Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. If you're heading to the polls in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, here are the local candidates we think you should support.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Editorial Board met with DA candidate Beth Grossman on Oct. 5.
Tom Gralish / Staff
The Editorial Board met with DA candidate Beth Grossman on Oct. 5.

Philadelphia District Attorney

Inquirer Endorsement: Beth Grossman (R)

Grossman is a career prosecutor. She's worked in every division of the office and has a strong administrative background, having headed divisions within, and she also served as chief of staff at the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

But she also headed the DA's Public Nuisance Task Force, which so abused the civil forfeiture law that a federal lawsuit forced change. Under that program, people not even accused of a crime lost their houses and cars because of alleged actions by family members. She says she was following the rules at that time, and that now she would not take property unless the owner was convicted of a crime. That's the right answer.

Controller Democratic candidate Rebecca Rhynhart on May 9.
Charles Fox / Staff
Controller Democratic candidate Rebecca Rhynhart on May 9.

Philadelphia City Controller

Inquirer Endorsement: Rebecca Rhynhart (D)

Rebecca Rhynhart knows Philadelphia finances. She served as city treasurer, budget director, and chief administrative officer before she resigned last year to run for city controller. Voters should give her the job.
— had a solid background

Pa. Ballot Question: Homestead Exemption

Full text of the question: Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to permit the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation up to 100 percent of the assessed value of each homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction, rather than limit the exclusion to one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property, which is the existing law?

Inquirer Endorsement: Vote no. 

The ballot question, which would need further action in subsequent years to become law, makes the plan look simple, but it is not. For instance, taxpayers will have to pay property taxes on the portion of their school districts' long-term debt.

NEW JERSEY

Democratic nominee Phil Murphy talks to reporters after participating in a gubernatorial debate against Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno at William Paterson University.
Julio Cortez / AP
Democratic nominee Phil Murphy talks to reporters after participating in a gubernatorial debate against Republican nominee Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno at William Paterson University.

New Jersey Governor

Inquirer Endorsement: Phil Murphy (D)

Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, has the skills and ideas for the job. The Democratic nominee promises to balance the state budget by imposing a millionaire's tax, closing corporate tax loopholes, and legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana. He would use the money to adequately fund public schools, fix roads and transit, and make payments to meet the state's growing pension obligation.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney unveiled a proposal that would establish a disaster-preparedness program in 2016.
Mel Evans / AP
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney unveiled a proposal that would establish a disaster-preparedness program in 2016.

New Jersey State Senator

Inquirer Endorsement: Steve Sweeney (D) 

Putting aside the NJEA's beef with Sweeney, he is the superior candidate to represent the Third District, which includes all of Salem County and parts of Gloucester and Cumberland Counties. But Sweeney's value goes beyond that. As Senate president, he has worked with Republicans, including Gov. Christie, to make realistic budgetary decisions, including by passing the pension and health-care reform bill.

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