Election Machines

An election worker Snyder County voting machine.

None of the Valley's incumbent officeholders face a challenge in the June 2 primary, but some names on the ballot will provide challenges in the fall.

There are several contested local primaries — including one for a vacated state House seat and the selection of delegates to this summer's national conventions.

State Rep. Garth Everett, who represents a sliver of Union County in the 84th District — Gregg and White Deer townships — holds one of 11 Republican-held seats being vacated in the state House. Amanda R. Waldman is the only Democrat on the ballot in the 84th. She will meet one of three Republicans — Dave Himes, Joe Hamm or Mike Dincher — in the fall. All four candidates are from Lycoming County.

There are 17 seats opening up due to retirements in the state House, which currently has a 110-93 Republican majority. Eleven are Republican-held seats being vacated including one by Speaker Mike Turzai.

About a quarter of the representatives in the House are certain to be back next year — they have neither primary nor general election opposition. Nearly half of all members face only an opponent in the fall. Just 15 state representatives out of 203 seats — nine Republicans and six Democrats — have both primary and general election contests this year. None of the Valley's other three state representatives — Lynda Schlegel Culver (108th), Kurt Masser (107th) nor David Rowe (85th) — have challenges in June or November.

Half of the 50-member Senate is also up this year, with four senators facing no major party challenger in the primary or general elections. The Valley's state Senators, John Gordner (27th) and Gene Yaw (23rd), both Republicans, don't have primary challengers, but will have competition in the fall. Gordner will meet Michelle Seigel of Snyder County while Yaw will meet Jackie Baker of Susquehanna, who are unopposed in Democratic primaries.

Row offices 

The most high-profile electoral fight in the primary may be the Democratic battle for the auditor general nomination, where six candidates are challenging the sole Republican who filed to run in the fall. The two-term incumbent, Democrat Eugene DePasquale, is term-limited.

DePasquale is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress in the 10th District. He faces lawyer Tom Brier in the primary with the winner meeting Republican incumbent Scott Perry in the fall.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro does not face a Democratic primary challenger and appears headed toward a November face-off with the only Republican candidate, Heather Heidelbaugh.

In the third statewide row office primary, both incumbent Democratic Treasurer Joe Torsella and Republican Stacy Garrity are unopposed.

U.S. Congress

All 18 members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation are running for another term, but only two have primary opponents. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is challenged by Andy Meehan for the GOP nomination in his Bucks County-based district in Philadelphia's suburbs, while Rep. Mike Doyle is defending his Pittsburgh-based seat in a Democratic primary contest against Jerry Dickinson.

Valley representatives Fred Keller (12th District) and Dan Meuser (9th), both Republicans are unchallenged in the primary. In the 12th, Democrat Lee Griffin of Northumberland County is unopposed in the primary and will meet Keller in the fall. In the 9th, Meuser will face the winner of a primary race between Laura Quick and Gary Wegman in November. 

There are several closely watched primary contests among would-be challengers.

In Rep. Matt Cartwright's northeastern Pennsylvania district, six Republicans are seeking the nomination to challenge him. Two Republicans are seeking the nomination to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Susan Wild in her Allentown-based district.

Those seats are part of Democrats' hopes of retaking control of the House, said Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, her caucus' campaign leader. “We're only nine seats out of the majority and we believe we can flip the House this year,” Krueger said.

Convention delegates

Most of the space on the June 2 ballot will be taken up by delegates to the Democratic or Republican National Conventions.

Dwayne Heisler, of Bloomsburg, was a Bernie Sanders delegate in 2016. He said delegates will present a candidate's agenda and hopefully make it onto the national platform. 

"One of the main things a delegate does is to promote your candidate and the platform of your candidate," he said. "Every four years the Democratic Party puts into writing the things we are fighting for. How we will move the country forward. When you have candidates represented by delegates in that forum they get to have a say on what that platform is. I was very proud to be a delegate for Bernie four years ago because we helped push the Democratic platform into a more progressive platform."

Demoractic voters in the 9th Congressional District will pick four from Leanne Burchik, Liz Bettinger, Vince DeMelfi, Jim Safford, Phila Back and Catherine Mahon. Republicans in the 9th can pick three out of Rochelle Marie Pasquariello, Andrew Shecktor, Janine Penman, John K. Reber Sr., George Halcovage, Donna Lea Merritt, Carolyn L. Bonkoski, Elle Rulavage, David J. McElwee and Steve Michael Wolfe.

In the 12th District, Democrats can pick four delegates among a group that includes Nanci Rommel, Keith Bierly, Rachel DelGrego, Rick Thomas, Caroline Ries, Kimberly Hart, Taran Samarth and Danny Muldowney. Republicans will pick three out of Tina Pickett, Donald Hoffman, Carol Sides, Dave Huffman, Alan Hall, Krystle Bristol, Todd Robatin and Mark J. Harris.

Recommended for you