Five PA Senate Races Dems Are Watching

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Control of the Pennsylvania Senate chamber could swing from Republicans to Democrats if the minority party can find a way to flip five seats, while retaining the 10 Democratic seats up for election that it currently holds.

Republicans currently have a 28-21 advantage in the 50-seat chamber. John Yudichak is the lone independent in the chamber and he is not running for reelection.

The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC) has identified five Districts where, if things break the right way, could lead to a change at the top in Harrisburg.

Reproductive rights may turn out to be the hottest issue in the Keystone State this fall and with GOP votes falling in line for Senate Bill 106, the traditional midterm headwinds facing Democrats may not be as stiff.

 

District 6: Ann Marie Mitchell (D) vs. Frank Farry (R)

Total Registered Voters (Bucks County): 194,809

  • Republicans: 83,368 (42.8%)
  • Democrats: 81,478 (41.8%)
  • Other: 29,963 (15.4%)

 

Mitchell, a business attorney, squares off against Farry, who has served as a state representative in the 142nd District since 2008. They both are vying to replace retiring Republican Tommy Tomlinson.

Primary: both candidates ran unopposed

2018: Tomlinson edged Democrat Tina Davis by 74 votes out of nearly 10,000.

 

District 14: Nick Miller (D) vs. Dean Browning (R)

Total Registered Voters (Lehigh, Northampton County): 162,809

  • Democrats: 80,264 (49.3%)
  • Republicans: 52,421 (32.2%)
  • Other: 30,124 (18.5%)

 

Miller, a relative newcomer, takes on Browning, a former Lehigh County commissioner, in a newly created seat. The 14th District was previously represented by Yudichak.

Primary: Miller edged Tara Zrinski by 48 votes, while Browning won a three-person contest by 19 points. Nearly 3,000 more votes were cast in the Democratic primary than the GOP.

2018: Yudichak ran unopposed, securing over 51,000 votes.

 

District 16: Mark Pinsley (D) vs. Jarrett Coleman (R)

Total Registered Voters (Bucks County): 194,809

  • Republicans: 83,368 (42.8%)
  • Democrats: 81,478 (41.8%)
  • Other: 29,963 (15.4%)

 

Coleman, a political newcomer, upset incumbent Pat Browne in the primary and will now face Pinsley, the Lehigh County controller.

Primary: Coleman knocked out Browne by just 24 votes, while Pinsley ran unopposed.

2018: Browne defeated Pinsley, by nearly 2,700 votes (3%) out of 95,000 cast.

 

District 24: Jill Dennin (D) vs. Tracy Pennycuick (R)

Total Registered Voters (Berks, Montgomery County): 180,493

  • Republicans: 79,414 (44.0%)
  • Democrats: 71,260 (39.5%)
  • Other: 29,819 (16.5%)

 

Dennin, a former Boyertown School District board member, takes on Pennycuick, the sitting state representative in the 174th House District. They are contending for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Bob Mensch.

Primary: Both candidates rolled to primary victories with Dennin winning by 48 points and Pennycuick taking a 40-point triumph.

2018: Mensch won by 5,000 votes over Linda Fields.

 

District 40: Jennifer Shukaitis (D) vs. Rosemary Brown (R)

Total Registered Voters (Lackawanna, Monroe, Wayne County): 173,706

  • Democrats: 78,353 (45.1%)
  • Republicans: 65,198 (37.5%)
  • Other: 30,155 (17.4%)

 

Shukaitis, the Stroud Township supervisor, faces Brown, the sitting state representative in the 189th House District. They are vying to replace retiring GOP House member Mario Scavello.

Primary: Both candidates ran unopposed.

2018: Scavello handled won reelection, 56%-43%, over Tarah Probst.

 

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