PoliticsPA: 2020 Primary Results Playbook
The dust is settling from the most confusing and unclear election night in memory. Every single county processed a unique blend of votes by mail and in-person votes. This is our effort to read the races that are formally over, races where the writing is on the wall, races where a candidate has a lead, and races that are tossups. Three incumbents lost, another 5 trail challengers.
Some counted mail ballots first, others didn’t even start. Some finished counting in-person votes, others kicked it to this morning. By last-minute order of the Governor, seven counties can count mail-in ballots that are received through next Tuesday, June 9 (as long as they were postmarked by yesterday): Bucks, Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia. Philly announced it wouldn’t even start to count mail-in ballots until later this week, so most races there (and the statewide Auditor contest) are still un-call-able.
Two non-election notes first, following days of protests over the killing of George Floyd:
LEADER: Lamb and Ahmad Lead in Dem Auditor General Race: It’s uncallable, because it took shape as an east vs. west regional battle and so many Philly votes are outstanding. Pittsburgh City Controller Michael leads the way in the Democratic primary for Auditor General, while former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad trails in a close second place.
WINNER: PA1 Dem: No mail, some in-person. Christina Finello, an Ivyland Borough Councilwoman, 77%. Skylar Hurwitz, a technology entrepreneur and small business owner, 23%. 193 of 347 precincts reporting in-person votes. The AP declared Finello the winner early Wednesday morning.
LEADER: PA5: No mail, some in-person. Dasha Pruett holds a single digit lead over Rob Jordan in the GOP primary with less than half of the precincts reporting. The winner will face Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware).
LEADER: PA7 GOP: Some mail, all in-person: Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman who was endorsed by President Donald Trump, holds a 3.6 point lead over Dean Browning, also a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businessman. Scheller said in a statement on early Wednesday morning that she is “confident” that her lead will hold, although Browning has yet to concede the race. Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
TOSSUP: PA8 GOP: Some mail, all in-person: This is the closest congressional race in the state and is TOTALLY un-call-able. Jim Bognet holds a razor thin lead (28%) over Teddy Daniels (27.1%) and Earl Granville (21.3%). However, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties haven’t reported any mail-in ballots yet. Granville is the only candidate from Lackawanna and had a big margin there in-person. The other 5 hopefuls live in Luzerne. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), the national GOP’s top target in PA this year, was unopposed.
LEADER: PA9 Dem: Some mail, all in-person: Laura Quick holds a slight lead over Gary Wegman to face Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne).
LEADER: PA10 Dem: Some mail, all in-person. Eugene DePasquale, the state’s Auditor General, holds a 9,700 vote lead over Tom Brier, an attorney and author. All votes including in-person are in for York County, DePasquale’s base where he netted 13K votes. Mail ballots are outstanding in Cumberland County (where they split) and Dauphin County (where Brier doubled Deep and netted 3,600 votes). It’s a long shot for Brier, but he has an outside shot to catch the DCCC’s favorite in the race and certainly exceeded expectations. The winner of this race will take on Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) in November in national Dems’ top PA target.
WINNER: PA11 Dem: Some mail, all in-person. Sarah Hammond has defeated Paul Daigle in the Democratic primary. Hammond captured 76% of the vote so far, while Daigle received 23%. The AP called the race for Hammond early Wednesday morning. Hammond will face Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) in the fall.
WINNER: PA18 Dem: All mail, some in-person: Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) fended off a primary challenge from Jerry Dickinson, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Doyle secured just under 70% of the vote, while Dickinson garnered 30%. Doyle declared victory on Tuesday night and will face Republican Luke Negron in November in the Democratic stronghold.
INCUMBENT LOSES: SD1 Dem: No mail, all in-person. Nikil Saval, a Democratic socialist and co-founder of Reclaim Philly, has defeated state Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia). Saval captured 68% of the in-person vote, while Farnese received 32%. The AP projected Saval as the winner on Wednesday morning.
