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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Voters throughout the region hit the polls on Primary Day in Pennsylvania as matchups are now being decided for the midterm elections in November.
“Our right to vote is so critical, especially in these really challenging times,” said voter Elaine Petrossian.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Scott Wagner will run against Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf after winning the GOP gubernatorial primary. Wagner defeated two first-time candidates from the Pittsburgh area, Paul Mango and Laura Ellsworth, surviving weeks of Mango’s sharp-elbowed attack ads that painted Wagner as sleazy, greedy and a “deadbeat dad.”
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor has become the first holder of the office to lose in a primary election.
John Fetterman won the five-way Democratic Party primary race for lieutenant governor Tuesday, beating incumbent Mike Stack.
The Braddock mayor’s victory means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Pennsylvania first started allowing lieutenant governors to serve a second term in the 1970s.
Fetterman had made a failed bid in 2016 for the U.S. Senate.
Stack, a former Philadelphia state senator, has had a chilly relationship with Wolf in their first term together.
Wolf last year ordered an investigation into the treatment of state employees by Stack and his wife and stripped Stack of state police protection.
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey will face U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in November. Barletta, a staunch President Donald Trump supporter, captured the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate. Barletta is a favorite of Trump, whom Barletta endorsed in 2016. Trump asked Barletta to run for Senate, and the president is expected to visit Pennsylvania to campaign for him.
For the candidates battling for congressional seats, they will all be chosen, for the first time, based on a new congressional map that the state Supreme Court said corrects GOP gerrymandering. Two local incumbent House Democrats from Pennsylvania have turned back primary challenges.
Dwight Evans, in his first full term, will face Republican Bryan Leib in the November general election. Brendan Boyle will face Republican David Torres. Evans and Boyle represent heavily Democratic districts in Philadelphia.
“I think it’s great that we are finally doing something about gerrymandering and I hope this makes more people go out and vote because their votes actually count now,” said Diane Dalto.
It’s still early and unclear if the new map is affecting voter turnout, but it has created some interesting races.
Several incumbent candidates who are seeking re-election, like Congressman Dwight Evans, have to fight for re-election in a new district because of the new map.
Evans will still likely regain his seat, but under the new map, analysts say some Republican seats may be up for grabs.
“I’m hoping to see the tide swing,” said Karren Knowlton.