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Cook Political Report Moves PA-10 From Likely to Lean Republican

Scott Perry

Another sign that the race for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District seat will be a wild one in 2024.

The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter (CPR), an independent, non-partisan producer of federal and state election ratings, moved PA-10 from Likely R to Lean R.

The seat, presently held by Rep. Scott Perry (R-10), comprises both Dauphin and York counties surrounding the state capitol area, an area “that’s steadily trended more white-collar suburban and less Republican” according to CPR.

Perry has been a lightning rod for Democrats as a former chair of the Republican Freedom Caucus and a vociferous defender of former President Donald Trump.

Last year, the FBI seized Perry’s phone to investigate his efforts to help Donald Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election results and block certification of Pennsylvania’s electors. The former U.S. Army National Guard brigadier general has fought to keep his cell phone records sealed, though a federal judge has denied his claims of congressional privilege. Altogether, Federal Election Commission records show Perry spent $75,000 on legal bills from his campaign account this summer, leaving just $541,000 in his campaign account with $106,000 in outstanding legal debt.

The CPR House Race Ratings determine competitiveness with several factors, including the district’s political makeup, the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, the political environment in the state and nationally, and interviews with candidates and campaign professionals.

A rating of “Likely” means races are not considered competitive at this point but have the potential to become engaged. A rating of “Lean” means races are considered competitive races, but one party has an advantage.

In Pennsylvania, Perry and Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-17) are rated as being in Lean races, while Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-01) race is rated Likely R.

Two Democratic seats – Reps. Susan Wild (D-07) and Matt Cartwright (D-08) – are rated as toss-ups. If a race is not rated, it is considered solidly in the corner of the incumbent.

Perry is not facing a primary challenger, but seven Democrats are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to challenge the 61-year-old in November.

They include former WGAL-TV news anchor Janelle Stelson, former Harrisburg city councilwoman Shamaine Daniels, retired U.S. Marine Corps aviator Mike O’Brien, former WITF executive Blake Lynch, retired U.S. Army officer and Carlisle school board member Rick Coplen, Harrisburg educator Robert Forbes and Philadelphia-area businessman John Broadhurst.

Perry won reelection in 2022 with a 54-46 triumph over Daniels, earning his fifth term in Harrisburg. However, red flags are out. In 2016, Trump carried the district by 10 points, while four years later, he only won by four.

His eight-point win was overshadowed by Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 12-point triumph over Republican Doug Mastriano in the same area.

In addition according to Cook, Democrats are trying to take a page from their successful 2022 playbook in Washington’s 3rd District, another Trump +4 seat where they managed to peel off enough independent voters to beat a “pro-insurrectionist” Republican. A moderate Democratic group, Welcome PAC, is spearheading a “Republicans Against Perry” campaign in the 10th District, seeking to raise thousands to air testimonials that, for example, Perry was one of just 21 House Republicans to vote against awarding Capitol Police officers the Congressional Gold Medal after the Jan. 6 attack.

It is not the first time that Perry has faced tough competition, though. In 2020, Democrat Eugene DePasquale raised and spent a massive $4.5 million against Perry only to lose 53-47.

A seven-person primary could leave the winner bruised and bloodied to face Perry, who is financially and legally weaker now than he was then.

CPR says that Stelson could be Perry’s strongest opponent yet, given her name recognition and lack of record to run against. With that in mind, the ratings group made its move.

5 Responses

  1. Dems won big in Dauphin county last month. The move from the Hershey area from deep red to lean blue has been a game changer for the county.


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