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PoliticsPA Playbook: Primary Election Results

Your one-stop shop for all the results of yesterday’s statewide, congressional and state legislative races. Five incumbents lost statewide.


Allegheny Incumbents Lose: In a bad night for Allegheny County incumbents, Democratic state Reps. Dom Costa and Paul Costa, and Republican state Sen. Randy Vulakovich all lost to primary challengers. They were the only incumbents in PA to lose Tuesday night.

Wagner, Bartos Win: Forming a ticket appeared to work for state Sen. Scott Wagner and businessman Jeff Bartos as both won their respective primaries.  Wagner won with 44%, Paul Mango had 37%, and Laura Ellsworth had 19%. Bartos won with 47% of the vote while Kathleen Coder had 22%, Diana Irey Vaughan had 18%, and Peg Luksik had 14%.  

Fetterman Romps: Braddock Mayor John Fetterman defeated incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and three other candidates to become Governor Tom Wolf’s running mate in the fall.  Fetterman won 38% of the vote, while Nina Ahmad had 24%, Kathy Cozzone had 19%, Stack had 17%, and Raymond Sosa had 4%

Bartletta Beats Christiana: It’s NEPA vs NEPA: Congressman Lou Barletta won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and will face Senator Bob Casey. Barletta won with 63% of the vote, while state Rep. Jim Christiana received 37%.  

Parties Trade State House Special Election Wins: The two parties switched control both the 48th and 178th state House districts, with Republican Tim O’Neal winning the 48th, and Democrat Helen Tai winning the 178th.  

Vazquez Ousted: State Rep. Emilio Vazquez, the incumbent in Philly’s HD197, finished third against two challengers. He’d won a write-in campaign to replace Rep. Leslie Acosta back in March 2017. The Democratic nominee and presumptive general election winner is Danilo Burgos, a former aide to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez who had ward leader endorsements and took 37% in the primary.

Congressional races

  • PA-01 : The matchup is set in one of the nation’s marquee congressional contests. Scott Wallace will face Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick this fall.
  • PA-2 & 3: Incumbent Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans cruised to primary wins over challengers Michele Lawrence and Kevin Johnson respectively. They’re heavy favorites in the fall.
  • PA-4: Madeleine Dean notched a decisive victory on the Democratic side and will face Dan David in the general election.
  • PA-5: Mary Gay Scanlon took advantage of a crowded field to win the Democratic primary and face Republican Pearl Kim.
  • PA-6: Democrat Chrissy Houlahan and Republican Greg McCauley enjoyed no opposition in the primaries and will be running against each other in the fall.
  • PA-7: Susan Wild had a narrow victory on the Democratic side and will face Republican Marty Nothstein in the general.
  • PA-08: John Chrin won the Republican primary in the new 8th Congressional district. He will face Democrat Matt Cartwright in the fall.
  • PA-09: Former Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser won the Republican Primary in the 9th Congressional district.
  • PA-10: Democrat George Scott will face Republican Scott Perry in the general election.
  • PA-11: Republican Lloyd Smucker prevails over Chet Beller and will face Democrat Jess King in the general.  
  • PA-12: Tom Marino won the GOP primary, Dem race too close to call
  • PA-13: Dr. John Joyce won the Republican primary for the new 13th Congressional district.
  • PA-14: Democrat Bibiana Boerio will face Republican Guy Reschenthaler
  • PA-15: IUP Professor Susan Boser easily defeated former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologist Wade Jodun. She’ll face incumbent Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Centre) in the fall.
  • PA-16: Erie Attorney Ron DiNicola hopes the third time’s the charm. He easily won a three-way Democratic primary to punch his ticket to a general election matchup with incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler).
  • PA-17: The battle of the incumbents will face incumbent Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb and incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus against each other in the general election
  • PA-18: Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle defeated primary challenger Janis Brooks and does not face a Republican opponent in the general.  

State Senate

  • SD26: Tim Kearney (D) will face Sen. Tom McGarrigle (R)
  • SD28: Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R) will face Judith Higgins (D)
  • SD30: Rep. Judy Ward (R) will face Emily Best (D)
  • SD38: Ross Township Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer ousted Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R) and will face Lindsey Williams (D)

