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Post-Primary Election Ups & Downs

An absolutely zany primary season comes to an end. See who won and who lost on Tuesday.




John Fetterman.  Braddock Mayor John Fetterman became the first person in Pennsylvania’s history to successfully beat an incumbent Lieutenant Governor in a primary election, defeating Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack.  






Endorsed candidates. The three GOP endorsed statewide candidates won their contested primaries, showing that perhaps the endorsement of the PA GOP may be worth something in contested primaries.  






Bob Casey.  U.S. Senator Bob Casey was the top vote getter in any statewide race, including beating Governor Tom Wolf who was also running unopposed in the primary.  




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Jim Kenney. Mayor Jim Kenney did not have a strong election even without being on the ballot.  Both of his Deputy Mayors who ran for higher office lost their respective primaries, Rich Lazer who Kenney also endorsed lost in the PA-5 primary, and Nina Ahmad lost in the LG primary.  



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Costas.  Both state Reps. Dom and Paul Costa lost to primary challengers from the Democratic Socialists of America by over 30 points each.  





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Lou Barletta. Within two days of winning his party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, national Republicans began down talking and going after Lou Barletta, including saying “The sense is, nobody knows what the fuck he’s doing.”  






Madeleine Dean.  State Rep. Madeleine Dean convincingly won the PA-4 primary, with only one Democrat winning more votes in an open seat primary, and this after polls from both her campaign and her opponents showed her trailing in the final months of the election.  



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Rick Saccone.  State Rep. Rick Saccone went from being a nationally recognized name during the 18th Congressional district special election, to losing to Democrat Conor Lamb, and then losing in the primary for the 14th Congressional district putting an end to his time in elected office.  





Scott Wagner.  He faces an uphill climb in the general to be sure. But step back for a moment. Four years ago he was a gadfly outsider, running a write-in campaign against the Republican nominee for State Senate. Four years later, after building and funding a statewide network, he is the undisputed leader of the PA Republican Party.





Women Candidates.  Women candidates across the state delivered victories in higher numbers than seen in recent years, 118 women advanced to the general election compared to 65 in 2016.  






Lindsey Williams.  The Democratic nominee in the 38th state Senate district not only won her contested primary, but saw the Republican incumbent, state Sen. Randy Vulakovich, lose in his primary making her a serious contender for the open seat.




Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down, that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers.  To sign up to see the bonus arrow click here.

The tweet of the week goes to Jeff Jubelirer for his take on primary election day.  


12 Responses

  1. Why are we still calling unaffiliated voters “independents”, when they’re dependent on Ds and Rs to make the decisions?

  2. Somewhere, Chip Brightbill and Bob Jubelirer are thinking, “Man, that was an ugly primary loss for Mike Stack.”

  3. Stack needs to go away and never come back. Finishing 4th out of 5 as an incumbent is unheard of and embarrassing, but reflects the effort and grace in which he held that office. I do not agree with one single thing Fetterman has ever said in regards to policy, but he is a good man who believes what he believes and sticks to it, that is respectable no matter your political views. I obviously think/hope that Jeff Bartos takes him to the wood shed in November, but he is a much better representative for his party and our state than Mike SlickBack Stack.

  4. The endorsed candidates won because they were better funded wingnuts than their opponents. Not enough to win in November. Tired of being forced to choose between shit and shittier.

  5. Basic grammar tip for “Sy”: Primary Election, General Election, The General, The Primary, always capped.

    1. Sy doesn’t take reader corrections. I told him for ninth during the Primary that Alan Howe’s name was not Robert. He still continued to erroneously call Alan Robert.

  6. Kathi Cozzone had no money and garnered 142,722 votes.

    Nina Ahamd spent $1 million and got 149,531 votes.

    Who won?

    Cozzone by a long shot. Look forward to ,ore of Kathi Cozzone!

  7. There is no downside to Fetterman. In fact, his western pa totals are impressive as is his coming in first. Then you put in his being pictured with Wolf right after the victory shows that he has “got game” and that Fetterman is a winner in 2018. That said the race is really for Gov and Lt. Gov is like a back-up QB and aside from the brilliantly performing Nick Foles no one knows or cares about back-up QB’s or LT Gov’s. While Wagner did get the Gov nomination and I congratulate that but so did Ivan Itkin and Lynn Swann. Wagner is missing that Tom Ridge likable charm and comes off dour. It’s just not there for Wagner no matter who the campaign advisors are or the funds raised. Wolf by 8 to 10 in Nov.

  8. Fetterman was not the only one to beat Stack. Both the women beat him also.
    Nina Ahmad came in second with a campaign that started 8 days before the filing deadline, as opposed to the others, who started a year before her. Why don’t you note this as an enormous victory for a woman of color instead of saying she embarrassed Mayor Kenney?

    1. Ahmad spent $800,000.00 to ‘shop’ for this office, and fell woefully short in the results in spite of this epic spend – and waste of money! She paid a king’s ransom to get her signatures, and acted like she accomplished something.

      Why didn’t Kenny endorse Ahmad as he did Lazur? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Ahmad did nothing but waste her money on campaign staff that misled her into believing she had a chance to win. With decision-making skills like that, Pennsylvanians should consider themselves fortunate that she came up woefully short!

      Has she paid her contractors yet????

    2. It’s not an enormous victory, but rather a sad commentary on PA election law because Ahmad wrote a check for over $1,000,000 that she put into TV ads. Ahmad spent almost $6 for each vote. That’s just sad and should gross out any Dem.

      The real story is Kathy Cozzone. She crushed it in Chester and in other parts of the state with no money. I look forward to seeing more of her.

      1. That is correct on Cozzone. One has to wonder if the Ahmad play was just a way to get her out of the Lazer race and provide the death blow to Stack? My guess is that Kenney had a few reasons not to endorse her – he did not want to go against the progressive Fetterman and could not separate himself even more than row house democrats and be against Stack

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