If the candidates had been able to spread their “home town advantage” across the Commonwealth, both Democratic nominees for United States Senate and Pennsylvania Attorney General would be from Allegheny County.
John Fetterman, who leapt to national candidacy from his popular success as Mayor of Braddock, carried the County vote for US Senate with nearly 42 percent of the vote over eventual statewide winner Katie McGinty’s 33 percent and third place Joe Sestak’s 18.5 percent. By the time the race was called with 75 percent of votes tallied statewide, however, Fetterman pulled 21 percent against Sestak’s 31 percent and McGinty with 42 percent.
McGinty will face incumbent Republican Pat Toomey, who was unopposed, in the fall General Election. Should McGinty then defeat the incumbent, she would be the first female US Senator from Pennsylvania, a state which has an entirely male US Congressional delegation and has never had a female governor.
In the Democratic race for Attorney General, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala took 75 percent of the Allegheny County vote, but also could not translate that into statewide victory. With 76 percent of precincts reporting statewide, Zappala conceded to Josh Shapiro, who was almost 10 percentage points ahead. Third place finisher John Morganelli took 14 percent of the vote statewide.
Shapiro will face off in the General Election against John Rafferty, whose victory over challenger Joseph Peters was called with 72 percent of precincts reported. Rafferty had garnered 63 percent of the votes, both statewide and in Allegheny County.
Candidates on both slates in the Auditor General and State Treasurer races were unopposed. As a result, incumbent Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale will face Republican challenger John A. Brown in the November contest, and Joseph M. Torsella will carry the Democratic banner to oppose Republican Otto W. Voit III for State Treasurer. The office is currently held by Governor Tom Wolf appointee Timothy Reese, who agreed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rob McCord until the next election this November.
The majority of Congressional Representatives ran unopposed for their posts, but United States Congressman Mike Doyle, who represents the 14th District, faced off against Janis C. Brooks, handily defeating the challenger with 77 percent of the vote. No Republican ran for nomination against the incumbent, however, Allegheny County voters managed to tally nearly 4000 write-in votes for the spot.
In the 12th Congressional District, Erin R. McClelland earned 81 percent of the vote in her quest to unseat Republican incumbent Tim Murphy in the General Election. Opponent Steve Larchuk brought in just over 5000 votes to take 17 percent of the Democratic tally.
Most contests for Representative in the General Assembly were decided in the Primary, with the majority of incumbents running unopposed by either party. One of few exceptions to this is the 46th District, where former Representative Jesse White lost his bid, by 20 percent, to defeat Joe Szpara for the Democratic nod to oppose Republican Jason Ortitay, who won the seat from White.
In the 19th District, incumbent Representative Jake Wheatley fended off challenger Jessica Wolfe to retain his seat. His 2200 vote victory nearly guarantees he will retain his post, since no Republican candidate came forth to gain nomination to challenge the Representative.
Incumbent Representative Ed Gainey also faces no Republican challenger in the General Election after garnering nearly 80 percent of his District’s votes. Gainey faced off against two challengers, both of whom he has previously defeated: Todd Elliott Koger, whose low-budget Facebook campaign worked to gain 13 percent of votes, and lifelong Democratic activist William Anderson, who took 8 percent.
Voter turnout in Allegheny County was slightly higher than the projected 40 percent, with 48.83 percent of Republicans and 43.45 percent of Democrats casting ballots, assumedly a result of the highly contested Presidential Primary races.
The Associated Press called the Republican race in Pennsylvania for Donald Trump at 8 pm, as polls were closing, and statewide their prediction held. Trump took nearly 60 percent of Republican votes cast, with Rafael “Ted” Cruz garnering second with 22 percent and John Kasich earning 20. Kasich, who was born and raised in the Pittsburgh suburb of McKees Rocks, did slightly better in the Allegheny County results, taking 27 percent of the vote and besting Cruz at 20 percent. Trump carried the County, however, with 52 percent.
On the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton carried Pennsylvania by a 12 point margin, besting Bernie Sanders 56-44 percent. Countywide results were similar, with Clinton taking 54 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 43. Third-place spoiler Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente garnered less than one percent of voters in the County and the Commonwealth.
Delegates to the National Convention are a mixed bag, partially due to requirements voters called “confusing.” In the 14th Congressional District, for example, a requirement that the 9-member delegation be comprised of five men and four women created a dilemma for Clinton voters, who chose four male and three female delegates pledged to Clinton: Jay Costa, Rich Fitzgerald, Bill Peduto and Austin Davis for the men and Valerie McDonald Roberts, Jill M. Lamb and Debra Dermody for the women, joined by Kevin Carter and Gisele Fetterman, both of whom pledged to support Sanders. Republican Delegates Mary Ann Meloy, Cameron S. Linton and Mike DeVanney are all uncommitted.
In the 12th District, 15 Republicans ran for the three delegate spots, with Jeff Steigerwalt, Dave Majernik and Monica Morrill taking the spots. The six Democrats will be Elaine Bellin, Cindy Shapira and Lisa Tronzo Giorgetti for the women, and Kevin Kinross, Dwan B. Walker and Randy Shannon for the men. Shannon is the only delegate committed to Sanders.
Two ballot questions were also presented to voters, but only one will actually take effect. The first question, which amended the mandatory retirement age for judges put forth in the Constitution from 70 to 75, was postponed by a House Resolution. A ruling by the Commonwealth Court that the question should not appear came too late to have the question removed from the ballot, so the 1.2 million “nay” and 1.1 million “aye” votes will be disregarded.
A second Constitutional Amendment, which would allow for the abolition of Philadelphia’s Traffic Court amid allegations of corruption and incompetence, passed on a statewide yes vote of 59.7 percent. The amendment is required, as the regulations regarding “Cities of the First Class” set forth in the Commonwealth Constitution apply only to Philadelphia, the sole “First Class” city in the state.
All results cited in this report are unofficial until certified by the County and Commonwealth, and were compiled based on Pennsylvania Department of State tallies, Allegheny County Summary Reports and Associated Press reports.
By Nancy Hart