Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Just in time for the holiday season, the Pennsylvania political universe had some presents in store for us as we put together this edition of Winners & Losers. In a year packed with surprises – from historic firsts to shocking scandals – it’s nice to know there are still plenty of highs and lows to choose from.

Keep reading for more winners and losers!


Austin Davis -

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor will be even busier in 2024. Davis, who made history as the state’s first Black lieutenant governor earlier this year, was elected vice chair of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association on Dec. 5. Davis will be on the organization’s executive committee and will be working alongside other LGs to elect more Democrats to lieutenant governor’s offices across the country.

Laurie Bernotsky -

There’s one vote separating PennWest University interim President Lorraine Bernotsky from getting a new title and home across the commonwealth. The State System of Higher Education board of governors is expected to call for a vote this month to select the next president of West Chester University – with Bernotsky as the leading candidate. Bernotsky, who had a 27-year career at West Chester before coming to PennWest, would take charge of the Rams in July.

John Fetterman -

The first-term U.S. senator isn’t shying from the social media spotlight: He hired recently ousted U.S. Rep. George Santos for a Cameo video to offer “ethically-challenged” Sen. Bob Menendez some advice. Fetterman, who is one of the few Senate Democrats showing interest in a vote to oust Menendez, reportedly paid Santos for a personal video to offer “Bobby from Jersey” some advice on how to proceed.


John Dougherty -

Former Philadelphia labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty was found guilty of more than 70 criminal counts on Dec. 7 in his second federal embezzlement trial, including conspiracy, embezzlement and wire and tax fraud charges, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prosecutors accused Dougherty of embezzling more than $650,000 from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, which Dougherty led as its business manager. Dougherty was previously convicted of eight criminal counts in 2021 following a federal corruption trial, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Liz Magill -

The University of Pennsylvania’s response – or lack thereof – to antisemitism has drawn the ire of students, community members, and now, Congress. Penn President Liz Magill’s widely criticized congressional testimony has grown to the point where Gov. Josh Shapiro expressed concerns with her responses – and lawmakers have begun to call for her resignation.

Scott Perry -

An unsealed court filing has offered a glimpse of some of U.S. Rep. Scott Perry’s texts and emails, including a moment where Perry encouraged Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark as he sought to curry favor with President Donald Trump following the 2020 presidential election, according to The Associated Press. The development is the latest news about Perry’s efforts to install Clark, an assistant attorney general of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the time – and a sympathizer of Trump’s efforts to remain in power.

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