Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

It was a special week in the commonwealth, as the campaign to elect the next state representative in the 140th Pennsylvania House District finally came to a head, with Democrats emerging victorious in a special election to hold on to their slim margin in the state House. Elsewhere, Pennsylvania airports got an influx of new funding, and Pennsylvania’s famous/infamous groundhog faced scorn for his weather predictions. 

Keep reading for more of this week’s Winners & Losers.


Jim Prokopiak -

Democrat Jim Prokopiak is set to become the newest member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after winning a special election in the state’s 140th House District. Prokopiak’s defeat of Republican candidate Candace Cabanas ensures that Democrats will hold on to their narrow majority in the state House – at least until the next resignation or retirement.

Commonwealth airports -

Frequent flyers rejoice: Several commonwealth airports were included in a federal funding package slated to dish out close to $1 billion to upgrade the nation’s terminal facilities. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the grants and recipients Thursday, which are going to 144 airports in 44 states. The Philadelphia International Airport will receive $20.4 million, Harrisburg International Airport will receive $7.5 million, Pittsburgh International Airport will receive $5.3 million and Lancaster Airport will receive $2.7 million under the program.

Shapiro administration employees -

Employees working in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration will now be eligible for expanded paid parental leave and additional work-life supports, the administration announced this week. Paid parental leave for state employees will expand from six to eight weeks, and eligible employees will also be eligible for expanded benefits under the State Employee Assistance Program, including a free concierge service that can find local options for child and elder care, vehicle repairs and other needs.


Punxsutawney Phil -

The commonwealth’s most famous groundhog got many Pennsylvanians’ hopes up too soon when he didn’t see his shadow, predicting an early spring for the first time since 2020. That forecast hasn’t rung true, however, as much of the eastern part of the state was hit with a snowstorm early this week – with more snow forecasted for the weekend. So far in 2024, it’s the Snow Miser: 1, Punxsutawney: Nil.

Taiba Sultana -

Petition filing in the Lehigh Valley is off to an odd start, with a candidate for state representative turning in an apparently forged signature as part of her candidate petition earlier this week. Easton City Councilmember Taiba Sultana, who is running for the 136th House district seat, is expected to face off against Democratic incumbent Robert Freeman in the April primary. Sultana’s candidate petition, however, includes signee Lisa Boscola – a state senator who says that the petition includes neither her signature nor her correct address. Sultana says she didn’t knowingly submit a false signature and attributed the mistake to a prank. 

Josh Shapiro -

This week, a report from Spotlight PA found that Gov. Josh Shapiro accepted $1,650 in event tickets and catering from a lobbyist in October 2023 – the same day he attended a fundraiser at a Philadelphia Eagles game – which a Shapiro spokesperson said came after Shapiro was invited to a Democratic Governors Association fundraiser. The spokesperson said that the tickets and catering were an “in-kind contribution, in accordance with Pennsylvania law.” Shortly after taking office in 2023, Shapiro signed an executive branch gift ban that prohibits executive branch officials and employees from accepting “admission to a recreational event” – a term that includes professional and semi-professional sports events.