inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Midterm Election Dominated DVJournal’s 2022 Coverage

Looking back at 2022, the most significant stories the Delaware Valley Journal covered involved the midterm election.

The primary campaign for governor and lieutenant governor on the Republican side brought out many candidates. In contrast, on the Democratic side, only Josh Shapiro ran for governor while a few Democrats contested for the lieutenant governor’s nomination. Many Republicans supported Shapiro, who ran as a moderate.

The race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) drew several candidates in both parties. Democrats fielded Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke during the campaign, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, Philadelphia state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, Philadelphia physician Kevin Baumlin, and western Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb.

Among area Senate candidates, conservative author and commentator Kathy Barnette, Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos, Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto, and Montgomery County lawyer Sean Gale all took part in a debate sponsored by the DVJournal that was broadcast on Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick duked it out, spending massive amounts on television ads. With former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, Oz prevailed by a slim margin, only to lose in the general election to Fetterman. Fetterman’s poor showing in a late October debate failed to move the needle since many voters had already cast their ballots via mail-in voting before seeing it.

The DVJournal also sponsored an online debate for Republican lieutenant governor candidates.

The wide field of men and one woman running for the Republican nomination for governor also debated several times. State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) came out on top in the primary despite a last-minute play by party leaders to back former Congressman Lou Barletta. Locally, Delaware County businessman Dave White made a strong showing and Chester County attorney Bill McSwain enjoyed the deep-pocket financial support of Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs.

Shapiro, who spent millions on television commercials to paint Mastriano as an extremist, went on to handily win the governor’s race. Many believe redistricting in the Delaware Valley collar counties gave the Democrats a new advantage. Democrats defeated several incumbent Republicans, notably Todd Stephens in Montgomery County, Chris Quinn in Delaware County, and Todd Polinchock in Bucks County.

Other 2022 stories in the region included the saga of private utility companies buying up municipal sewer and water authorities. The DVJ has highlighted Pennsylvanians’ likely higher energy bills with Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), despite opposition from the state legislature.  And the state’s crucial Marcellus Shale natural gas industry remains under assault from the Biden administration’s embrace of the Green New Deal.

This year, many other DVJournal articles focused on parents who are at war with “woke” school boards and school administrators who impose critical race theory (CRT) and gender-fluid ideology on their students and critical race theory (CRT) and gender-fluid ideology on their students as well as stocking school libraries with obscene books.

The Delaware Valley Journal also brought readers the saga of the state House versus progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner that culminated in the House voting to impeach Krasner for mishandling of his official duties, which they allege is a significant factor in the skyrocketing crime rate in the city. An impeachment trial for Krasner is set in the Senate for Jan. 18.

While crime has been a big issue for DVJournal’s 2022 reporting, inflation was also a hot topic with skyrocketing prices for gas, food, and other goods biting into Delaware Valley residents’ budgets.

Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision weighed on the election, causing a rise in Democratic voter registration and driving some women, particularly women in the Delaware Valley suburbs, to the polls. Conversely, the increase in arrests of pro-life activists by the Biden Department of Justice has stirred up passion on the other side of the abortion issue.

And the local reaction to the war in Ukraine is also a concern, with many Ukrainian immigrants living in the area. DVJournal also brought our readers letters from a Ukrainian mother about what it was like to live in that war-torn country.

Amid all the other news vying for attention, the DVJournal has kept its eye on the sad case of the death of Fanta Bility, the 8-year-old girl hit by a bullet fired by police officers. Three Sharon Hill officers pleaded guilty in that case, and a federal lawsuit brought by Bility’s family is pending.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Oz Revives Fainting Woman at DelVal Campaign Rally

There was no need to ask, “Is there a doctor in the house?” during a campaign event for Dr. Mehmet Oz in Bucks County Saturday night. The GOP U.S. Senate candidate revived a woman who fainted in the crowd, an unplanned-but-timely reminder of his medical bona fides and the health issues that dog Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

Local radio host Dom Giordano was speaking to some 1,500 people at the Newtown Athletic Center when a woman in the audience passed out. Oz leaped over a railing to administer first aid. He was joined by state Rep. Frank Farry, a state Senate candidate, who also serves as chief of the Langhorne-Middletown Volunteer Fire Company, and GOP state Senate candidate Matt McCollough, who is a nurse.

