The lone statewide contested primary has seemingly come to a close.
Nina Ahmad, former Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia, declared victory in the six candidate primary on Thursday afternoon. According to a release from the Ahmad campaign, Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb, who is in second place and trails by close to 70,000 votes, offered his congratulations and support in a phone call yesterday.
“First, I’d like to thank the three other women and two men who ran for auditor general for running strong campaigns based on progressive ideas for delivering positive change in our commonwealth,” said Dr. Ahmad. “Second, as a board member for the National Organization for Women, I was particularly proud that so many highly qualified women ran for this important office. I hope that’s a sign of things to come.”
“Last, but definitely not least, I can’t thank enough the broad coalition of progressives, unions, and community leaders from across the state who supported my campaign,” Ahmad continued. “I promised change and voters responded resoundingly by electing a new face and a new voice. I am deeply humbled.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Ahmad received 462,000 votes, 33.3%, while Lamb had 395,000, 28.48%. The only other candidate to crack double digits in vote share in the primary by the time Ahmad declared victory was former Lancaster County congressional candidate Christina Hartman, who tallied 203,000 votes, 14.64%.
Tracie Fountain, a longtime Auditor General office employee, was in fourth place with 9.3% of the vote, followed by state Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) with 7.95%, and Rosie Marie Davis, a Monroe County CPA, with 6.33%.
Ahmad, who promoted a number of progressive initiatives during her bid, was supported by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), state Sen. Katie Muth (D-Montgomery), Philadelphia’s Southwest Coalition, and more from the southeast. Lamb touted endorsements from Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny), several members of the state legislature from western PA, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and more.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party did not endorse a candidate for the office at their winter meeting, although Lamb was the highest vote getter after one round of voting, but did not surpass the two-thirds threshold needed for the endorsement.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ahmad spent a significant amount more on television advertising than her opponents in the race. Ahmad spent a bit over $530,000 on broadcast and cable television advertising, while Lamb spent just under $145,000. Davis who spent just over $1,000 on television, was the only other candidate in the race to spend money on TV.
Ahmad will face Republican Dauphin County Controller Tim DeFoor in the fall for the statewide office.