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The Johnny Doc fallout | Morning Newsletter

And take a data dive into the Nov. 2 election

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After six weeks of testimony from more than 50 witnesses and three-and-a-half days of deliberation, Philly labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon were found guilty in their federal bribery trial.

How will this affect Philly politics going forward? What does it mean for the local electricians’ union, which Doc turned into a political powerhouse with massive sway across Pennsylvania? And what about the sitting member of City Council who’s now a convicted felon? We’ll unpack all that in today’s top story.

Also, an in-depth analysis of last month’s elections in Pennsylvania and New Jersey shows the results were more complicated than the election-night narratives suggested.

Let’s get into it. 👇

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

Johnny Doc seemed invincible. To many in the union he led and the political network he cultivated, he was untouchable. But after guilty verdicts against him and Councilmember Bobby Henon, our reporter Juliana Reyes examines what’s next for the powerful electricians’ union without Johnny Doc at the helm.

It’s not over for Doc, who is trying to stay out of federal prison while he appeals. But there are even more legal hurdles ahead.

Henon, now a convicted felon, can technically keep his seat on City Council until he’s sentenced. But The Inquirer’s Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, says it’s time for Henon to go now.

What you should know today

  1. Emotional testimony from a rural superintendent highlighted Day 2 of the landmark case against how Pennsylvania schools are funded.

  2. SEPTA is trying to avoid yet another strike, one that would primarily affect suburban riders.

  3. Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick supported President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package, so now he’s in the hot seat with the GOP.

  4. The Main Line community gathered yesterday to honor the life of Sean Hughes, the Lower Merion High School principal who died in an auto accident Saturday.

  5. There’s a magic mushrooms bill in Harrisburg that could make Pennsylvania a leader in psychedelic research.

  6. Check out the Brooklyn nonprofit using Philly as a hub for recycled clothing waste.

  7. Bryce Harper could be crowned National League MVP this week, but is the Phillies slugger on a definitive path to Cooperstown? We crunched the numbers.

  8. And our music critic Dan DeLuca does an Inquirer Live sit-down with Philly DJ King Britt today at 5 p.m.

  9. Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

The narratives formed immediately after this month’s elections: Republicans, disappointed with President Joe Biden, trounced Democrats. Democrats were disinterested and unmotivated. A red wave crashed down on the country.

But an in-depth Inquirer analysis of the results in Pennsylvania and New Jersey shows the results were more complicated than the election-night narratives suggest. Here are some numbers that stood out.

  1. 🗳️ In Pennsylvania, the November election saw almost 304,000, or 28%, more Republican votes for state Supreme Court than in the same race in 2017, and Republican votes increased in all but three of the state’s 67 counties.

  2. 🥨 Turnout in Philadelphia, the state’s perennial Democratic stronghold, jumped about 7%.

  3. 🏃 Three New Jersey counties — Atlantic, Cumberland, and Gloucester — swung from incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to Republican Jack Ciattarelli.

  4. 🌊 In Ocean County, a deep-red pocket that twice backed Trump by the largest margin in the state, Republican turnout went up by 47,600 votes – or 49%.

Our reporters Aseem Shukla, Julia Terruso, and Allison Steele go deep in this breakdown that makes me want to break out the popcorn ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

On Monday, the Phillies came to the end of a lawsuit over who owned the original likeness of the Phillie Phanatic, a fight between the team and the original creators of the iconic mascot. Today’s question: Do you know the year the team introduced the Phanatic to Philadelphia? The answer can be found in this 2019 story explaining what transpired.

Photo of the day

Alright, it’s about time for Coffee No. 2. I’ll get at you all tomorrow. 🙏🏽