Democrat Josh Shapiro’s big win in the governor’s race Tuesday night lifted Delaware Valley Democrats, who trounced their Republican opponents in many local races.
The Dobbs U.S. Supreme Court decision, which released the abortion issue genie out of the political bottle, apparently played well for Democrats who rode it to victory. Voters resoundingly rejected Trump-endorsed Republican candidates Doug Mastriano and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“Real freedom prevailed in Pennsylvania. I’m humbled and proud to be your next governor,” Shapiro said via Facebook.
Retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) tweeted, “Dr. Oz ran a great campaign. I was proud to support his candidacy, as I believed he was the right choice for the Commonwealth. Nonetheless, the people of Pennsylvania have spoken, and they selected John Fetterman. I congratulate John and wish him the best as he takes on the role of representing Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate.”
In the 12th Senate district for the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery/Berks), Republican Rep. Tracy Pennycuick beat Jill Dennin 62,550 to 57,081 in unofficial results.
Republican incumbent state Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151) held on to beat Democratic challenger Melissa Cerrato 16,611 to 16,585.
But Rep. Chris Quinn (R-168th) lost to Democrat Radnor Commissioner Lisa Borowski, 15,928 to 13,095.
“When the legislative redistricting committee specifically draws maps to create 100 Republican and 100 Democratic seats – primarily by drawing heavily Democratic favored districts in Southeastern Pennsylvania – the results are not surprising,” Quinn said. “Due to gerrymandering, I lost approximately half of my district. Outcome-based maps – the worst kind of gerrymandering- decided this race. I fear that the end result will be increased partisanship and gridlock in the legislature for years to come.
“Thank you to my many supporters and volunteers who worked so hard these past few months and I wish Lisa well as she begins her service in the legislature,” said Quinn.
Borowski said via Twitter, “All I can say is thank you. I am humbled to be elected to represent the people of HD-168 in the State House. I promise to show up and stand up for you every day.”
Incumbent Rep. Craig Williams (R-160), a district that includes parts of Delaware County and parts of Chester County, was able to hold off Democratic challenger Cathy Spar, 17,467 to 14,396.
“I am excited at the prospects of continuing the work for a gun violence task force, fighting inflation, and stopping violent crime,” said Williams, a former federal prosecutor. “I am excited and humbled by this overwhelming support I have received from the people of Delaware and Chester Counties. I will continue to fight for you every day.”
In other area races, incumbent Democrat Danielle Fried Otten beat Republican challenger Kyle Scribner 14,205 to 12,964. State Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-157) prevailed over Republican challenger Sarah Martin.
In an upset, incumbent Republican Rep. Tim Hennessey (R- 26th) lost to Democrat Paul Friel 12,851 to 14,939.
And state Sen. Katie Muth (D-Montgomery/Chester) beat Republican opponent Jessica Florio 41,694 to 40,491, in unofficial totals.
All four area Congress members retained their seats: Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks/Montgomery); Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery/Berks); Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks).
“It is the honor of my lifetime to represent our community of Chester and Berks Counties,” said Houlahan, “and I am deeply humbled that the voters have decided to allow me to continue this service. I am so grateful to my family, team, and supporters who worked tirelessly to help us share our positive message across Southeastern Pennsylvania and achieve this victory. Tonight, our community sent a clear signal that they want problem solvers in Congress who will work with both parties to solve the real problems they face – from inflation to attacks on our freedoms and democracy. I’m excited to make you proud and get back to work.”
While Shapiro may have had long coattails in this election, some Republicans point to structural changes brought by mail-in voting.
One Republican leader who asked not to be named said, “Mail-in ballots change everything. The potential to harvest votes gives the Democrats a significant advantage. “
They also cited news coverage and campaigns that did not “explicitly link the inflation to Biden’s policies”
In the end, “Some voters put abortion above everything else.”