The primary is here, and that means that Pennsylvanians will soon know who’s squaring off in November’s contests for U.S. Senate, governor and lieutenant governor.
Josh Shapiro, unopposed on the Democrats’ side, is guaranteed a matchup against one of seven Republicans battling it out for the party’s nod.
The field slimmed down with the exits of state Senate leader Jake Corman and Melissa Hart. Doug Mastriano, a far-right senator from Franklin County, is the gubernatorial frontrunner. Republicans, concerned he will hurt the ticket in November, have been working behind the scenes to unite the party behind former Congressman Lou Barletta. Both Corman and Hart have endorsed Barletta, and the influential conservative group, Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, pulled its support from former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain to back Barletta as well.
Delco’s Dave White remains in the race as well.
Will the party’s efforts be enough to stop Mastriano, who hopes to have cemented a win by picking up the endorsement of former President Donald Trump?
The Senate races feature seven Republicans hoping to replace the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey. The GOP field includes celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and the surging conservative activist Kathy Barnette on the Republican side, along with hedge fund CEO David McCormick.
There’s a four-person race on the Democratic side that includes Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who recently suffered a stroke, along with U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. Kenyatta has been a fierce critic of Fetterman, calling him “f—ing Batman,” over an incident in which Fetterman, while serving as mayor of Braddock, engaged in an armed confrontation with a Black man jogging in his community.
While most eyes are fixed on those races, here’s a look at some of the contested races in the Delaware Valley region:
In Chester County, four Republicans – Guy Ciarrocchi, Steve Fanelli, Regina Mauro, and Ron Vogel – are battling for the right to take on incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran first elected to the Sixth Congressional District seat in 2018.
Cast by her opponents as “Pelosi Democrat” in the bag for Biden, Houlihan is still favored heading into the general election in a district tending to lean slightly blue.
In Bucks County, Alex Entin and Brian Fitzpatrick are squaring off on the GOP side for the 1st Congressional District seat. The winner faces off against Democrat Ashley Ehasz.
Entin of Northampton Township is a procurement specialist and first-generation immigrant from the Republic of Moldova while Fitzpatrick is a former FBI agent and has staked out a reputation as a moderate Republican since first entering office in 2017. Fitzpatrick raised more than $3 million, while his opponent had just under $15,000 in his campaign coffers through the final days of April.
Republican voters will also decide between small business owner Bernie Sauer of Newtown Borough and marketing professional Jennifer Spillane in the GOP race in the 31st House District.
Whoever wins faces incumbent Perry Warren in the general election.
In Montgomery County, the 4th Congressional District GOP primary is between executive Christian Nascimento and small business owner Daniel Burton Jr. They’re looking to unseat Democrat incumbent Rep. Madeleine Dean in the fall.
And in Delaware County David Galluch is running for Congress to challenge incumbent Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon. Galluch is a Navy veteran, where he was an ordinance specialist who is trained in economics.
Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal