Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

We’re heading into the most wonderful time of the year: transition teams are being announced, new candidates are launching campaigns for attorney general by the day and the commonwealth is continuing to draw more attention from the president and presidential contenders, with President Joe Biden set to visit in the coming weeks. 

Keep reading for this week’s Winners & Losers!


Pennsylvania’s credit rating -

The state received good news from Fitch Ratings this week, as well as another updated credit score. In September, S&P Global Ratings improved the state’s outlook from “stable” to “positive,” while Moody’s reaffirmed the commonwealth’s Aa3 issuer credit rating. This week, Fitch updated Pennsylvania’s rating from “AA-” to “AA” – a move that drew praise from Gov. Josh Shapiro and Senate Republicans. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Al Schmidt -

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt announced this week that redesigned mail-in ballot materials will be used in next year’s elections to decrease voter confusion. The materials include new secrecy envelopes with yellow backgrounds and standardized full-page instructions, among other changes. The announcement comes after a federal judge ruled on Nov. 21 that mail-in ballots without an accurate handwritten date must still be counted, according to The Associated Press.

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate -

The unemployment rate in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s seven-county region remained at a 50-year record low last month, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The rate remained unchanged at 3.5% – the lowest number since records began being kept in 1976.


Philadelphia Department of Prisons -

Thursday brought plenty of headaches for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, which announced the death of an inmate and the escape of another within the span of a few hours. The department said Thursday afternoon that an incarcerated person was found fatally assaulted while in custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. About an hour later, the department announced that Gino Hagenkotter, a 34-year-old male, escaped custody during an outside work detail assignment behind the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Facility.

Washington County officials -

The Washington County Coroner's Office was raided this week due to a dispute between Coroner Timothy Warco and District Attorney Jason Walsh over a police shooting that occurred in April.  The two reportedly have been in disagreement over whether the shooting was justified.  Warco said the warrant sought police reports and other evidence related to the shooting death of Eduardo L. Hoover Jr., according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. That’s probably not the type of civil discourse voters expect from two local leaders.

Charles M. Dertinger -

Northampton County will begin the search for a new director of administration after Charles Dertinger resigned from his post following Election Day issues in the county. Voters reported experiencing trouble with voting machines on Election Day and, according to, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure said he accepted the resignation “with deep regret.”

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