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Gen Politics

    Update March 14, 2018 7:35 p.m EDT: Democrat Conor Lamb has won Pennsylvania’s special election in the 18th Congressional district, beating Republican Rick Saccone in a GOP stronghold by a thin margin of just over 600 votes, according to The New York Times, which called the election late Wednesday. Republicans have not conceded the election and are likely to demand a recount, the Times reported. Update March 14, 2018 2:32 p.m. EDT: Sources told WPXI’s Rick Earle that the Republican party has hired an independent firm to look for voting irregularities in Tuesday’s special election. Although unofficial results for the race put Democratic candidate Conor Lamb just a few hundred votes ahead of his Republican rival for the 18th Congressional District seat, Rick Saccone, a recount of the vote is unlikely. If the race was one that was statewide, it would trigger an autmoatic recount, as less than .5 percent separates Lamb and Saccone’s tallies. The same rules don’t apply to congressional races.  >> On WPXI.com: Why there may not be a recount in the 18th Congressional District race A recount can only happen if three or more voters from each precinct petition for a recount due to fraud or errors in the vote counting. Update March 14, 2018 12:50 a.m. EDT: Democratic candidate Conor Lamb has declared victory over opponent Rick Saccone in the closely watched special election in Pennsylvania for the 18th Congressional District seat. >> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage of this developing story Saccone has not conceded. The Pennsylvania Secretary of State's election results website currently has Lamb with a 113,111-112,532 edge in votes. However, there are still an unclear number of absentee, provisional and military ballots to count. >> Read more trending news  ORIGINAL STORY: Polls have closed in the special election for the 18th Congressional District, a race that has drawn national attention and is seen by some as a referendum on President Donald Trump. Political newcomer Conor Lamb showed strength in fundraising and the polls for Democrats, who are seeking to control a seat that has been primarily Republican for decades.  The GOP pinned its hopes to Rick Saccone, a four-term state representative who has tied himself very closely to Trump throughout the campaign. The seat opened in October when longtime representative Tim Murphy resigned amid a scandal. The district, which stretches through parts of Greene, Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties, could change by May after the state Supreme Court threw out the electoral map in January, saying it was unconstitutional.  The court issued a new map intended to take effect by the May primaries, although Republicans have challenged that map in court. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump took last place in a new survey that aims to measure 'presidential greatness.' >> President Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney in Utah Senate race According to the results posted Monday by Boise State University, 170 political scientists participated in the 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey. More than 57 percent of the respondents – current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association – were Democrats, while 13 percent were Republicans and 27 percent were Independents. Respondents gave each president a score of 0-100 for 'overall greatness,' then each president's scores were averaged. >> Read: Trump addresses nation after deadly Florida high school shooting So who took the No. 1 spot? Abraham Lincoln led the pack with a score of 95.03, followed by George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Those presidents' ranks remained unchanged from 2014. Among recent presidents, Barack Obama fared the best, placing eighth with a score of 71.13. Ronald Reagan took the No. 9 spot, while Bill Clinton came in at No. 13, George H.W. Bush at No. 17, Jimmy Carter at No. 26 and George W. Bush at No. 30. >> Read more trending news  Trump ranked No. 44 – last place – with a score of 12.34. Among Republican respondents, he fared slightly better, coming in at No. 40. See the full results here.
