News & Brews April 24, 2024

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Sunday, DePasquale to face off in AG race

York County District Attorney Dave Sunday easily defeated state Rep. Craig Williams to win the Republican nomination for state attorney general. On the Democrat side, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale came out on top in a crowded field of five to win his party’s nomination. Sunday and DePasquale will face off in November to replace current Attorney General Michelle Henry, who was appointed to fill the role that was vacated when Josh Shapiro became governor and who had said she would not run in November.

Boyle loses to Dougherty in Philly House primary

Embattled Democrat state Rep. Kevin Boyle (Philadelphia) lost his party’s primary to Sean Dougherty—the son of Pa. Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty and nephew of convicted former Philly labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. The Democrat establishment spent more than $300,000 to defeat Boyle following a drunken outburst earlier this year at a Montgomery County bar. Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for Boyle, but it was withdrawn on Monday—just one day before the election—raising a host of questions and leading many to speculate that Democrats, who used the warrant to run TV ads against Boyle, were behind it. Dougherty will face Republican Aizaz Gill, who won a two-way race for the GOP nomination. This is a seat that Republicans have eyed as a potential flip.

Kenyatta, McClelland win Dem nominations for auditor general, treasurer

Progressive Democrat state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (Philadelphia) defeated Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley to win the Democrat nomination for state auditor general. Kenyatta will face incumbent Republican Auditor General Tim DeFoor, who ran unopposed in the primary. Meanwhile, Democrat Erin McClelland, a small business owner from Allegheny County, defeated Democrat-Party-endorsed state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (Erie County) to win the nomination for state treasurer. As the Tribune-Review reports, “McClelland ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014 and again in 2016. She dropped out of the race for Allegheny County executive last year.” She will face incumbent Republican Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who was unopposed in the GOP primary.

Primary gives ‘warning signals’ to Biden, Trump? 

The Post-Gazette posits that buried inside yesterday’s primary results are warning signs for President Biden and former President Trump. On the Democrat side, “the intraparty rebellion was driven by groups … which urged Democrats to write in ‘No Joe’ on their ballots to protest U.S. support for Israel’s war in Gaza and the urgent humanitarian crisis there.” Although “it could be days before the scope of the protest vote is clear … in Allegheny County alone, 13,000 write-in votes had been counted as of 11 p.m.” On the GOP side, with 82% of expected votes in last evening, Nikki Haley—who of course suspended her campaign weeks ago—was tracking more than 16% of the Republican vote.

Cutler defeats Nissley in GOP primary

House Republican Leader (and former House Speaker) Bryan Cutler defeated primary challenger Dave Nissley in a heated race in Lancaster County. Nissley challenged Cutler from the Right, arguing he wasn’t conservative enough. The majority of primary voters, however, disagreed, and unofficial election results show Cutler winning 54%-46%. No Democrats filed to run in the district.

Rep. Summer Lee fends of primary challenger

Progressive U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, who has come under intense criticism for her anti-Israel views and votes, fended off a primary challenge from Bhavini Patel. This primary was viewed by some as a test of how the Israel-Hamas war could impact Democrat elections. NBC further explains that Lee’s Pittsburgh-area district is “home to Squirrel Hill, one of the nation’s most prominent historically Jewish neighborhoods and where the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue massacre, the worst antisemitic attack in U.S. history, took place.”

Voter turnout was ‘super low’ yesterday

It’s unfortunate but not really surprising. With top-of-the-ticket primary contests pretty much decided well before yesterday (i.e., Trump v. Biden and Casey v. McCormick), lots of folks just opted not to vote. The Inquirer reports that “indications were that 70% or more of voters in the [Philly] region and across the state decided this primary wasn’t worth their trouble.” Of course, given the top-of-the-ticket contests happening in November, it’s likely the turnout story will be different then.

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