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Here are the Pennsylvania Legislative districts that will have competitive primaries in April


Peter Hall, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
February 13, 2024

Nearly three dozen primary contests in the Pennsylvania House and four in the state Senate emerged Tuesday, which was the deadline for candidates to file petitions to appear on the April 23 ballot. 

Candidates from both parties lined up to run for Senate seats that opened up when Sens. John DiSanto (R-Perry) and James Brewster (D-Allegheny) announced their retirements at the end of this year. 

The Democrats running for DiSanto’s Senate seat are state Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) and Harrisburg pastor and community organizer Alvin Taylor. Seeking the Republican nomination are Dauphin County Treasurer Nick DiFrancesco and Ken Stambaugh of Lower Paxton Township.

State Rep. Nick Pisciottano (D-Allegheny); Makenzie White, a licensed social worker and community organizer; and former Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby are seeking the Democratic nomination for Brewster’s 45th District seat. Security firm owner Jennifer Dintini and Kami Stulginskas of Munhall are running for the GOP nomination.

The decisions by several House lawmakers to seek higher office set the stage for multi-candidate primary contests including in Democratic state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta’s district, even though he is running for reelection as he runs for auditor general.

In the 181st Legislative District, Democrats Lewis Nash Sr., a North Philadelphia ward leader; Jon Hankins, a former Philadelphia City Council candidate and pastor; and Jamillah Griffin filed papers to challenge Kenyatta.

Three Democrats filed petitions to seek the nomination for state Rep. Mark Rozzi’s 126th District seat in Berks County. Rozzi endorsed his ex-wife Jacklyn Rusnock, but Winston Jose Dilone Martinez, and former House candidate Joshua Caltagirone, the great nephew of longtime Berks County Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, are also vying for the nomination.

Five Democrats are seeking the nomination to run for Democratic state Rep. Patty Kim’s 103rd District seat in Dauphin and Cumberland counties. They are: 

  • Tina Nixon, a staffer for former House Speaker K. Leroy Irvis; 
  • Mercedes Evans, a Camp Hill Borough councilwoman and community advocate; 
  • Nathan Davidson, a former executive director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee; 
  • Jesse Monoski, a Lemoyne Borough Council Member; and 
  • Laura Harding, a Navy veteran and Harrisburg community activist.

Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) announced in December that she would not seek reelection, setting the stage for a five-way primary. Those seeking the GOP nomination are:

  • Lisa Kerle, a constituent services specialist in Oberlander’s office;
  • Joshua Bashline, a Clarion Township resident and National Guard member;
  • Darlene Smail, a former state trooper from Kittanning Township; 
  • Clay Kennemuth, a paramedic, nurse and firefighter from Mayport; and
  • Sonia Cangelo, a bank manager from Leeper.

Rep. Dawn Keefer’s (R-York) decision to run for retiring Republican state Sen. Mike Regan’s 31st Senate District seat set up another five-way primary. Seeking the Republican nomination to run for Keefer’s seat are:

  • Holly Kelley, a Dillsburg borough council member;
  • Zachary Kile, the Northern York school board president;
  • Marc Anderson, a Northern York High School teacher;
  • William Wyatt, of Carroll Township; and
  • Matthew Davis, a House GOP communications staff member.

Several House lawmakers seeking reelection are facing primary challenges.

Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia), who made headlines after a video circulated of him allegedly threatening staff at a Rockledge, Montgomery County, bar, will face Sean Dougherty, the nephew of former labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty in the Democratic primary. Two Republicans, community leader Aizaz Gill and Army veteran Patrick Gushue, are seeking the GOP nod to run for the 172nd District seat.

Rep. Regina Young (D-Philadelphia) faces a challenge by refugee advocate Joe Sackor for her southwest Philadelphia district. 

Easton City Council member Taiba Sultana is challenging Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Northampton), who has held his 136rd District seat since 1998.

Moderate Republican state Rep. Thomas Mehaffie faces a challenge for his Dauphin County seat from former U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidate Bobby Jeffries.   

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.