  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to weigh in on Republican Roy Moore's stunning loss in the Alabama Senate race. >> Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race? >> Alabama Senate race: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore >> Click here or scroll down for more >> Read more trending news 
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, the city's first Asian-American mayor, died suddenly Tuesday morning after a heart attack, officials said in a statement. He was 65. >> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017 >> Click here or scroll down for more >> Read more trending news 
  • 12:27 a.m. EST Wednesday: Mary Norwood says she's asking for a recount as Keisha Lance Bottoms declares a victory in the Atlanta mayor's race. >> Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Bottoms leads by just 759 votes. Bottoms, introduced by Mayor Kasim Reed as the 60th mayor of Atlanta, declared victory as she spoke to her supporters, but Norwood said the race isn't over yet. >> On WSBTV.com: LIVE real-time election results ORIGINAL STORY: Today is the day Atlanta will decide which woman will become its next mayor. >> Watch the news report here Polls officially opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood spent Monday at City Hall doing the people’s business, but they also did some campaigning before Tuesday’s election. And with the race coming to an end, some people are now deciding whom they plan to endorse. >> Visit WSBTV.com for complete coverage Outside City Hall, more endorsements came in for Bottoms. Prominent attorneys and progressives stood with her. “I have no doubt in my mind that Ms. Bottoms will surround herself with a team of compassionate and thoughtful people with the political savvy to make this city better,” said assistant professor Maurice Hobson. >> On WSBTV.com: Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mary Norwood face off ahead of Election Day But across town, a civil rights activist said he’s endorsing Mary Norwood. “Dr. King said it best: 'People want to be judged based on their character, not the color of their skin.' That works not just for white people but for African-Americans,” said the Rev. Markel Hutchins.  Hutchins said he supports Norwood because of her decades of public service. >> Read more trending news  “What Atlanta needs now is not just someone who is desiring of the office of mayor but someone who legitimately wants to serve the public,” Hutchins said. Both candidates were at Monday’s City Council meeting after the Tuesday’s election, and it will be one of their last; one will become mayor and the other will become a private citizen.
  • Many political contenders earned new titles as the results from Election Day rolled in Tuesday, but one Virginia politician also became a history maker as the first openly transgender woman elected and seated in a U.S. state legislature. >> Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend was killed on live TV, wins Virginia delegate seat Democrat Danica Roem, a wife and stepmother of one, beat out 25-year, 13-term incumbent Republican Del. Bob Marshall for the House of Delegates position.  “Discrimination is a disqualifier,” Roem said Tuesday night as the votes were still being counted. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias ... where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.” >> Read more trending news  This is Roem’s first political position. Want to learn more about her? Here are five things you should know: Roem’s race with Marshall was contentious. Marshall helped introduce the controversial “bathroom bill,' which would restrict the bathrooms transgender individuals would use. While the legislation did not pass, Marshall continued to voice his opinions about the LGBT community. The self-proclaimed “chief homophobe” refused to debate Roem in person and referred to her using male pronouns. He also produced several ads denouncing Roem’s transgender identity. One read, “Danica Roem In His Own Words,” and another stated, “Danica Roem, born male, has made a campaign issue out of transitioning to female.” >> On AJC.com: Spelman College to admit transgender female students The Democrat raised more money than her Republican opponent. The Virginia native raised $500,000, according to The Washington Post. Many of the donations came from LGBT advocates and supporters. While District 13 only has 52,471 registered voters, she reportedly knocked on doors more than 75,000 times. Marshall’s campaign said staffers knocked on voters’ doors about 49,000 times.  She began her physical transformation about four years ago. The 33-year-old started her transgender transition in 2013. She began hormone replacement therapy and later changed her name from “Dan” to “Danica.' Roem was an award-winning newspaper reporter. She graduated from St. Bonaventure University in New York with a degree in journalism. For nine years, she worked for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times as a reporter and editor. During her stint as a journalist, she was awarded by the Virginia Press Association seven times.  She plays in a metal band in her spare time.  Roem sings in a metal band called Cab Ride Home. She’s the lead vocalist of the five-member ensemble, and they have performed more than 100 shows, including in the U.K., according to their website. 
  • Former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile apparently had much to say about former President Barack Obama in her revealing book. An excerpt from Brazile’s newest book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” focused heavily on the relationship between certain high-profile Democrats and how certain egos and competencies affected the DNC’s debt, reports The Daily Caller. >> Donna Brazile tells critics of her new book to 'go to hell' “We had three Democratic parties: The party of Barack Obama, the party of Hillary Clinton, and this weak little vestige of a party led by [Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz] that was doing a very poor job getting people who were not president elected,” Brazile wrote, criticizing the former DNC chairwoman for incompetence. Her criticisms focused primarily on the three. She even wrote at one point, “[Obama] left it in debt. Hillary bailed it out so that she could control it, and Debbie went along with all of this because she liked the power and perks of being a chair but not the responsibilities.” Brazile accused Obama of caring “deeply about his image” and using the DNC to fund “his pollster and focus groups.” This was especially odd considering Obama was in his second term as president, so he was unable to run for the position again, she said. >> On Rare.us: President Trump uses Democratic primary 'rigging' allegations to blast his Justice Department “As I saw it, these three titanic egos – Barack, Hillary and Debbie – had stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes,” she added. Brazile said Obama, Clinton and Schultz loved the Democratic Party dearly and sincerely but “leeched it of its vitality and were continuing to do so.” In another portion of the book, which was highly publicized, Brazile stated that she found “proof” that the DNC rigged the nomination process in favor of Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Several Democrats shared their support of Brazile’s claim, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Warren told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday, “What we’ve got to do as Democrats now is we’ve got to hold this party accountable.” >> Read more trending news Brazile walked back her statements on Sunday, telling George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “This Week,” “I found no evidence. None whatsoever.” Brazile took over as interim chair for the DNC in July 2016 after Schultz was forced to step down, the result of an email leak that revealed DNC staffers aided Clinton’s campaign over Sanders’ in the primary. Schultz later argued that the primary was “by the books” and “followed the rules.” A WikiLeaks email leak a few months later revealed that Brazile provided Clinton's team with some key details of the presidential debate questions ahead of time.