State House

  • HD2: Merski captures Democratic nomination for state representative
  • HD12: Daniel Smith Jr. will face Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
  • HD19: Rep. Jake Wheatley fended off a pair of challengers and finished with 48%
  • HD20: Rep. Adam Ravenstahl fended off a progressive challenge from Mike “DJ Zombo” Devine, with 59%
  • HD21: Rep. Dom Costa lost to progressive challenger Sara Innamorato, 65-to-35
  • HD24: Rep. Ed Gainey had no trouble: 89%
  • HD30: Betsy Monroe took 39% in a three-way Dem primary to face Rep. Hal English
  • HD32: State Rep. Tony Deluca took 68% against Erin Vecchio
  • HD34: State Rep. Paul Costa lost to progressive activist Summer Lee, 68-to-32
  • HD40: Veteran Natalie Mihalek will be the GOP nominee for Rep. John Maher’s seat. The Dem is Sharon Guidi
  • HD44: Aleppo Township businesswoman Valerie Gaydos won a razor-thin four-way 44th Legislative District Republican primary race Tuesday, apparently slipping by Moon Township Supervisor David Bachman by just 18 votes. Rep. Mark Mustio is retiring
  • HD46: Byron Timmins will be the Dem nominee against Rep. Jason Ortitay
  • HD48: Clark Mitchell lost the special election to Tim O’Neal, but he won the Democratic primary to set up a rematch in the fall
  • HD49: Steve Toprani (D) will face Rep. Bud Cook
  • HD53: Rep. Robert Godshall is retiring. Dem Steve Malagari will face Andy Szekely in target seat for Dems
  • HD54: Former Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks won the four-Way GOP primary to replace Rep. Eli Evankovich. He’ll face Dem Jon McCabe, whose website says he’ll bring a fresh approach as a 22-years-old political newcomer.
  • HD62: Four Republicans and 2 Dems vied to replace outgoing House Majority Leader Dave Reed. Indiana County Chamber of Commerce President Jim Struzzi beat tea party leader Julie Anderson 41-to-35. Logan Dellafiora, the Dem, is Coral-Graceton Second Assistant Fire Chief.
  • HD68: Clint Owlett easily won the GOP primary on the same day he won the special election to replace Rep. Matt Baker.  He’ll face a rematch with Carrie Heath.
  • HD71: For the fourth time, Ferndale borough official and police officer Jim Rigby will be the GOP nominee versus Rep. Bryan Barbin.
  • HD74: This is the top Democratic target for 2018, a seat Clinton won by 25 points. Rep. Harry Lewis, a supernaturally popular Republican, is retiring. Dan Williams, pastor of New Life in Christ Fellowship in Coatesville, took 44% of the primary vote to defeat Downingtown Mayor John Maxwell and Villanova professor Frank Pryor. He’ll face Lewis staffer Amber Little-Turner.
  • HD79: Rep. John McGinnis is retiring. Attorney Lou Schmitt won the GOP primary and is unopposed in the fall.
  • HD80: Rep. Judy Ward is the state Senate nominee, and radio host Jim Gregory eked out a 52-to-48 win for the GOP nomination.
  • HD82: Rep. Adam Harris is out, John Hershey is in. He took 35% in a nine (!) way GOP primary.
  • HD91. Rep. Dan Moul easily survived a primary challenge with 80% of the GOP vote.
  • HD92: Rep. Dawn Keefer fended off a challenger too, taking 60% versus Josh Hershey.
  • HD93: Rep. Phillips-Hill may soon be Senator Phillips-Hill. The GOP nominee to replace her is Mike Jones, the former president of St. Onge Company, a supply chain engineering firm in Springettsbury Township. He took 85% versus his opponent Matt Jansen, who “made national headlines in recent years after he ranted in a voicemail message to a pastor about a church’s sign wishing a blessed Ramadan to its Muslim neighbors.” Jones faces Dem Meggan O’Rourke in the fall.
  • HD105: Rep. Ron Marsico is retiring. GOP businessman Andrew Lewis notched a two-to-one win in the primary and will face Rock the Capital activist Eric Epstein, an anti-payraise crusader.
  • HD106: Jill Linta chairs the Gov. Pinchot Group of the Sierra Club and is a legal observer and coordinator with the National Lawyers Guild of Central Pa. She beat environmental engineer Robert Myers by 171 votes in the Democratic primary and will face Rep. Tom Mehaffie this fall.
  • HD112: In a major change of pace. Rep. Kevin Haggerty won’t be coming to Harrisburg any more. The chronically absent NEPA lawmaker is retiring. Kyle Mullins is State Sen. John Blake’s  legislative director and cleared a five-way Dem primary with 43%. Ernest Lemoncelli is his Republican opponent.
  • HD127: Bombshell revelations about Rep. Tom Caltagirone’s $250,000 harassment settlement fueled a strong challenge to the reading Democrat, but he beat primary opponent Manny Guzman 55-to-45.
  • HD131: Rep. Justin Simmons took 70% against challenger Bev Plosa-Bowser.
  • HD134: Rep. Ryan Mackenzie did one better, beating Ron Beitler with 71%.