Later, Oz reported “Rita, God bless her, is doing well.” An Oz campaign staff member said it was at least the third time he had helped someone who had a medical problem on the campaign trail, including once on an airplane.

The rally was a metaphor of sorts for the Oz campaign, given up as dead by some pundits after a series of polls showed him trailing Democrat John Fetterman by double digits, in addition to making some high-profile missteps, like Oz’s Wegman’s visit to talk about the price of “crudites.”

But the latest polls now show Oz in a single-digit race with Fetterman, and the first-time candidate was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd. He hit the Biden administration and its ally Fetterman on everything from inflation to education to the Green New Deal.

Oz said his father grew up in Turkey in a home with a dirt floor and “yet he was very proud.” He came to America legally and “passionately believed in the American Dream,” a passion he passed on to his son. Oz talked about attending medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and the lessons he learned there.

“Doctors fix things. That’s what we do,” said Oz. He said he talks to his patients and gets them involved in their health. He started a TV show to share his experiences so “all of America would get better.”

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“For doctors, COVID was a catastrophe,” Oz said. “Not just because of the horrible loss of life and illness, but we weren’t allowed to play the role we could play in treating it.”

“I learned when you mix politics and medicine, you know what you get? Politics,” he said.

In other parts of the world, children remained in school. Although some research backed up that approach, “you couldn’t say it. If you did, you got crushed,” Oz said.

“In this commonwealth, we had the worst of the worst. We had the biggest restrictions, shutdowns, the biggest mandates and we didn’t get any better for it,” Oz added. “There were three states that did worse than anybody else, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. And those were the states with the toughest restrictions. States that didn’t do that, like Florida, didn’t have the same problem.”

“My opponent in this race, John Fetterman, was lieutenant governor throughout that,” he noted. “There was a 60 percent increase in crime here in Philadelphia.”

Before Oz spoke, several Republicans took to the stage to talk up his candidacy. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) used humor and his southern drawl to wholeheartedly endorse Oz, while also taking jabs at his opponent.

“Dr. Oz is not a trust fund baby. Dr. Oz did not have his mommy and daddy support him until he was 50 years old,” said Kennedy, referring to Fetterman. “Dr. Oz is not hiding here in his basement.

“And,” Kennedy noted to howls of laughter, “Dr. Oz wears pants!”

(Fetterman is notorious for wearing a hoodie and shorts, sometimes at official gatherings.)

“If Mr. Fetterman wins this race, Pennsylvanians will have nothing to worry about unless you are a taxpayer, a parent, a business person, or a cop, or you believe in the American Dream. Because he will fit right in, I can tell you, with the woke, neo-socialist, left of Lenin, wack-jobs running this country,” Kennedy said.

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity also mocked Fetterman’s lifetime of family financial dependence.

Many people in government “don’t understand the value of a dollar and the meaning of hard work,” Garrity said. “And we know the Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate, John Fetterman, is anything but a hard worker, right? The hardest John Fetterman ever worked as a lieutenant governor was when he walked outside his office and flew the marijuana flag outside the capitol,” she said.

“Dr. Oz loves our country with a fervor that only a son of immigrants has,” Garrity added.

Oz said the Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress are wrecking the U.S. economy with high inflation, crippling the energy industry, and allowing rampant crime, among other things.

Oz also raised concerns about Fetterman’s energy policy, an important issue in fossil-fuel-rich Pennsylvania.

