HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – While the presidential race is getting most of the attention, Pennsylvania’s primary election also will decide party nominees for U.S. Senate, Congress, state attorney general, and the state Legislature.
Here’s a look at who’s on the ballot in the ABC27 viewing area:
Democrats have a four-way contest to see who will challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
John Fetterman is a York native and the three-term mayor of Braddock who drew international attention in his efforts to revitalize the economy of the impoverished steel town near Pittsburgh.
Katie McGinty was chief-of-staff to Gov. Tom Wolf and Environmental Protection Secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. She also held posts in federal government; as an advisor to Vice President Al Gore and an environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton. She ran for governor and lost to Wolf in the 2014 primary. She is endorsed by Wolf and President Obama.
Joe Sestak is a retired Navy rear admiral and former two-term congressman from suburban Philadelphia. He is returning for a rematch with Toomey after losing to Pennsylvania’s junior senator by two percentage points in 2010. He leads polls in the Democratic primary race.
Joe Vodvarka is a semi-retired owner of a spring manufacturing shop in Allegheny County who’s making his third run for the U.S. Senate. He lost a court challenge to his petitions by Sestak and was removed from the ballot in 2010. In 2012, he won 19 percent of the primary vote on a shoestring budget and lost to Sen. Bob Casey.
Toomey is running for his second 6-year term. He has no challenger in the Republican primary.
Three Democrats and two Republicans are running to succeed Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Only one member of the Midstate’s congressional delegation has a primary challenger. Republican Bill Shuster is running for his ninth two-year term in the 9th Congressional District, which includes Franklin County. His challenger is Art Halvorson, a real estate investor and retired Coast Guard pilot who won 34 percent of the primary vote and lost to Shuster in 2014.
In the 16th Congressional District which includes parts of Lancaster, Berks, and Chester counties, two Republicans are running for the seat held by retiring Rep. Joe Pitts. State Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster/York) is running against Lancaster County businessman Chet Beiler in the Republican primary. The winner will face uncontested Democrat Christina Hartman, a consultant from Lancaster, in the November election.
Three Republican candidates are vying for the 13th Senate District in Lancaster County that’s currently held by Sen. Lloyd Smucker, who’s running for Congress. Lancaster County Commissioner Scott Martin is running against Ethan Demme, a businessman and East Lampeter Township supervisor, and Neal Rice, a West Lampeter Township attorney and Iraq War veteran. Democrat Greg Paulson has no primary challenger.
Two Democrats and two Republicans are running for the 15th Senate District in Dauphin and Perry counties. Democratic Sen. Rob Teplitz is seeking a second term against Alvin Taylor, a Lower Paxton Township minister and businessman who lost to Teplitz in the 2012 primary. Republicans will choose between businessman John DiSanto and Andrew Lewis, a business owner and Iraq War veteran.
Four Republicans are vying to replace retiring state Sen. Pat Vance in the 31st Senate District in Cumberland and York counties. State Rep. Mike Regan is running against former NFL running back and broadcaster Jon Ritchie, Cumberland County dentist Brice Arndt, and York County attorney Scott Harper. No Democrats are running.
PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Six sitting state representatives face primary challenges:
- Republican Rep. Melinda Fee is running against Tim Reedy for the 37th House District in Lancaster County
- Republican Rep. Dan Moul will take on Kurt Holland for the 91st House District in Adams County
- Republican Rep. Gregory Rothman will face Michael Travis for the 87th House District in Cumberland County
- Republican Rep. Russ Diamond has a challenge from Thomas Houtz in the 102nd House District in Lebanon County
- Democratic Rep. Patty Kim is up against Richard Soto in the 103rd House District that includes Harrisburg, Highspire, and Steelton.
- Republican Rep. Sue Helm is running against Nathaniel Curtis for the 104th House District in Dauphin County.
Three Republicans are running for the 92nd House District in Cumberland and York counties. The seat currently is held by Rep. Mike Regan, who’s running for state Senate. The candidates are Dawn Keefer, Kraig Bruder, and Anthony Pugliese. No Democrats are running.
In Lebanon County, four Republicans are running for the 101st House District currently held by state Rep. Mauree Gingrich. Whoever wins the contest between Jeffrey Griffith, Francis Ryan, John Dissinger, and Pier Hess will face unopposed Democrat Lorraine Scudder in November.
The race to replace retiring state Rep. John Payne in the 106th House District in Dauphin County is a two-way Republican contest between Thomas Mehaffie and Jonathan Keeler.
3 THINGS TO KNOW
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Only first-time voters may be required to show an ID, which could be a utility bill or bank statement bearing a name and correct address or a photo ID like a driver’s license or student ID card.
Votes on a statewide referendum to increase the mandatory retirement age for judges won’t count. A court ruling delayed the vote until November, but most counties won’t be able to remove the question from the ballot.
This article has been corrected to show that Gary Wegman, Democratic candidate for the 16th Congressional District, has been removed from the ballot.