  • HD143: This is a nailbiter. Rep. Marguerite Quinn is running for State Senate. Wendy Ullman had a 4 vote lead over Tim Brennan for the Democratic nod late Tuesday night. Doylestown Borough councilman Joe Flood is the GOP nominee.
  • HD155: Businesswoman and pipeline activist Danielle Friel Otten easily defeated East Pikeland Supervisor Ron Graham. She took 82% in the Democratic primary and will face Rep. Becky Corbin this fall.
  • HD158: Rep. Eric Roe took 90% against his GOP challenger, the high-water mark of any contested incumbent in Harrisburg last night.
  • HD160: Attorney Anton Andrew took 80% of the Democratic primary and will face Rep. Steve Barrar in the fall.
  • HD165: Rep. Alex Charlton beat challenger Regina Scheerer 66-to-34.
  • HD167: Democrat Kristine Howard defeated Jeffrey McFall by over 50 points to challenge Republican state Rep. Duane Milne in the fall.  
  • HD168: Energy nonprofit executive Kristin Seale won the Democratic primary to face first term Republican state Rep. Chris Quinn in the general election.  
  • HD175: Incumbent state Rep. Michael O’Brien defeated primary challenger Deborah Derricks in the Democratic primary.  O’Brien does not face a Republican challenger in the general election.
  • HD176: Democrat Claudette Williams defeated Tia-Marie Fritz to challenge Republican state Rep Jack Rader who is serving his second term in the state House.  
  • HD177: The retirement of Republican state Rep. John Taylor opened the door for Democrats to take back the Philadelphia-based seat.  Democrat Joseph Hohenstein won the four-way primary with 37% of the vote. He will face Republican Patty Kozlowski in the general election.  
  • HD179: Incumbent state Rep. Jason Dawkins defeated his primary challengers, Abu Vincente Edwards, by 50 points, and will not face a Republican in the fall.  
  • HD181: Democratic State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas announced his retirement, and Malcolm Kenyatta won a five-way primary on the Democratic side. He will face Republican Thomas Street in the fall.  
  • HD183: Republican state Rep. Zach Mako held off a primary challenge after his first term in office, defeating Cynthia Miller by almost 50 points.  Mako will face Slatington Borough Councilor Jason Ruff, who ran unopposed, in the fall.
  • HD184: Democratic state Rep. William Keller did not seek re-election this year, and Elizabeth Fiedler defeated Jonathan Rowan, Nicholas Didonato and Thomas Wyatt in the primary.  No Republican ran in the primary.
  • HD188: Incumbent state Rep. James Roebuck defeated primary challengers Diane Settles and Jeffrey Curry and does not face a Republican challenger in the general election.
  • HD189: Democrat Adam Rodriguez defeated Christa Caveres to face incumbent state Rep. Rosemary Brown.
  • HD190: State Rep. Vanessa Brown defeated two primary challengers, Raymond Bailey and Wanda Logan, receiving 65% of the vote.  
  • HD193: Republican Barry Cockley edged out a one-vote victory in the Republican primary, and will face Democrat Matthew Nelson in the fall.  
  • HD197: State Rep. Emilio Vazquez, who won his seat in a special election, lost to Danilo Burgos in a three-way primary.  
  • HD198: Incumbent state Rep. Rosita Youngblood easily held off a challenge from Bernard Williams.  
  • HD199: Two Republicans ran to replace retiring state Rep. Steve Bloom.  Barb Gleim narrowly defeated Jason Kelso and will face Democrat Joseph McGinnis in the general election.  
  • HD200: Democratic state Rep. Chris Rabb held off a challenge from Melissa Scott 52-48.  Rabb does not have an opponent in the fall.

5 Responses

  1. Dem statewide turnout, about 750,000 out of 3.6 million Dems, just under 21% turnout. (this computation does not make the mistake of including an additional 441K “InActive” flagged Dems in the denominator, like too many political analysts do).

    The GOP turnout was about 25% (but their top-of-ticket was contested).

    Wolf and Casey didn’t waste money/resources on GOTV and advertising to boost turnout for their uncontested races.

  2. Somebody in the GOP needs to really expose the expensive, inept fraud that is John Bra-Bilker. Here is a guy who blew Mango’s winnable race and pocketed at least $2 million in fees and commissions. He made Wagner spend all that money he won’t have against Wolf because Bra-Bilker is greedy and Mango is a moron that could be duped.

    Then, he blew the EASY walk in the park Saccone special election in March after having a 3 to 1 money advantage. And Last night, Bra-Bilker blew the 14th race AGAIN for Saccone despite being up by almost 40 points 4 weeks ago. He is an expensive, inept and just a greedy consultant who lines his pockets and loses races he should win.

    And the State party continues to work with him….amazing.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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