“There is this thing called the Green New Deal. You all heard of it?” Oz asked. “Well, the Green New Deal isn’t legitimate science. It cannot work. In order for us to have this, you actually have to sell us to China. Everything we need, all the batteries, all the solar panels, they’re coming from China,” Oz said.

The Republican also tapped into the education issue, which helped energize Glenn Youngkin’s successful bid for Virginia governor among suburban voters, like those in the Delaware Valley.

“You can’t claim that science says it’s correct to teach a 5-year-old about gender issues. It is complicated stuff…They’re not basing that in science. They make that up,” Oz said. “When the Department of Education says they’re going to teach our kids from age 3 to 12th grade about gender fluidity, I say, let the parents get involved.”

The Bucks County rally was Oz’s third event in five days in the state’s southeast region, and some political observers have raised questions about his focus on such a blue corner of the state. But GOP strategists say Oz’s weakness in the GOP primary — he is a TV doctor who appeals to moderates, not a conservative politician — could be a strength in the Philly suburbs in November. If Fetterman’s far-left politics are viewed as too extreme by suburban women, Oz could be a more acceptable alternative than a conservative activist.

Meanwhile, Oz said the focus should be on the Democrats’ performance, not political rhetoric.

“We have to hold people accountable for what they’ve done,” said Oz. “That’s what our job is…You have an obligation, in the vanguard, tip of the spear. You must call people and share what you’ve heard tonight. Be optimistic because I am optimistic.”

All these problems “we can address if we have strong leadership,” he said.

He played football in college and heard the last words of the National Anthem while running out to the field: “Home of the brave.”

“You can’t be free if you’re not brave. This time in our history calls for more bravery than most of us have had to muster in our lifetimes. Because the most important thing we need to do is say what we see.”


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

New Poll Shows Barnette Surging In GOP U.S. Senate Primary

A week before Pennsylvania Republicans pick their U.S. Senate nominee, a new poll shows Kathy Barnette surging into second place and in a virtual three-way tie for the lead.

The poll, conducted by GOP polling firm Trafalgar Group, gives Dr. Mehmet Oz a narrow lead at 24.5 percent, Barnett just behind at 23.2 percent, and hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick at 21.6 percent — all within the poll’s margin of error.

The rest of the field — Delaware Valley businessman Jeff Bartos, former Ambassador Carla Sands, Montgomery County attorney Joe Gale, and Philadelphia attorney George Bochetto — is well behind in single digits.

The Trafalgar Group is rated by the data analysts at as one of the most accurate polling firms in the country.

For weeks, Oz and McCormick have kept up a barrage of negative ads targeting each other, largely ignoring the rest of the field. Strategists say that has opened a path for a third candidate like Barnette, who has been unscathed by the attacks, to emerge as an alternative.

“The poll certainly shows building momentum for Barnette, which is important going into Election Day,” said GOP political pundit Charlie O’Neill. “However, it’s hard to get a full picture of what this means with just topline totals. Is Barnette taking votes away from Oz or McCormick? Is she converting previously undecided voters? With three candidates all within the margin of error, it appears we’ve moved from a two-way to a three-way race. It’s anyone’s game, but hard to predict the electorate or understand what is surging Barnette with just topline numbers.”

The poll also found 15 percent of GOP primary voters remain undecided.

In an email to supporters Monday morning, Barnette noted this poll has her within the margin of error for first place.

“Every bit of our hard work is paying off. Now it is time to hammer this message home and move on to defeating John Fetterman in the fall,” she said. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is leading the other Democratic candidates by a wide margin.

“Mehmet and Dave have spent $60 million attacking each other and promoting themselves,” Barnette tweeted Friday. “I’ve spent less than $2 million and am within 1.7 percent of first place, a statistical tie. Wait until you see what I’ll do to Fetterman.”

Oz still has the advantage of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, who held a rally Friday evening near Pittsburgh for Oz.

Barnette is an author and Fox News commentator who ran for Congress against U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) in 2020.

