“Three retirements, three resignations, and an eleventh-hour court-ordered redistricting upended Tuesday’s congressional primaries in Pennsylvania, where Democrats hope to add a few seats en route to the majority. … Regardless of who wins what, nearly half of the state’s 18-member delegation will assuredly be new following the November elections, thanks to all the upheaval.”
“One trend to watch: How deep the cut is into the all-male delegation will depend in part on how many women are nominated. EMILY’s List is backing five candidates, one of whom is very likely to break this barrier.” Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan (D) is highly favored to replace retiring Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA 06).
Here’s our breakdown of the top races:
PA-01: Philanthropist Scott Wallace (D), “who spent much of the past decade living in South Africa, self-funded at least $2.5 million of his Democratic primary campaign against” former Navy JAG Rachel Reddick (D) and has outspent her 16 to 1 on the air. “National Democrats say either could beat” moderate Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R). “Wallace could face carpetbagging attacks but would likely have the financial edge on Fitzpatrick, who had $1.3 million in the bank as of late April.”
PA-04: State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D), “who dropped a lieutenant governor bid, has drawn Democratic primary support from big names and has dominated the airwaves with a $380,000 buy on broadcast and cable. But” former Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) “is banking on name ID from his six-year congressional tenure in the early 2000s to carry him. He raised just $42,000 but led in early internal polls.” Gun-control advocate Shira Goodman (D) “is also in the race.”
PA-05: There are four top candidates here for this newly redrawn, safe Democrat seat: former school board President Mary Gay Scanlon (D), former federal prosecutor Ashley Lunkenheimer (D); state Rep. Greg Vitali (D); and former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Rich Lazer (D). Lazer is the beneficiary of $1 million in outside spending from labor groups. Rep. Pat Meehan (R) resigned earlier this year.
PA-07: “The three-way race pits” Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli (D) against former Allentown city solicitor Susan Wild (D) and pastor Gregory Edwards (D). This contest has attracted hundreds of thousands in outside spending and fear over the viability of the eventual nominee. Some in the party worry Edwards might be too liberal for a battleground district and that Morganelli’s past as a conservative Democrat might not inspire the base to turn out in November.
PA-09: Republicans see the race as a three-way contest between” former state official Dan Meuser (R), Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage (R), and retired CIA officer Scott Uehlinger (R). “Meuser’s spending has far outpaced his rivals, though he no longer lives within the redrawn lines, while Halcovage has a base in one of the district’s dominant counties.” This is Republican-leaning seat and was made less competitive by redistricting. Rep. Lou Barletta (R) is running for Senate.
PA-13: There three top candidates to watch in this safe, red seat vacated by retiring Rep. Bill Shuster (R): state Sen. John Eichelberger, who represents a chunk of the district; dermatologist John Joyce (R), the top fundraiser; and 2016 challenger Art Halvorson. Other possible contenders include Army veteran Doug Mastriano (R), who ran fourth in a recent poll, and state Rep. Stephen Bloom (R), who spent more than $300,000 by late April.
PA-14: State Rep. Rick Saccone is running again after an embarrassing loss in PA-18, but faces state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler in the primary. Saccone insists voters don’t hold the loss against him and he’s at least a slight favorite after the millions in special-election outside spending. Still, Reschenthaler narrowly outspent Saccone in April. (Hotline reporting)
Former Rep. Tim Murphy (R) has bankrolled a PAC to boost Reschenthaler. “Murphy also sent around a cropped video clip of Saccone that he believed would damage him. … At one point, Murphy accidentally forwarded that link to Saccone while trying to send it to someone else. The inadvertent exchange about opioids triggered a nasty back-and-forth that ended with Murphy calling Saccone ‘heartless,’ while Saccone argued that his comments were taken out of context. … Saccone lost the special election to replace him, Murphy argued — and he’ll have ‘trouble again’ this fall, he said, despite the huge Republican advantage in the district.” (Politico)
OTHER RACES: Marine veteran Ron DiNicola (D) is poised to secure the nomination against Rep. Mike Kelly (R-16) and Democrats will also pick a standard-bearer against Rep. Scott Perry (R-10). Redistricting made those two seats slightly more favorable to Democrats, thought they still favor Republicans. …
Rep. Conor Lamb (D), who is running in the new PA-17 against Rep. Keith Rothfus (R), does not face a primary challenge.
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