  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to thank former President Jimmy Carter for his remarks about “how badly I am treated by the press.” >> See the tweet here >> Reports: First charges filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller Trump was referring to a recent interview with the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that had the Georgia native asserting the “media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.” >> Trump ally Roger Stone suspended from Twitter after profanity-laden rant Added Carter: “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.” >> Donald Trump slams Michael Moore's Broadway show as 'total bomb'; filmmaker fires back Also in that interview, the Democrat offered Trump his services to negotiate with North Korea’s leader – an offer the White House formally rebuffed on Friday. >> Read more trending news The 93-year-old repeated that he and his wife Rosalynn voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in last year’s Democratic primary. He questioned whether Russia’s attempts to interfere in the election changed “enough votes, or any votes” to matter. And he knocked some of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy decisions.
  • Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is expected to resign at 5 p.m. PDT Wednesday amid allegations from five sex abuse accusers.  >> Watch the news report here Murray made the announcement in a written statement at 1:07 p.m. PDT Tuesday, about two hours after a fifth man accused him of sexual abuse decades ago. >> On KIRO7.com: Read a timeline of Seattle mayor’s alleged sexual abuse of teens, as well as his attorney’s responses, here 'While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business,' he wrote.  >> Read more trending news A cousin of the Seattle mayor was the fifth man to accuse Murray of sexual abuse – this time alleging he was repeatedly molested as a teenager in the 1970s. The Seattle Times broke the story shortly after 11 a.m. PDT when Murray was expected to announce a plan for KeyArena. Murray’s staff canceled the press briefing. More coverage from KIRO7.com: >> Document shows foster-guardian relationship between Seattle mayor, accuser >> Man accusing Seattle Mayor of sex abuse goes public for first time >> Man who sued Seattle mayor over alleged sex abuse now seeks millions from city >> Seattle LGBTQ commission wants mayor's resignation; others say that's not in city's best interest >> Could Mayor Murray be impeached? Skepticism expressed in council meeting With an upcoming election in Seattle, Murray has publicly denied all the claims. Read more at KIRO7.com.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly will require the U.S. embassy in Moscow to cut its staff by 755 in response to Congress’ vote Thursday to increase sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran. Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the U.S. had it coming. “I think retaliation is long, long overdue,” he said. “We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal.” He added: “If the U.S. side decides to move further towards further deterioration, we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate. ... But my whole point is, don’t do this, it is to the detriment of the interests of the US.” Putin gave a TV interview with Rossiya 1 and said he doesn’t see things changing soon. “We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better, had such hope that the situation will somehow change, but, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon,” he said. >> Read more trending news Russian’s Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction by Sept. 1 in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia. It said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy to limit the number of embassy and consular employees in the country to 455 in response to the U.S. Senate’s approval of a new package of sanctions. Putin said the response would be “painful” for the U.S., but he opposes further measures at this time. “We certainly have something to respond with and restrict those areas of joint cooperation that will be painful for the American side but I don’t think we need to do it,” he said. In December, in former President Barack Obama’s final days in office, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled from buildings in New York and Maryland. “These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” then-President Obama said in a letter, explaining sanctions. Obama said the sanctions were a response to “a global campaign of malicious cyber activities” conducted by Russia. It is now up to President Donald Trump to sign the sanctions into law or veto, and the White House says he will sign it. The Associated Press contributed to this report.