LEADER: SD9 Dem: Some mail, some in-person. John Kane, business manager for Plumbers Union Local 690, holds a 16 point lead over Brett Burman, a former healthcare executive. The winner of this race will face state Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware), who ran unopposed in the GOP primary, in the fall in Dems’ top pickup opportunity.
WINNER: SD13 Dem: No mail, all in-person. Janet Diaz, a Lancaster City Councilwoman, is the projected winner in the Democratic primary over Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman. Diaz holds close to a 30 point lead with 100% of precincts reporting. She will go head to head with state Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) in November.
WINNER: SD15 Dem: Some mail, all in-person. George Scott, a U.S. Army veteran and Lutheran minister who was the Democratic Party’s candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District in 2018, bested Alvin Taylor, a pastor, for the Democratic party nomination. Scott will take on state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin) in the fall.
INCUMBENT TRAILS: SD17 Dem: Some mail, some in-person. Amanda Cappelletti, Vice-Chair of the East Norriton Board of Supervisors, holds an 18 point lead over embattled state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery). Delaware County has some in-person ballots and some mail; Montco has some in-person but no mail. The winner of this race will take on Ellen Fisher in the general election.
WINNER: SD19 Dem: Some mail, all in-person: State Rep. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) holds a comfortable lead in the Democratic primary over Kyle Boyer and Don Vymazal. It is unclear how much of the mail-in votes have been counted yet. The winner of this race will face Republican Kevin Runey in the fall to keep Sen. Dinniman’s seat.
WINNER: SD25 GOP: State Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson) is the apparent winner in the GOP primary over James Brown and John Herm Suplizio. It is unclear how many of the mail-in votes have yet to be counted. Dush will face Democrat Margie Brown in the fall for the seat.
LEADER: SD31 Dem: Some mail, all in-person: Shanna Danielson leads Rick Coplen and Josh Bosha in the Democratic primary. It is unclear how many of the mail-in votes still need to be counted. The winner of this race will take on state Sen. Mike Regan (R-York) in the fall.
LEADER: SD37 GOP: All mail, some in-person: Devlin Robinson holds a lead over Jeff Neff in the GOP primary for one of the GOP’s top targets in 2020. Neff got into trouble by embracing the Reopen protests and almost lost his position as Sewickley Borough Council President. The winner of this race will face state state Sen. Pam Iovino (D-Allegheny) in the fall.
WINNER: SD43 Dem: All mail, some in-person: Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) is the apparent winner over Bill Brittain in the Democratic primary. The winner of this race will run unopposed in the general election.
LEADER: SD49 Dem: No mail, all in-person: Julie Slomksi leads Andre Horton in the Democratic primary. The winner of this race will take on state Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) in the fall.
WINNER: HD8 GOP: State Rep. Tim Bonner defeated challenger Scott Jaillet and will take on Democrat Phil Heasley in the general election in the Butler/Mercer district.
WINNER: HD11 GOP: State Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) held off GOP challenger Ryan Covert. Mustello will face Democrat Sam Doctor in the fall for a rematch of her special election.
WINNER: HD12 GOP: State Rep, Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) defeated former PA-17 hopeful Scott Timko in the GOP primary. Metcalfe will take on Democrat Daniel Smith Jr. for the seat in November in a rematch.
WINNER: HD19 Dem: State Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) defeated Aerion Abney in the Democratic primary.
INCUMBENT TRAILS: HD20 Dem: All mail, some in-person. Another Pittsburgh political family loses to a progressive challenger. Incumbent Rep. Adam Ravenstahl (D-Allegheny) needs a miracle to overcome progressive challenger Emily Kinkead. She leads by 1,000 votes and 9 points with all mail ballots and 43 of 70 precincts reporting.
INCUMBENT TOSSUP: HD22 Dem: No mail, all in-person. This is a nail biter. State Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh) leads Enid Santiago by 46 votes, 1%, in this majority Latino district. All of the in-person ballots have been counted, while it appears no mail ballots have yet been.
WINNER: HD26 Dem: Paul Friel is the apparent winner in the Democratic primary over Frank Gillen. He will face state Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester) in the fall for the seat.
