Primary Wrap-Up

Member Group : PA Manufacturers' Assn.

The Pennsylvania primary was held on May 15, and voters determined the political match-ups for the fall campaigns. In the Governor’s race, state Senator and York business owner Scott Wagner won the Republican nomination and will now challenge incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf (D) who is seeking a second term.  In the Senate race, as expected, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazelton) convincingly won the Republican primary with 63% of the vote and advances into a race against two-term incumbent Bob Casey Jr. (D).  Both Democratic office holders begin the general election in the favorite’s position.

In House races, Democratic state Rep. Madeleine Dean won a huge primary victory in the new Montgomery County 4th District.  She captured 73% of the vote and caused former US Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) to finish last in the primary with just 11% support.  Ms. Dean now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win in the general election.  Same for the neighboring new 5th District where former local school board member Mary Gay Scanlon also won convincingly in the Democratic nomination battle.  She will convert this district to the Democratic column in the fall.

In western PA, state Rep. Rick Saccone, who lost the March 13th special election to Democrat Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh), again went down to defeat.  This time, he lost the new open 14th CD, a district containing 57% of the territory where he previously ran.  State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Bethel Township) easily defeated Saccone, 55-45%, and will win the seat in November.

Outside the Philadelphia area, former Revenue Commissioner Dan Meuser won the new 9th District Republican primary, and Altoona dermatologist John Joyce topped a large field in the new 13th CD GOP vote.  Both men will head to Washington in the fall.

In the tight race to secure the Allentown-Bethlehem district, former Olympic Gold Medalist (cycling) and Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein has won the Republican nomination and advances to the general election against new Democratic nominee Susan Wild.  Mr. Nothstein’s 308-vote margin from more than 31,000 ballots cast has been confirmed.  Former County Commissioner Dean Browning conceded the race and endorsed Mr. Nothstein against Ms. Wild who is the Allentown Solicitor. Ms. Wild defeated long-time Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and Allentown Episcopal pastor Greg Edwards, also in a close contest.  The winner of what is likely to be a toss-up contest will succeed retiring Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown).

Competitive races are now on tap in the Bucks County 1st District, where freshman Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) will defend his seat against investment fund CEO Scott Wallace, the grandson of former US Vice President Henry Wallace.

Businesswoman and retired Air Force officer Chrissy Houlahan is favored to capture the 6th District against attorney Greg McCauley after Rep. Ryan Costello (R-West Chester) decided to withdraw from the primary after the filing deadline.

Businessman John Chrin won the Republican primary and now will become a competitive opponent to Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Moosic/Scranton) in the new 8th District.  Finally, in the new Pittsburgh area 17th CD, an incumbent pairing between Reps. Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley) and Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) will occur and is expected to be in toss-up mode all the way to Election Day.

The Pennsylvania House primaries and general elections will be so active because court-mandated redistricting earlier this year ordered major changes to the state’s congressional map.

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