“I believe that the American family is the main focus of our campaign,” Barnette said during a debate hosted by the Delaware Valley Journal in March.  “If it’s good for the American family, I want to work on legislation that benefits them.”

Barnette’s personal story resonates with many voters. She grew up in extreme poverty in Alabama. Her mother was raped at the age of 11, resulting in her birth. Barnette’s grandparents raised her. She joined the Army Reserve, obtained a college degree, and eventually worked in corporate finance. Barnette, 50, also homeschooled her two children for six years.

“It’s clear Pennsylvanians want a battle-tested, true Pennsylvania conservative in the Senate. Dave McCormick is that candidate and will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,” said Jess Szymanski, McCormick campaign spokesperson, when asked to comment on Barnette’s surge.

“The grassroots support and momentum is on Dr. Oz’s side with new endorsements rolling in and we are working hard to get his America First message out to Pennsylvania voters,” said Brittany Yanick, a spokeswoman for Oz. “Anyone who supports President Trump and his America First agenda knows that Dr. Oz will champion this. Dr. Oz is the best candidate to beat the Democrats in November, unlike liberal McCormick. As President Trump stated on Friday night, Dave McCormick is a 100 percent certified RINO, China-First candidate who will represent special interest groups, not Pennsylvanians.”

Meanwhile, Barnette believes she is the best one to reach voters in November.

“This campaign isn’t about me. It’s about us taking back our nation,” Barnette told the Delaware Valley Journal in a previous interview.  She contends her focus is on the American people and the “freedom to live our lives the way we want.” And she claims she isn’t just speaking for the Republican Party but for all Americans.

“It’s not a campaign. It’s a movement,” Barnette said.


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

Recent Poll Shows Many PA Voters Still Undecided

With the May 17 primary about six weeks off, many Pennsylvania voters are still undecided, according to a recent WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll.

In the Republican Senate race, 51 percent of voters are undecided.

“It is not at all unusual for voters to be undecided six weeks before a primary,” said Robin Kolodny, chair of the political science department at Temple University. “My guess is that all the candidates who plan to advertise on television will do so by the end of April. Then, if you poll around May 10 or so, you should see people leaning toward one candidate or another and many fewer undecideds.

“Primaries are generally low-voter turnout events, so all the candidates will have to work very hard on voter mobilization,” Kolodny said. “This is tougher for Republicans because they have several candidates in both primaries. Still, engaged Republicans will have no problem figuring out who they like for which office.”

Hedge fund CEO David McCormick and celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz each stand at 14 percent. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is ahead with 33 percent and Congressman Conor Lamb landed at 10 percent. However. 37 percent of Democratic voters remained undecided.

The Emerson poll also found state Sen. Doug Mastriano leads at 16 percent for governor among Republican primary voters and former Congressman Lou Barletta is second with just over 12 percent.

“Former President Donald Trump’s potential endorsement holds significant weight in the Republican primary: 61 percent of Republican primary voters say they are more likely to vote for a candidate if he endorses them, while 13 percent say it makes them less likely to vote for that candidate, and 26 percent report that it makes no difference,” Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling said.

Last weekend, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain tied with Mastriano for first place for governor in the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference straw poll, both with 88 votes. They were followed by Delaware County businessman Dave White, 56 votes;  GOP consultant  Charlie Gerow, 41; Barletta, 36; surgeon Nche Zama, 26; Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, 20; former Congresswoman Melissa Hart,5; and state Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman, 4.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the only mainstream Democrat running for governor.

As for the Senate candidates, the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference straw poll had Fox News commentator Kathy Barnette as the winner with 127 votes. Montgomery County developer Jeff Bartos, was second at 64; followed by former ambassador Carla Sands, 52; McCormick, 50; and Oz, 43.

For lieutenant governor, the PLC chose Clarice Schillinger 61, with Teddy Daniels second at 60 votes, followed by Jeff Coleman with 55 votes.


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or