers the title “Admiral” in his campaign literature. And that could be a problem, experts ...

Authorities investigate racist letter to Pa. state police pick Brown

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — A racist letter to Col. Marcus Brown brought forth the first show of public support from a key senator for the embattled nominee to head the state police and called attention to dramatic decreases among minority state troopers ...

Robinson withdraws candidacy in Allegheny County Council primary

By Aaron Aupperlee
Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson chose to withdraw his name Wednesday from the Democratic primary ballot instead of contend with a court challenge that questioned the authenticity of signatures on his nominating papers, which included those of celebrities and pro ...

Republican senator to retire, putting Indiana in play

By The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., announced Tuesday that he will not run for reelection in 2016, throwing open a potentially competitive seat that could factor into the battle for the Senate majority. Coats, 71, who had been openly considering retirement ...

Obamacare gets new customer: Cruz

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday he is signing up his family for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, a law the Republican presidential candidate has vowed to repeal should he win the White House. Cruz formally kicked ...

Ex-state Rep. White removed from Republican primary ballot

By Jason Cato
Former state Rep. Jesse White’s bid to become a Washington County district judge suffered a setback Monday when a judge removed his name from the ...

Texas Sen. Cruz kicks off presidential campaign at Christian college

By Tribune News Service
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Sen. Ted Cruz opened the first major campaign of the 2016 presidential season Monday with a kickoff speech courting cultural conservatives and ...

Allegheny County Councilman Robinson: Challenged petition signatures legitimate

By Aaron Aupperlee
Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson stands behind signatures that match the names of celebrities, an NFL Hall of Fame inductee, political challengers and others on his petition to appear as a candidate on the May 19 primary ballot. The names of ...

Pennsylvania education funding letter war puts school districts in the middle

By Bobby Kerlik
Pennsylvania school district superintendents appear to be caught in a political battle over Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget while receiving conflicting instructions from Harrisburg leaders. Senate Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, and House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, penned a letter ...

Union pacts a big question mark in Pennsylvania budget

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — Raises for unionized state employees, who receive pay and benefits totaling billions of dollars, are a huge unknown factor in trying to craft ...

Superior Court candidate vows to spurn ‘corrosive influence’ of campaign donations - in the primary

By Adam Brandolph
Calling money a “corrosive influence” on elections, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Robert J. Colville announced Tuesday that he will not raise money in his ...

Paul to throw hat in ring in April, source says

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul is set to make official a presidential bid that has long been expected, a senior adviser to the Kentucky Republican told the Associated Press on Tuesday, pointing to April 7 as the kickoff date. Paul’s political ...

Kane investigation began with letter from former top state prosecutors on suspected leaks

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — For almost six months, it remained a mystery how a statewide grand jury investigation of Attorney General Kathleen Kane began. Special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio unceremoniously provided the answer in a document filed last month with the state Supreme ...

Former Pittsburgh Councilwoman Carlisle may be ineligible to return to office

By Bob Bauder
A former Pittsburgh councilwoman with a felony record can run for her old seat, but Pennsylvania’s constitution prevents her from holding office, legal experts say. ...

Former Senator Webb explores presidential bid, tests populist message

By Salena Zito
WASHINGTON — Jim Webb’s parents taught him early what it means to be a leader. “Different families have different discussions at the dinner table,” he said. ...

Rubio builds rapport with Romney’s camp

By The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been quietly cultivating a relationship with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his inner circle. Rubio has ...

A full-time artist, state’s first lady mixes passion, responsibilities

By Melissa Daniels
HARRISBURG — The mudslinging, critiques and exaggerated reports during last year’s gubernatorial campaign didn’t anger Frances Wolf. Not much, anyway; she knew the truth. “I know ...

Challenger Garcia presses Mayor Emanuel in Chicago election

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Before he decided he wanted to become Chicago’s mayor, Jesus Garcia was best known as a mild-mannered activist and legislator who dropped by ...

Scenarios don’t let Kane off hook, even if state high court tosses criminal case

By Brad Bumsted
HARRISBURG — Even if the state Supreme Court throws out a grand jury’s criminal case against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, legal experts say she might not be in the clear. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman could independently investigate ...

Salena Zito Columns

Cotton’s Iran letter turns tables on Obama

By Salena Zito
HAGERSTOWN, Md. Dodging raindrops and balancing bottled water and a bunch of power bars under one arm, a young man returned to his car at a Sheetz gas pump along old U.S. 40 in this western Maryland town, sandwiched between ...