Pa. special election a nail-biter, Meek Mill's mom speaks, Stephen Hawking dead at 76 | Morning Newsletter

We’ve got a nail-biter, folks. It’s Wednesday and all eyes are on the very close special election in Western Pennsylvania, as well as the National School Walkout taking place today. We’ve also got news on a budget proposal for New Jersey and an update on Meek Mill, from the man himself. Without further ado….

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Pa. special election too close to call: Dem claims win, GOP not conceding

Camera icon GENE J. PUSKAR
Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District special election, celebrates with supporters at his election night party in Canonsburg early Wednesday.

Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, south of Pittsburgh, is too close to call this morning. Democratic candidate Conor Lamb leads by a hair over Republican candidate State Rep. Rick Saccone; all of yesterday’s ballots are in, but absentee and provisional ballots are still being counted.

Despite the razor’s edge race, Lamb declared victory Tuesday night, though Saccone hasn’t conceded.

Regardless of the final outcome, the close race should worry President Trump and the GOP. Trump won this district by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016.

Meek Mill’s mother begs DA Krasner to resolve her son’s case

Before the start of a criminal justice panel at the University of Pennsylvania last night, the mother of imprisoned Philly rapper Meek Mill made her first public statements in support of her son’s release. “I’m begging the DA Krasner,” a tearful Kathy Williams said, “Can you please help me out?”

Williams was far from the only notable name speaking out. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and retired boxer Bernard Hopkins also spoke before the panel.

Meek Mill, who was sentenced to two to four years in state prison in November, even phoned into the panel from prison, saying, “I want to be a light for Philadelphia.”

N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy wants to tax millionaires

In his first budget address Tuesday, N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy proposed raising taxes on millionaires, corporations, and hedge fund managers to pay for an ambitious agenda that includes investments in pensions, schools, and transit. Murphy also wants to restore the sales tax to 7 percent.

What would a tax on millionaires look like? Murphy said it would bring in $765 million this calendar year.

The budget plan also assumes the state will legalize marijuana by Jan. 1, 2019. Support of the plan at Tuesday’s announcement was tepid on both sides of the aisle.

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That’s Interesting

Opinions

Camera icon Signe Wilkinson
March 14, 2018

“There’s no definitive way to know how much of the ignoring of her story was simply fatigue, in a nation where gun deaths remain off the charts, and how much is because both Courtlin and her alleged killer are African-Americans.” — Columnist Will Bunch on the largely overlooked death of Courtlin Arrington, a 17-year-old from Birmingham, Ala. who was shot and killed at school.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | #Goals

The students of 27-year-old Roneisha Smith-Davis, who opened a dance studio to inspire her neighborhood in 2013, say she’s more than just a dance teacher. She’s their hero.