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2018 Pa. Primary Results: Women Surge Toward Congress

Madeleine Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon won the contested Democratic nominees for the 4th and 5th Congressional District races, respectively. Here’s who else saw victory on Tuesday.


pa. primary

Clockwise from top left: Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, Pearl Kim, Chrissy Houlahan

The Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday night brought numerous wins for women: Attorney Mary Gay Scanlon secured the much-contested Democratic 5th Congressional District nomination, and state Rep. Madeleine Dean beat out former congressman Joe Hoeffel and anti-gun-violence advocate Shira Goodman to win the Democratic nod for the 4th Congressional District.

The primary races were two of the most competitive on Tuesday. Scanlon and Dean are among six Pennsylvania women who won their parties’ congressional nominations, including Chrissy Houlahan, who ran unopposed for Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District, and Pearl Kim, the Republican nominee who will face off against Scanlon, essentially ensuring that Pennsylvania will send at least one woman to the U.S. House next year.

The feats are notable in a state with an all-male U.S. House delegation. In another notable victory at the state House level, former WHYY reporter and first-time candidate Elizabeth Fiedler won the Democratic primary for the 184th District in South Philadelphia, beating state Senate aide and ward leader Jonathan Rowan, who had secured backing from the Electricians Union and the district’s current representative, Bill Keller. She faces no Republican competitor.

Otherwise, the Pa. primaries seemed to highlight the left vs. right political divide that deepened in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election. The GOP’s Trump-like state Sen. Scott Wagner will face off against Gov. Tom Wolf this fall, and the two have wasted no time going at each other. Republican Congressman Lou Barletta, who has repeatedly praised the president, will challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Here are other notable results from the Pa. primary election:

Lieutenant Governor

Incumbent (and controversial) Lt. Gov. Mike Stack lost the Democratic primary to Braddock, Pa., mayor John Fetterman, who had recently won support from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Stack was the first incumbent lieutenant governor to be unseated in a primary. Fetterman is set to run against Republican Jeff Bartos.

1st Congressional District

Democrat Scott Wallace won roughly 56 percent of votes, beating Rachel Reddick and Steven Adam Bacher. He’ll challenge Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick.

2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Brendan Boyle bested Michele Lawrence to take the Democratic nomination. He’ll face Republican David Torres.

3rd Congressional District

Democratic incumbent Dwight Evans will face Republican Bryan Leib.

Pa. House District 191

LGBTQ activist Malcolm Kenyatta made history when he beat several Democratic opponents to become the first openly gay candidate of color to win a state House primary in Pennsylvania. He’ll face Republican Milton Street, the brother of former Mayor John Street.

Pa. House District 197

State Rep. and incumbent Emilio Vazquez, who won a controversial special election to replace Leslie Acosta last March, lost the Democratic nomination to Danilo Burgos, a former aide to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez. Burgos will not face a Republican nominee.

Pa. House District 200

Democratic incumbent Chris Rabb defeated challenger Melissa Scott. Rabb will not face a Republican opponent.