LEADER: HD28 GOP: All mail, some in-person. Robert Mercuri is the apparent winner in the Republican primary to succeed House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny). Mercuri bested Michael Heckmann and Libby Blackburn in the GOP primary and will take on Emily Skopov in the general election.
LEADER: HD29 GOP: No mail, all in-person. State Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) leads Greg Archetto in the GOP primary. The winner of this race will face Democrat Marlene Katz for the seat.
LEADER HD30 Dem: All mail, some in-person. Lissa Geiger Shulman leads Marco Attisano by a few hundred votes. The winner of the race will go head to head with state Rep. Lori Mizgorski (R-Allegheny) in the fall.
WINNER: HD32: State Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) is the apparent winner in the Democratic primary over Erin Vecchio. DeLuca will run unopposed in the general election.
WINNER: HD34: All mail, some in-person. The theory that State Rep. Summer Lee (D-Allegheny) could beat a well-liked incumbent by double digits in 2018, but would regress against a lesser-known challenger in 2020… well it didn’t pan out for the county party and County Exec. She won in a rout, with 77% vs. challenger Chris Roland, with all mail and most in-person ballots counted. She will run unopposed in the general election in the fall.
LEADER: HD36 Dem: All mail, some in-person. Progressive favorite Jessica Benham holds a lead in the four candidate Democratic primary over Ed Moeller, Heather Kass, and Mark Johnson in the race to succeed retiring state Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny). The winner of the Democratic primary will take on Republican A.J. Doyle for the seat in November.
INCUMBENT TRAILS: HD39 GOP: All mail, some in-person. State Rep. Michael Puskaric (R-Allegheny) is losing to challenger Tom Kirsch by 600 votes, with 34 of 41 precincts counted. This is a grudge match for the old Saccone seat; the former State Rep. backed Kirsch. The winner of this race will go up against Democrat Sara-Summer Oliphant in the fall.
WINNER: HD41 GOP: State Rep. Brett Miller fended off a challenge from Brad Witmer. Miller will take on Democrat Michele Wherley for the seat in the general election.
WINNER: HD44 GOP: State Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) leads Robert Doddato in the primary. The winner of this race will face Democrat Michele Knoll for the seat.
LEADER: HD45 GOP: All mail, some in-person. Danny DeVito, the Reopen protester who sued Wolf over his COVID orders, leads Malek Francis in the primary. The winner of this race is attempting to unseat state Rep. Anita Kulik (D-Allegheny).
WINNER: HD49 GOP: No mail, all in-person. State Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington) is the apparent winner over Tony Bottino Jr. in the primary. State Sen. Camera Bartolotta took the unusual step of endorsing Cook’s challenger, citing his personal conduct. Cook will face Democrat Randy Barli in the general election.
WINNER: HD66 GOP: Brian Smith is the apparent winner in the primary over John Matson in the race to fill the seat held by state Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson). Smith will run unopposed in the general election.
WINNER: HD84 GOP: Joe Hamm is the apparent winner in the primary over David Hines and Mike Dincher for the seat held by retiring state Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming). Hamm will take on Democrat Amanda Waldman in November for the seat.
WINNER: HD86 GOP: Perry Stambaugh is the apparent winner in the Republican primary over Jed Nessinger and William Benner for the seat held by retiring state Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry). Stambaugh will not face a Democratic challenger in the fall.
WINNER: HD103 Dem: State Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) is the apparent winner over Kevin Maxson in the primary. Kim will run unopposed in the general election.
WINNER: HD104 GOP: State Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) is the apparent winner in the primary over Travis Stauffer. Helm will take on Democrat Patty Smith for the seat in November.
LEADER: HD106 GOP: Some mail, some in-person. State Rep. Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) leads Chris Lupp and Mimi Legro in the primary. The winner of this race will face Democrat Lindsay Drew.
