What happened in PA on Primary Day 2022?
Incumbents and favorites mostly came out on top, and it’s shaping up to be an intense race to November.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
The results of the May 17 primary election are in, and for the most part in Pennsylvania, incumbents beat out their challengers.
U.S. Rep Dwight Evans emerged victorious over his opponent Alexandra Hunt in securing the Democratic nomination for 3rd Congressional District.
The 29-year-old Hunt, a public health researcher, ran an immensely progessive campaign, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Hunt was not endorsed by any local groups, but she still managed to raise over $627,000 from thousands of donors, most of whom were not Pennsylvania residents.
Despite Hunt’s popular campaign, which caught national attention, the political newcomer wasn’t able to secure a win this time. As the Associated Press reported, Evans won over 78% of the vote, Hunt secured 18%, and candidate Michael Cogbill rounded out the results with 4% of the vote.
Because this year’s race has no Republican contender, Evans will run unopposed in November, and has virtually secured his return to D.C. with a win on Tuesday.
Hunt was inspired to run after reflecting on the alarming lack of crisis response from the government during the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic first struck, and the government failed to come to the people’s aid, I just saw all around me: policy failure. And then a lack of support on the ground and people really struggling, people really suffering. And people were really scared with a lack of leadership,” she told AL DÍA last month.
It’s not just about talking to people. It’s about truly listening and hearing them.— Alexandra M. Hunt (@ahunt4congress) May 17, 2022
There’s still time to get out and make your vote heard and vote for a candidate who will listen to you. pic.twitter.com/0TCurTGqlG
Another incumbent facing stiff competition to come out on top was South Philly State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler. Garnering nearly 77% of the expected vote, Fiedler beat out her real estate professional opponent, Michael Giangiordano II.
Throughout the campaign, Fiedler advocates focused on Democrat Giangiordano’s past social media blunders, in which he endorsed conservative talking points and once said that Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was a “true American patriot.”
Giangiordano identifies as a lifelong Democrat, but he has expressed his hopes that the party returns to centrist philosophies and diverges from progressive concepts such as defunding police.
State Rep. Chris Rabb also won an opportunity to lead for a fourth consecutive term in office, beating Rep. Izzy Fitzgerald, who was redistricted out of a seat.
In November 2022, Rabb will face off against Kionna West, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.
Much of the race for the 200th District was centered on the sharp differences between the two candidates, and there was no shortage of disparaging rhetoric used against Rabb.
Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Philadelphia, beat fellow incumbent Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, after redistricting put them into the same district.— Marc Levy (@timelywriter) May 18, 2022
Rep. Ryan Mackenzie overcame Rep. Gary Day in a Republican incumbent-on-incumbent primary.
Rabb describes himself as progressive, while Fitzgerald has branded herself as “a worker” who values harmony and consensus.
“A lot of people are here to support Chris Rabb,” she said. “They’ve been very offended by the negative ads, and also the influence of the city machine, the Democratic [party] machine. We really want to have integrity and democracy in our Democratic party,” Mount Airy voter Joann Seaver told Billy Penn on Tuesday morning.
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, despite having to spend Election Night at a hospital recovering from a stroke and minor heart surgery, won every single county with 98% of the vote counted, according to NBC News.
One of his opponents, Malcolm Kenyatta, the first openly-gay man of color to run for the Senate, said on Tuesday that he would campaign with Fetterman ahead of the general election in November.
“I think I do more events for Democrats running for office than any elected official in Pennsylvania. And if anybody knows Malcolm Kenyatta, I’m going to be out there doing everything we can to make sure we preserve democracy and don’t allow it to die on our watch,” Kenyatta said on “Meet the Press: Election Night Special” on NBC News Now.
WATCH: After losing to John Fetterman, Malcolm Kenyatta says he will work to prevent a Republican from winning Pa. Senate.@malcolmkenyatta: "Allowing any one of these Republicans to become Pennsylvania's Senator will be the canary in coal mine for democracy dying on our watch." pic.twitter.com/Fdi1CZuSAX— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 18, 2022
For Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the race was very straightforward, as he ran unopposed.
A former Montgomery County commissioner who resides in Abington Township, amassed record-setting amounts of funding for his campaign. He raised so much that he was able to buy TV ads already attacking Republican candidate Doug Mastriano.
Shapiro carved himself out a positive reputation through a landmark grand jury investigation into child sexual abuse coverups within the state’s Catholic Church, as well as defending Pennsylvania’s 2020 election result against attempts to oveturn it by former President Trump and his allies.
The Attorney General has also positioned himself as a fierce protector of reproductive rights, which became a major focal point for his campaign earlier this month, as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn federal abortion rights.
Today, we’ve heard from Republicans, Independents and Democrats who are ready to get in the game to win this race.— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) May 18, 2022
Doug Mastriano is a dangerous extremist who is out of touch with Pennsylvanians. Our campaign will unite folks of all parties to defeat him and protect our rights.
“Our opponent wants to ban abortion with no exceptions and attended the January 6th insurrection,” Shapiro tweeted on Wednesday, May 18 in an attack directed at Mastriano.
Shapiro’s win makes him the first Democrat to secure the nomination without opposition in the primary since 1930.
In November, Shapiro will race against Mastriano, who attended the “Stop the Steal” protests in Washington, D.C. during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. This has caused many in his own party to believe he may be sorely defeated in the general election.