By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs
Not long after the polls closed on Tuesday, the results were already clear: Republicans had selected Sen. Scott Wagner and real estate developer Jeff Bartos as their team to lead the ticket in 2018, facing off against an incumbent Governor. But in a wild twist, Democrat voters only doubled down on half of the ticket, ousting Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and selecting blue collar Braddock Mayor John Fetterman to run with Gov. Tom Wolf.
While the winner of the Republican primary was clear, the difficult path to victory was evident. Despite the endorsement of the state Republican party, Wagner picked up 44% of the vote, defeating healthcare consultant Paul Mango by 7%. Latecomer attorney Laura Ellsworth picked up 20% of the vote, mostly in part to her practical, high road approach that managed to avoid the excoriating, vicious attacks lobbed back and forth between Mango and Wagner. In all, the three candidates spent over $20 million, with Wagner spending $10 million alone to secure the narrow victory.
Elsewhere, ABC-endorsed candidates also enjoyed victory. Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), who was endorsed by ABC for the 28th state Senate district in York County, defeated her opponent by a 65% to 35% margin, while Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) trounced her primary opponent in a 73% to 27% rout to secure the Republican nomination for the 30th state Senate district, which is being vacated by Sen. John Eichelberger.
Finally, ABC member Barb Gleim secured a narrow victory in the 199th state House district, which is being vacated by Rep. Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland). Media originally reported that Gleim had narrowly lost after initial poll numbers showed her opponent ahead by 29 votes, but after absentee ballots were added, Gleim edged out her opponent by 29 votes. She’ll face a Democrat opponent in the fall in the heavily Republican district.
For a complete list of election results, click here: https://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/
May 16, 2018