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November House Matchups Almost Set in Pennsylvania

Democrats eye several pickup opportunities under new congressional map

A cutout of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at a protest outside his town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania., in August 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
A cutout of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at a protest outside his town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania., in August 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania hosted its first primaries Tuesday under a new congressional map, solidifying general election matchups in an important swing state. And the Keystone State appears set to add at least one woman to its all-male congressional delegation in the next Congress.

Democrats view Pennsylvania as key to their effort to flip 23 seats and win back the House, eyeing between three and five pickups in the state alone. Tuesday’s primaries set the stage for some competitive races in November, as well as likely new members of Congress in some of the open seats. 

This is the first election in Pennsylvania under new lines for all 18 congressional districts. The state Supreme Court threw out the old map in January, ruling it was an unconstitutional gerrymander. 

Check out the primary results below, which will be updated as results come in.

Competitive seats

1st District

Democrats are targeting the 1st District held by GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, who comfortably fended off a primary challenger Tuesday. Next up for the freshman congressman in November will be philanthropist Scott Wallace, who defeated former Navy prosecutor Rachel Reddick in the Democratic primary. Wallace vastly outspent Reddick, who was endorsed by EMILY’s List, spending 15 times more than her on television ads.

With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Wallace had 56 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Reddick when The Associated Press called the race. Inside Elections rates the general election race Tilts Republican.

5th District

With GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan resigning last month amid sexual harassment allegations, his redrawn seat represents one of the best pickup opportunities for Democrats under the new map.

Former school board member Mary Gay Scanlon won a crowded Democratic primary in the 5th District on Tuesday. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, she had 28 percent of the vote when the AP called the race for the suburban Philadelphia seat.

Scanlon will face the lone Republican who bid for the seat: Pearl Kim, a former state senior deputy attorney general. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Democratic.

6th District

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan will take on tax lawyer Greg McCauley in November. Both ran unopposed on Tuesday. GOP incumbent Ryan A. Costello opted not to run for re-election under the new lines.  Inside Elections rates the  race Likely Democratic

7th District

The Democratic primary was one of the most closely watched races in the state, since it’s expected to be hotly contested in the fall. Former Allentown City Solicitor Susan Wild emerged the winner from a six-candidate field Tuesday night, but the Republican primary was still too close to call at press time.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Wild had 33 percent of the vote, according to the AP. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, a more conservative Democrat, trailed with 30 percent while pastor Greg Edwards had 26 percent. 

On the GOP side, 308 votes separated Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein and businessman Dean Browning with 100 percent of precincts reporting. 

Inside Elections rates the general election race Tilts Democratic.

8th District

Businessman John Chrin won the the GOP primary in the 8th District, as expected, to take on Democratic incumbent Matt Cartwright. The district became more Republican under the new lines.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Chrin had 48 percent of the vote, according to the AP. Cartwright ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Democratic

17th District

GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus and newly elected Rep. Conor Lamb ran unopposed in their primaries. Lamb won a special election in March in the current 18th District, which has been redrawn as the 14th. He opted to run in the more competitive 17th District, where he lives. Inside Elections rates the race Tilts Republican.

Solid seats

4th District

State Rep. Madeleine Dean won the open 4th District primary, handily defeating former Democratic Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel and gun control activist Shira Goodman. 

With 41 percent of precincts reporting, Dean had 77 percent of the vote to 12 percent each for Hoeffel and Goodman when The Associated Press called the race.

With Dean’s victory, Pennsylvania appears poised to add a woman to its all-male delegation with the 4th District general election race rated Solid Democratic.

9th District

Former state Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser won the GOP primary in the open 9th District, which includes some of Rep. Lou Barletta’s old territory. Barletta won the GOP nomination for Senate on Tuesday.

With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Meuser had 51 percent of the vote in the three-way Republican primary when the AP called the race. Under the new lines, President Donald Trump would have carried the district by 34 points in 2016. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican.

13th District

Physician John Joyce won the GOP primary to replace for the redrawn seat of retiring Republican Rep. Bill Shuster. Joyce was also backed by the Republican Main Street Partnership and withstood attacks from the conservative Club for Growth, which launched a television ad and digital spots criticizing him for not being a true Republican. Joyce is likely to win in November in a race rated Solid Republican.

14th District

State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler won the GOP primary in the 14th Distirct over state Rep. Rick Saccone, who was dealt his second straight defeat in a race for the House. He lost a high-profile special election to Lamb in March in the old 18th District, which was redrawn as the 14th under the new lines.

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Reschenthaler had 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Saccone when the AP called the race.

Reschenthaler was endorsed by the Republican Main Street Partnership, which supports the “governing” wing of the GOP. Former Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned from his 18th District seat due to a sex scandal, also donated to an outside group backing Reschenthaler.

Watch: Which House Races Are the Parties Targeting? Look to the Money, the TV Ad Money

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