WINNER: HD125 GOP: Joe Kerwin wins the primary over Theresa Gaffney, Herv Breault, and Christy Joy for the seat held by retiring state Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill). Kerwin will run unopposed in the general election.
WINNER: HD127 Dem: No mail, all in-person. Manuel Guzman is the apparent winner for the primary over Robert Melendez, Raymond Baker, Cesar Cepeda, and Robin Constenbader-Jacobson. He took 49% of the in-person vote. The seat is held by state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks), who is retiring at the end of his current term. The GOP race is too call between Vincent Gagliardo Jr. and Branden Moyer.
WINNER: HD147 GOP: Tracy Pennycuick defeated Annamarie Scannapieco in the primary for the seat held by retiring state Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery). Pennycuick will take on Democrat Jill Dennin for the seat.
WINNER: HD154 Dem: no mail, some in-person. Napoleon Nelson is the apparent winner in the primary over Ray Sosa, Jay Conners, Jennifer Lugar, Adrienne Redd, and Gretchen Wisehart. The seat is held by state Rep. Steve McCarter (D-Montgomery), who is retiring at the end of his current term. Nelson will face Republican Kathleen Bowers for the seat in the fall.
WINNER: HD155 Dem: Some mail, all in-person. Another progressive freshman beats back a primary challenge. State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester), whose aggressive rhetoric about natural gas pipelines earned her critics in the organized labor community, defeated Rose Danese and will face Republican Michael Taylor in the fall.
LEADER: HD159 Dem: Some mail, some in-person. Incumbent Rep. Brian Kirkland looks safe in this Delco district against challenger Angela Renee Prattis. The winner will face Republican Ruth Moton.
LEADER: HD166 Dem: Some mail, some in-person. Rep. Greg Vitali leads challenger Jennifer Leith by 9 points. The Republican candidate is Christine Boyle.
WINNER: HD167 Dem: The AP called the race for incumbent State Rep. Kristine Howard over Ginny Kerslake. She will face Republican Wendy Graham Leland in one of the GOP’s top state House targets in SEPA that flipped for the first time in 2018.
LEADER: HD168 Dem: Some mail, some in-person. Incumbent Rep. Christopher Quinn (R-Delco) kept his seat in 2018 in one of PA’s narrowest state House margins. This year it looks like he’ll face veteran and businesswoman Deb Ciamacca, who currently leads Brittany Forman.
WRITE-IN: HD170 Dem: State Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) was unopposed in the primary. However, a late write-in campaign by 2018 hopeful Mike Doyle may make the ballot. District Dems wrote in 307 names in-person, above the threshold for the nomination.
INCUMBENT TOSSUP: HD175 Dem: State Rep. Mary Isaacson holds a 117 vote lead over Jeff Dempsey, Andre Del Valle, and Vanessa McGrath in the four candidate primary among in-person votes. The mail-in ballots will tell the tale.
INCUMBENT TRAILS: HD182 Dem: No mail, all in-person. State Rep. Brian Sims lags challenger Marisa Shaaban by 128 votes, 4% of the in-person votes. The GOP candidate in this safe Dem district is Drew Murray.
INCUMBENT LOSES: HD185: Regina Young is the apparent winner in the primary race over incumbent state Rep. Maria Donatucci (D-Philadelphia). The AP called the race for Young, who leads Donatucci by 32 points among in-person votes.
INCUMBENT TRAILS: HD188 Dem: Rick Krajewski holds a 4 point lead over state Rep. James Roebuck Jr. (D-Philadelphia) in the four candidate primary.
INCUMBENT LOSES: HD190 Dem: The AP called the race for Amen Brown in the four candidate primary that includes incumbent Rep. G. Roni Green (D-Philadelphia). He has a 20 point lead with mail ballots yet to be counted.
TOSSUP: HD198 Dem: No mail, all in-person. Supreme Dow and Bernard Williams are neck and neck in the primary over Fareed Abdullah and Darisha Parker for the seat held by outgoing state Rep. Rosita Younblood (D-Philadelphia). But only 343 in-person votes separate first place and last.