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Iovino Flips SD37

Back to the Democrats.

Democratic candidate Pam Iovino bests Republican D. Raja for the closely watched race in the 37th Senate District in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

WESA’s Chris Potter reported at 9:35 pm that Raja conceded to Iovino. She won by 4 points with 100% of the unofficial results in.

The most important race of the cycle thus far, which featured campaign stops from Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and robocalls from Donald Trump Jr., captured the attention of both parties due to the moderate mold of its electorate.

The swing seat, previously represented by Guy Reschenthalter (R-Allegheny), became open after he resigned when he was sworn into U.S. Congress. Prior to Reschenthaler’s special election victory in 2015, Democrat Matt Smith represented the district for three years.

It was a race in which the candidates wanted to appeal to moderates, while still being able to drum up support from the base in each party for the special election.

The race featured it’s fair share of jabs specifically through the tv ad war.

Raja’s campaign accused Iovino campaign of “character assassination” and “twisting the facts” over his business record. He also believes his opponent did not detail policy differences in her ads.

Every Democrat that has run against Raja in the past attempted to paint him as a heartless outsourcer.

The attack ads from Raja’s campaign may serve as a preview into the Republican playbook for the next election cycle and beyond. One ad placed Iovino side by side with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in an effort to align her with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Raja’s attempted to pin his opponent as an “extremist” who is in favor of late term abortion and views the endorsements from Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List as proof she is in favor of it.

Iovino was careful to say she supported Roe v. Wade, but refuted the claims in Raja’s abortion attack ads as false.

She said Raja’s attack ads accusing her of being an extremist were “ridiculous.”

Despite biographies that appeal to voters from the opposing party, Iovino, a Navy veteran and Raja, a first generation immigrant from India, the campaign has played along clear party lines.

Iovino had widespread union support, supported Wolf’s proposal for a severance tax on natural gas and agrees with his call for a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2025, and said she “could” support the legalization of recreational marijuana with the minimum age being 25. Raja boasted support from the business community, opposed Wolf’s call for a severance tax on natural gas, advocated for a small increase in minimum wage, and opposition to legalization of recreational marijuana.

Republicans are favored to keep control of the State Senate after 2020, but this win keeps a Democratic majority on the table. The GOP will hold a four seat majority in the state Senate, 26-to-22 after Iovino is sworn-in. That’s likely to increase to six after two special elections to fill GOP vacancies scheduled for May 21.

This article was updated to provide the most recent numbers of Iovino’s lead.

54 Responses

  1. The republican party is in terrible condition. down in registration and leadership. Particularly in allegheny county. the party will not nominate any, any, candidate for any row office this cycle. very sad. they don’t even try.

  2. congrats me on my almost win last night and I will have my support again in 2020 or Raja maybe might

  3. This was a race for state senate, not a decision on which cardiologist you should go too.

  4. Dems should have defeated Tomlinson in Bucks County. Bucks is swiftly moving to the Dem column and how did they not pick up this seat??? Also, need to stop losing to R’s in Lehigh County. These are obvious win areas.

    1. The reason for R losses in Western PA is because they nominate horrific candidates. Raja and Saccone were embarrassments.

  5. I’m a Dem but I like a fair fight. I wish there were a way that Rs could get TheRumpsters to stop campaigning for them. Just to keep it fair.

    As a former candidate who’s won some and lost some, I can’t inagine a more crippling variable than having one of that crime syndicate “helping out” by endorsing me. Much less calling people I know to say how much I align with their slimy amoral world view.

    My sympathy to all righteous Rs (and I know many) who have to bite their lips, much less pretend to extend gratitude.

  6. congrats pam on your win last night and you will have my support again in 2020.

  7. I hope Raja shall be running for this seat in 2020, he will to be winning and when he wins I will supports him.

  8. The Democrats have a secret weapon.

    It’s called Red Maverick Media.

    I am beginning to really believe that the PA Democrat party’s path to a taking back the majority in House, Senate and maintain control of PA’s branches of government is ensuring the most inept, misnamed political firm “Red Maverick Media” and their moronic leader Ray Zaborney are placed in charge of any type of competitive election for Republican candidates – thus guaranteeing the Democrats win. Man, Ray and Da Mavericks are on a huge losing streak of embarrassing loses that never ends. Gillespie in VA, Wagner debacle and now this Raja implosion.

