Updated 12:01 a.m. | State Rep. Brendan Boyle easily defeated three other Democrats Tuesday night, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, to win an open-seat primary in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.
Boyle defeated Margolies, his next closest primary opponent, 41 percent to 27 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. The Democratic primary is tantamount to the general election in this district, which President Barack Obama carried with 66 percent in 2012. Margolies started the race as the odds-on favorite to succeed Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, who ran for governor. Margolies’ name was still familiar to voters in the district thanks to her one term in Congress in the early 1990s, and she had ties to the Clinton dynasty as former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law — making her appear to be a near lock for the nomination.
But Margolies’ campaign was dogged by poor fundraising and allegations of campaign fund misuse. Democratic operatives noted she was often absent from the trail and unable to adequately defend herself from other candidates’ attacks.
In the end, even an ad featuring President Bill Clinton touting Margolies’ credentials couldn’t save her campaign. Democratic operatives said the ad — released in the final week of the campaign — could not help her overcome a year’s worth of blunders.
Two other candidates were also running in the district, which includes parts of northeast Philadelphia and the Montgomery County suburbs. Physician Val Arkoosh and state Sen. Daylin Leach received 11 percent and 8 percent respectively.
Schwartz also came out unsuccessful Tuesday night, losing the Democratic gubernatorial primary to businessman Tom Wolf.
Pennsylvania’s 13th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
That race was one of a few intriguing primaries to watch in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania’s 8th District Veteran Kevin Strouse squeaked out a win against chemist Shaughnessy Naughton on Tuesday to earn the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 8th District.
Strouse led Naughton 51 percent to 49 percent when the AP called the race with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Strouse now moves on to face GOP Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick in this Philadelphia suburb-based district.
The district is a top target for national Democrats, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee backed Strouse’s candidacy early on, touting his background as one that would make him a competitive candidate against Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick won here in 2012 by a 13-point margin, as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each took 49 percent. The race is rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Pennsylvania’s 9th District Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., defeated his GOP primary opponent Tuesday night in a race political observers speculated he could lose.
Shuster led retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson 53 percent to 35 percent, when The Associated Press called the race with all precincts reporting. A third candidate, Travis Schooley, had 13 percent.
It’s uncommon for an incumbent to win with such a low percentage. And that could invite a far more well-funded primary challenge in 2016.
The incumbent outraised Halvorson by a significant margin and had $883,000 in his war chest as of April 30, compared to Halvorson’s $15,000.
Shuster will now coast to victory in the general in a district Mitt Romney carried with 63 percent in 2012.
Pennsylvania’s 9th District is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.