Monday, 28 May, 2018

Primary elections: Pennsylvania crucial to Democratic hopes for winning House majority

Phillip Aronoff Phillip Aronoff
Marty Perkins | 15 May, 2018, 22:40

State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-7, Hermitage, and state Rep. Parke Wentling, R-17, Greenville, face no opposition in either the primary or general election.

Polls have opened in Pennsylvania as voters choose Republican challengers to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen.

Democrats have choices for the U.S. House as well. The 18th District itself now includes Pittsburgh, home base of incumbent Democrat Mike Doyle.

Ballots are due by 8 p.m. Tuesday and postmarks don't count. The loyalty won Barletta Trump's early support in the Senate race, as well as recorded telephone calls last weekend featuring the president backing Barletta "fully, strongly and proudly".

The following are among the primary races voters will see at the ballot box on Tuesday, which will set the stage for the November election.

Despite all that, interest in the primary election is low, with 23 percent of ballots returned so far, according to the Oregon Elections Division, including almost 30 percent in Crook County, almost 28 percent in Deschutes and more than 26 percent in Jefferson, according to Tuesday morning's statewide ballot tally.

Ron DiNicola of Erie County, Dr. Robert Multari of Hermitage and Chris Rieger of Butler County are running for the Democratic nomination.




Anyone can select a nonpartisan or Democrat ballot, but only people who are registered as Republicans can select the GOP ballot. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) endorsed a candidate, irking the backers of one of his opponents. Wealthy photojournalist Scott Wallace - whose grandfather was Vice-President Henry Wallace - has relatively weak ties to the district, but also has money to burn, which he's used to blast rival Rachel Reddick, a Navy veteran, for having been registered as a Republican until recently. But under the new lines, the special-election victor, Democrat Conor Lamb, is now in the 17th district, as are many South Hills voters who voted in March. He has one primary challenger.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will face the victor of a crowded Republican primary that state Sen. Scott Wagner and attorney Laura Ellsworth. He will face Rep. Keith Rothfus (R) in November.

On the Democratic side, Mike Stack, the current lieutenant governor, is being challenged by Kathi Cozzone, a county commissioner from Chester County, John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock in Allegheny County, Ray Sosa, a businessman from Montgomery County and Nina Ahmad, a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia County. Republican Rep. Don Bacon may again be challenged by Democrat Brad Ashford, who he unseated in 2016.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans will seek another term in office, but will compete against Kevin Johnson in the Democratic primary.

And in House District 15, which includes North Albany, Republican Shelly Boshart Davis, Democrat Jerred Taylor and Independent Cynthia K. Hyatt are going through the nominating process and will vie to succeed the retiring Andy Olson in the November general election.

Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is not seeking re-election after three terms.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is favored to emerge Tuesday as her party's nominee in the fall. The race has attracted a crowded field of Republicans. But the state's Democratic establishment is lining up behind A.J. Balukoff, a 72-year-old Idaho businessman who ran for governor in 2014.

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