3 more races we’re watching this post-primary Wednesday | Wednesday Morning Coffee

From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, there was no shortage of interesting races on the ballot on Tuesday

May 18, 2022 7:16 am

State Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, speaks at a 2021 state Capitol news conference where she and other Pa. House Democrats rolled out a package of police reform proposals (Capital-Star photo).

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

As of this writing, the high-stakes Republican race for U.S. Senate in the Keystone State remains too close to call. Television physician Mehmet Oz finished Primary Tuesday with the narrowest of leads over former hedge fund manager David McCormick. Some counties are set to begin counting mail-in ballots today, and that could make all the difference in the world for the field.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of other interesting races down the ballot across the commonwealth on Tuesday. Here’s a look at three of them.

1. The 12th Congressional District: Speaking of nail-biters, the race for Pittsburgh’s new 12th Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and attorney Steve Irwin, who to my eternal disappointment is absolutely not the Crocodile Hunteralso is too close to call this Wednesday morning.

The two are vying to replace long-serving Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, who will call it a career at year’s end. College professor Jerry Dickinson was in a distant third place as of Wednesday morning, the Post-Gazette reports.

Even as she acknowledged that votes were still being counted, Lee effectively declared victory on Tuesday night.

“They hit us with everything they had, and we clawed and we ran, and we got the power of the people. We’re out here in Western Pennsylvania fighting for the future of the whole country,” she said, according to the Post-Gazette. “They say a Black woman can’t win. Well, we came together. We can’t be stopped. We have a lot of work ahead of us. When we set out to do this, we believed a better world was possible; now we have to go do it.”

Irwin, a stalwart of the Allegheny County Democratic machine, went into Tuesday’s election with a series of high-profile endorsements, including DoyleAllegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, former Pittsburgh Mayors Bill Peduto and Tom Murphy, and former Gov. Ed Rendell, the newspaper reported. He also nabbed the county party’s endorsement, a move that angered progressives, who believed the moment belonged to Lee.

State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, joins state officials to call for action to eliminate the gender wage gap (Capital-Star screen capture).

2. The Night of the Incumbents in the Midstate: State Reps. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, and Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, held onto their jobs in contests that saw them running in redrawn districts.

Kim, a onetime member of Harrisburg City Council, defeated challenger Heather MacDonald, in a primary from her left in the redrawn 103rd House District, which straddles Dauphin and Cumberland counties, PennLive reported.

Unofficial returns showed Kim beating MacDonald, who previously ran for House in 2020, 76 .4 percent to 23.6 percent, PennLive reported, citing Department of State data.

Kim will face Republican David Buell, Cumberland County’s former prothonotary, in November. Buell defeated former Harrisburg police officer Jennie Jenkins-Dallas in the Republican primary, according to PennLive.

In Cumberland County’s new 34th Senate District, Republican state Rep. Greg Rothman won the GOP nomination, defeating local school board member Mike GossertPennLive reported, citing unofficial returns.

The new district includes northern Dauphin County, all of Perry County, and most of Cumberland County apart from the southeastern municipalities near the York County line.

Rothman will face James Massey, the only Democratic candidate, in November, according to PennLive.

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Philadelphia (Image

3. Philadelphia’s Incumbent Hunger Games: State Rep. Chris Rabb beat out fellow Democratic Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald in the fight for Philadelphia’s redrawn 200th House District seat, BillyPenn reported.

Rabb will face Kionna West, who won the Republican primary, according to BillyPennRabb was technically the incumbent in the redrawn seat, while Fitzgerald represented the 203rd House District, just next door, for more than five years, BillyPenn reported.

And though the race was a contest between colleagues, it nonetheless was marked by some super-heated rhetoric, that also saw city officials throw their support to FitzgeraldBillyPenn noted.

That didn’t sit well with some local voters, the website reported.

“A lot of people are here to support Chris Rabb,” Joann Seaver, a Rabb supporter, told BillyPenn.  “They’ve been very offended by the negative ads, and also the influence of the city machine, the Democratic [party] machine. We really want to have integrity and democracy in our Democratic party.”

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman [Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller]

Our Stuff.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke last weekend, won the closely watched Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Marley Parish reports.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, who trafficked in baseless claims of election fraud, won the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday night, setting up a fall general election campaign that will be rife with stark contrasts, I report.

Allegheny County state Rep. Austin Davis won the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, according to unofficial tallies. Cassie Miller has the story.

Allegheny County state Rep. Carrie DelRosso has won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, Cassie Miller also reports.

You can read the full spread of our election night coverage, from every corner of Pennsylvania, in our continuously updated live blog.

On our Commentary Page this morning: When will our ‘pro-life’ leaders do something about gun deathsRandy Evans, of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, asks in an op-Ed first published by our sibling site, the Iowa Capital Dispatch. And teachers of color, and specifically Black male educators, are precious and should be protected at all costs, Harrisburg teacher Durrell Burns writes.

Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
The desk is clear. Enjoy the silence.

Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Jenkintown, Montgomery County for a 1:30 p.m. newser at Manor College. But he starts the day with an 11:30 a.m. newser in Bellefonte, where he’ll tout the ‘Internet for All‘ initiative.

Heavy Rotation
If you missed it, I got into a long conversation on Twitter on Tuesday about the all-important BritPop primary between Oasis and Blur. So you can party like it’s 1994 this Wednesday morning, here’s ‘Acquiesce,’ by Oasis. It is, for my money, the best B-Side of all time.

Wednesday’s Hockey Link
The Tampa Bay Lightning got past the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their all-Sunshine State Eastern Conference playoff.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.