    I think we are onto something about Red Maverick being some type of Democrat Trojan horse because if you remember Ray Zaborney was caught trying to coverup the fact he has no idea how to send text messages to groups by offering Wagner campaign information to a reporter in exchange for their silence. Nice work, Ray- attempt to bribe a reporter by selling out your client’s confidential campaign info in order to cover your stupid mistakes.

    Forget Russia, I think Muller should probe the probable collusion between Ray Zaborney / Red Maverick and the PA Democrats because there is no way any firm could be so fantastically bad at their stated mission.

    1. Red Maverick Media’s tag line is “Winning Differently” which is another word for Losing.

    2. Same could be said for Long Nyquist. They are giving away the Pa Senate one race at a time and they have lost more congressional and statewide races than I can count.

      And PS they are like a collection of misfit toys. Mike L, Mark P., etc can barely string a sentence together.

  9. When is the GOP going to wake up and get rid of DIGIORGIO! The committees can’t pick a candidate to save their butt! WHY? Because they are told who to vote for. They do it all the time. The good ole boy network does not work. RAJA was the candidate because he voted for DIGIORGIO in the chairman’s race and Val owed him. The more things change the more they stay the same with Republicans. WAKE UP!!

    1. Not that I am a huge Val fan, so not necessarily defending him, but the problem is the local committees. They are the ones who pick these candidates. Raja was a 2-time loser. Why would you pick him again?!

      1. The local committees are controlled by the people at the state level. Val and his people have control over all the endorsements. Look what they did in the Superior Court race — a total sham. They bring in a person with no experience at the last minute and she gets endorsed. Really?The Republican Party has not won a superior or supreme court race since 2013 and they wonder why. The people are sick of it and they should be.

  10. note to AOC-Omar-Bernie Bros and Democratic .socialists

    These are the candidates who are the ones that will regain and maintain majorities and defeat Trump in 2020.

  11. Mike Long is a D (yes, you can read that both ways and it is still correct! Hahahaha)

  12. I said 5% spread and it was 7% for Iovino. Raja is not a bad candidate unlike some comments said here today. His timing was off with Trump being in office and like Scott Wagner found being a businessman who is an “R” is not easy when running for office these days due to the Trump effect.

    1. His timing was off in 2011 against Rich Fitzgerald, in 2012 against Matt Smith, in 2019….Keep telling yourself that.

  13. I wish I could dig up that post where Red Maverick said Raja was the second coming of Abe Lincoln ????

  14. Along with Raji being a bad candidate, another factor is being overlooked. Women came out big time for Iovino. Many were pissed at his ads. They aren’t sitting around. Makes 2020 very interesting.

  15. Senate GOP Majority is gone in 2020. Next on the list: Laughlin, Killion, and DiSanto. Can you say, President Pro Tempore Katie Muth?

    1. No I can’t because the GOP will win big in 2020. Dems are outside the mainstream now.

      1. Take a look at Senator-elect Iovino’s issues page and then take a look at the polling. Jobs, health care, education, environment, election reform, gun safety (heck, even safe and legal abortion) – Democratic positions on these issues are all supported by strong majorities of Americans. Dems *are* the mainstream.

        PA Democrats now have multiple paths to a majority in the state Senate for the first time in decades. If current trends continue, after 2020, Republicans across the country increasingly won’t even be able to hide behind their unconstitutional, gerrymandered majorities.

        Patrick Henry fought against ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps he is a fitting namesake.

  16. Cold Spark loses another race! They make money and blow another winnable race! Please, Republicans, stop hiring them!!!

    1. I thought Raj hired Red Maverick Ray for this one. Either way, Raja is a three -time turd. Go back to wasting money on your radio show, dick.

      1. Maybe Long and Nyquist showed up to overcharge and lose this race? What they charge candidates (like John Chrin most recently) should be examined by anyone who is considering hiring them. They sold that guy that he could win, bled him dry and raked him over the coals because he has money to burn and they knew it, but he got blown out and it wasn’t even close. They have done that all over the place so wouldn’t be surprised if they did it here also.

        1. Is that the Long/Nyquist model or the ray the Maverick strategy? This loss is on Ray

    2. This is the same troll who jumps in blaming ColdSpark for everything but the weather. This was Red Maverick’s race. Please, get a life fella.

    1. Probably shouldn’t have asked so many Republicans who they were voting for. LOL

  17. The Republican Party did this to themselves by nominating a terrible candidate.

    Raja sucked.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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