Pennsylvania’s tumultuous primary season came to a close last night with most of the races decided, and one — the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate — headed to a recount.

The big headline is from the governor’s race, where State Sen. Doug Mastriano triumphed easily over a field of opponents. Mastriano took 44.3 percent of the vote with about 95 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, easily outpacing the second-place finisher, former congressman Lou Barletta, who had 20.2 percent. No candidate held a majority of votes, but as the race came down in its final days to a referendum on Mastriano, his opponents were unable to concentrate their effort on a single candidate. 

Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain finished third with 15.6 percent of the vote and businessman Dave White took 9.5 percent, with the remaining ten percent being scattered among several minor candidates, including two who dropped out after the ballots were printed.

READ MORE — Kyle Sammin: Pennsylvania needs ranked-choice voting

In the campaign’s final days, many Republicans voiced concerns that Mastriano would be too extreme to attract the moderate voters necessary to defeat the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Mastriano, a resident of Franklin County, showed his greatest strength in the western part of the commonwealth, but took a number of eastern counties, as well. Barletta was strong in the northeastern part of the state near his hometown of Hazleton. White and McSwain led only in their home counties of Delaware and Chester, respectively.

The other marquee race, for the U.S. Senate, was still in doubt this morning and appears certain to require a recount. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick finished the night in a dead heat with just 2500 votes separating them as of press time. Both men took just over 31 percent of the vote. Kathy Barnette’s last-minute surge was enough to bring her up to third place, but still well back of the leaders with 24.8 percent. 

Pennsylvania law mandates that any race decided by less than one half of one percent be subject to a recount; at present, Oz and McCormick are separated by two-tenths of a percent.

The three top candidates showed strength across the state. McCormick was slightly stronger in the west, Oz and Barnette in the east, but no clear pattern emerged.

The winner of the race will face Lt. Governor John Fetterman, who easily dispatched several rivals for the nomination, taking 59 percent of the vote, more than double his nearest competitor, Congressman Conor Lamb. Fetterman suffered a stroke over the weekend and had a pacemaker inserted, but claimed to be on the road to a speedy recovery.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, Carrie DelRosso, a member of the state House of Representatives from Westmoreland County, emerged at the top of a crowded field, winning the Republican nomination with 25.5 percent of the vote. Democrats nominated Austin Davis, a state house member from Allegheny County who was endorsed by Shapiro.

Pennsylvania law mandates that any race decided by less than one half of one percent be subject to a recount; at present, Oz and McCormick are separated by two-tenths of a percent.

A bright note for Republicans: 150,000 more voters cast ballots in the GOP primaries for the top offices than in the Democratic primaries. That result may have been driven, in part, by the more heated races on the GOP side, compared with the Democratic contests, which were not close.

In the 5th district special election for State Senate, Democrats appear to have narrowly held the seat vacated by John Sabatina. With almost all precincts reporting, Democrat Jimmy Dillon leads Republican Sam Oropeza, 53.8 percent to 45.9 percent. It represents a narrow victory in a senate district that has been held by Democrats for twenty-one years.

Miller was the subject of some controversy as Republicans alleged his last-minute addition to the ballot violated state law, but a judge ruled in the Democrat’s favor.

In another special election, Democratic state house member Mike Driscoll was chosen to replace Bobby Henon on City Council after Henon was forced to resign following conviction on corruption charges. Republicans did not field a candidate in the race.

Kyle Sammin is Broad + Liberty’s editor-at-large.

One thought on “Senate contest still in doubt, gubernatorial races decided”

  1. It’s interesting to see in the chart that Oz failed to carry Montgomery County, the seat of “moderate” Republicans in PA.

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