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Mayors, judges and US House seat up in Pennsylvania election

Published May 21. 2019 09:21AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Primary and special elections in Pennsylvania on Tuesday will decide nominees or officeholders for several high-profile offices, including mayor of the nation’s sixth largest city and one of the state’s 18 members of the U.S. House.

The balloting features primary elections for Philadelphia mayor and two statewide appellate court seats. It also features special elections to fill three open seats in the Legislature and one in Congress.

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VOTING

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Every registered voter, regardless of affiliation, may vote in a special election, such as the one for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th District.

Otherwise, Pennsylvania’s primary elections are closed, which means only registered Republicans may vote in Republican primaries and likewise for Democrats.

The last day to register to vote or change party affiliation before Tuesday’s election was April 22.

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MAYORAL RACES

In Philadelphia, Democrat Jim Kenney is running for reelection as mayor of the nation’s sixth largest city.

He has had an eventful first term, from antagonizing President Donald Trump over Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status to carrying through on his top first-term priority, a tax on soda and other sweetened beverages.

He is opposed in the Democratic primary by Alan Butkovitz, the former city controller, and state Sen. Anthony Williams. Republican Billy Ciancaglini is running unopposed in the GOP primary.

In Allentown, five candidates — four Democrats and one Republican — are running to finish the final two years in the term of former Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who was forced to resign last year after being convicted on federal charges that he traded city contracts for campaign cash.

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SUPERIOR COURT

There are two open spots on the state Superior Court, Pennsylvania’s mid-level appellate court, which handles civil and criminal appeals from county courts. Running for those spots are three candidates from each party.

The Democrats are Philadelphia Judge Daniel McCaffery and lawyers Amanda Green-Hawkins, of Pittsburgh, and Beth Tarasi, of suburban Pittsburgh.

The Republicans are Cumberland County Judge Christylee Peck, Chester County prosecutor Megan King and Rebecca Warren, the former Montour County district attorney.

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12TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican Fred Keller and Democrat Marc Friedenberg are vying to fill the remaining term of Republican Tom Marino, who resigned in January, just three weeks into his fifth congressional term.

Keller, a fifth-term state representative, beat 13 other candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the heavily Republican district. Friedenberg, a lawyer and Penn State information technology instructor, was the only Democrat to seek his party’s nomination.

The current term ends in January 2021. The 12th District covers all or parts of 15 counties, including Keller’s home in Snyder County and Friedenberg’s home in Centre County. Friedenberg also ran last year, losing November’s election to Marino by 32 percentage points.

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LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

There are three special elections to fill open seats in the state Legislature, one in the House and two in the Senate. All three seats were last held by Republicans, and the special elections won’t affect Republican control in either chamber.

For the 11th House district in Butler County, Democrat Sam Doctor and Republican Marci Mustello are running. For the 33rd Senate district in southern Pennsylvania, Democrat Sarah Hammond and Republican Doug Mastriano are running. For the 41st Senate district in western Pennsylvania, Democrat Susan Boser and Republican Joe Pittman are running.

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Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/timelywriter.

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