Open Wide – An Election Prediction

Kristi Pronovost Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone

With the 2017-2018 legislative session nearly in the books, all eyes have turned to the November elections.  While midterm elections have always offered subtle change compared to Presidential years, this year is definitely unique.  Of the 253 elected members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, more than 15% will not be coming back to their current positions or coming back at all.  This unprecedented number of retirements and position changes makes 2018 an historic year in Pennsylvania politics, offering a vastly different landscape in both the state House and.  While Republicans still dominate both chambers – 119 out of 203 in the House and 33 out of 50 in the Senate – here’s an early prediction on how those races could shake out.

  • 2nd House district – located in Erie County, longtime Democrat Flo Fabrizio recently passed away, opening the seat. Look for this seat to stay in Democrat control in 2019.
  • 15th House district – located in Beaver County, Republican Jim Christiana launched a bid for U.S. Senate earlier this year against Rep. Lou Barletta. Barletta received the nomination and Christiana will leave the House this year. The seat is Likely Republican.
  • 21st House district – located in Allegheny County, moderate Democrat Dom Costa was rocked in a primary election by far-left candidate Sara Inamorato, who has no Republican challenge.  This seat will stay in Democrat control.
  • 25th House district – located in Allegheny County, longtime pragmatic Democrat Joe Markosek is stepping into retirement. With a Republican challenger, Markosek’s son Brandon is on the Democrat ticket. This seat is rated Likely Democrat.
  • 29th House district – located in evolving Bucks County, Republican Bernie O’Neill opted to walk away after anti-Trump fervor reached an all-time high earlier this year. While O’Neill’s staffer is running to replace him, the district is extremely turbulent. This seat is a toss-up.
  • 30th House district – located in Allegheny County, Republican Hal English has faced shrinking poll numbers because of several votes in favor of higher taxes.  English opted to not run and his staffer, Lori Mizgorski, is running to replace him. This seat leans Republican.
  • 34th House district – located in Allegheny County, longtime Democrat Paul Costa lost his primary election to a far-left candidate in Summer Lee, who has no opponent. This seat is safely Democratic.
  • 39th House district – located in Allegheny County, Congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who lost earlier this year in a special election to Conor Lamb, will not return to the state House.  While this seat has been home to some contentious elections, it leans Republican.
  • 40th House district – located in Allegheny County, once-state Treasurer candidate John Maher has decided not to run again for his House seat. While the seat is contentious, Nicole Mihalek Stuck is favored to prevail, keeping the seat in Republican control.
  • 44th House district – located in union-heavy Beaver County, Republican Mark Mustio will not be back for another term. While the district is very moderate, Republican Valerie Gaydos is expected to pull off a win.
  • 53rd House district – located in Bucks County, Republican Bob Godshall will walk away from the House after 36 years in office.  The district is rapidly evolving, leaving no safety net for Republicans. This district is a toss-up.
  • 54th House district – located in Westmoreland County, Republican Eli Evankovich announced shortly after his victory in 2016 that he would not return and later resigned to take a private sector position earlier this year. The district is heavily Republican and Robert Brooks is expected to win.
  • 62nd House district – located in Indiana County, Republican Majority Leader Dave Reed found himself a victim of the Congressional redistricting fiasco earlier this year.  Rather than return to a fractured Republican caucus in the House, Reed opted to walk away, leaving the seat open. The district is rated safe Republican.
  • 74th House district – located in Chester County, Republican Harry Lewis has represented a very moderate and evolving district for four terms. The site of heavy anti-Trump sentiment and an increasingly progressive electorate, the seat is now rated Leans Democrat.
  • 76th House district – located in Clinton County, longtime Democrat Mike Hanna will serve his final term in the state House. On the ballot for Democrats, however, is his son Mike Hanna Jr.  The seat is expected to stay safely Democratic.
  • 79th House district – located in Blair County, Republican fiscal whiz John McGinnis will wrap up his third and final term this year. The seat is safely Republican in 2019.
  • 82nd House district – located in Juniata County, Republican Adam Harris will step down after 16 years. Seeking to replace Harris is Republican Dean Hershey, grandson of former Lancaster County Representative Art Hershey. The seat is safely Republican.
  • 105th House district – located in Dauphin County, Republican Judiciary Chairman Ron Marsico will leave office this year. Seeking to replace him is Republican Andrew Lewis, who ran an unsuccessful bid against Sen. John DiSanto in 2016.  The seat is Likely Republican.
  • 112th House district – located in Lackawanna County, Democrat Kevin Haggerty has been plagued by personal problems since winning in 2016.  He will not return, but Kyle Mullins, who served as Legislative Director for Sen. John Blake, is seeking to replace him.  The seat Leans Democratic.
  • 144th House district – located in Bucks County, Republican Kathy Watson will retire this year. The district is highly contentious and Leans Democratic this year.
  • 150th House district – located in Montgomery County, Republican Michael Corr will not return after serving only a single term. The district is growing rapidly more progressive and Leans Democratic.
  • 162nd House district – located in Delaware County, Republican Nick Miccarelli has made national headlines with reports of physical and sexual abuse involving another House member.  Because of the yearlong turmoil, the seat is Likely Democratic.
  • 175th House district – located in Philadelphia County, Democrat Mike O’Brien will retire at the end of this year. The seat is safely Democratic.
  • 177th House district – located in Philadelphia County, Republican John Taylor will retire after 34 years. Unfortunately, it’s likely that his Republican torch will leave as well, as the district Leans Democratic this year.
  • 181st House district – located in Philadelphia County, Democrat Curtis Thomas will retire this year. The seat is safely Democratic.
  • 184th House district – located in Philadelphia County, longtime Democrat and labor ally Bill Keller will retire this year. The seat is safely Democratic.
  • 193rd House district – located in Adams County, Republican Will Tallman has decided to not seek re-election. The seat is safely Republican.
  • 199th House district – located in Cumberland County, Republican Steve Bloom ran an unsuccessful bid for Congress and will not return to the state House. The seat is safely Republican and Bloom will likely be replaced by ABC member Barb Gleim.
  • 10th Senate district – located in Bucks County, moderate Republican Chuck McIlhinney will not return this year.  House Republican Marguerite Quinn will face off against Democrat Steve Santarsiero for this seat. The seat Leans Democratic.
  • 12th Senate district – located in Montgomery County, longtime Republican Senator Stew Greenleaf will retire after 40 years. The seat Leans Republican and Greenleaf will likely be replaced by his son, Stew Greenleaf Jr.
  • 30th Senate district – located in Blair County, Republican John Eichelberger launched an unsuccessful bid for Congress this year in an effort to replace Bill Shuster. Eichelberger will not return, but the seat is safely Republican, meaning Rep. Judy Ward will likely serve as the replacement in 2019.
  • 37th Senate district – located in Allegheny County, Republican Guy Reschenthaler is running for an open Congressional seat after losing out to Rick Saccone during last year’s special election. The seat is rated as Leans Republican.
  • 38th Senate district – located in Allegheny County, Republican Randy Vulakovich lost his primary after a series of votes in support of higher taxes.  The seat is Likely Republican.

September 25, 2018