On the campaign trail: (From left) Democrat Sen. John Sabatina will face state Rep. Kevin Boyle in the 5th Senatorial District primary on April 26. The Republican is Ross Feinberg.
The lineup is set for the April 26 primary in Pennsylvania.
Candidates had until Feb. 16 to turn in nominating petitions, and there are a bunch of contested primaries in the city and statewide.
Topping the ballot will be the race for president.
The Democratic candidates are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Rocky De La Fuente, a businessman from San Diego.
Filing as Republicans were Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. Bush dropped out of the race on Saturday after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary.
Democrats running for U.S. Senate are former congressman Joe Sestak, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, Allegheny County businessman Joseph Vodvarka and Katie McGinty, a Rhawnhurst native and former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Sestak, Fetterman and McGinty all attended the Progressive Summit last week in Harrisburg, pledging support for Black Lives Matter and a pro-choice litmus test for voting for the next Supreme Court justice.
Sestak lost a close race to Toomey in 2010, a strong year for Republicans. He filed nearly 12,000 petitions from 55 counties.
“The overwhelming grassroots support I have received demonstrates that the people are hungry for leaders who will truly walk in their shoes,” Sestak said. “I am grateful to the people of Pennsylvania, and I will continue to do everything I can to honor the trust they’ve placed in me once I am elected to the Senate.”
Vodvarka, meanwhile, has some very un-Democratic views. He’s a life member of the NRA and wants to repeal Obamacare, end the inheritance tax, make English the nation’s official language, build a fence on the Southern border and promote saying “Merry Christmas” without any repercussions.
In the race for attorney general, incumbent Democrat Kathleen Kane is not seeking a second term. She’s had a rocky term, and is facing criminal charges. She had little money to mount a re-election campaign.
The Democratic candidates are Stephen Zappala Jr., Josh Shapiro and John Morganelli. The Republican candidates are Joe Peters and John Rafferty.
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, of Somerton, endorsed Zappala, writing on Facebook, “Rarely have I seen a candidate so perfectly prepared as Steve, who has served as the Allegheny County District Attorney for nearly two decades.” Zappala replied on Facebook, “Lt. Gov. Mike Stack has joined Team Zappala! He’s a powerful progressive voice, and a Democratic leader in Philadelphia for many years. We’re on a roll!”
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, and Republican John Brown are unopposed in the primary.
The state treasurer seat is open, as Democrat Rob McCord resigned and pleaded to charges he attempted to shake down state contractors for campaign donations in the 2014 primary for governor. He awaits sentencing.
The Democratic candidates for treasurer are Albert Baker Knoll and Joe Torsella. The Republican is Otto Veit.
The Northeast is divided into the 1st and 13th congressional districts.
Democratic Rep. Bob Brady will face Republican Deborah Williams in the 1st district.
Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle will face Republican Armond James in the 13th district.
The hottest local race might be the 5th Senatorial District. Democratic Sen. John Sabatina will face state Rep. Kevin Boyle in the primary. The Republican is Ross Feinberg.
Sabatina, formerly an assistant district attorney and state representative for nine years, won a special election last year to replace Mike Stack, who became lieutenant governor.
The incumbent delivered 5,027 petitions.
“I’m proud to have received this outpouring of community support. My supporters have put forth a tremendous effort, and I promise to continue to be their champion in Harrisburg, fighting for the issues that matter most: education, jobs and crime. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I won’t give up,” he said.
Boyle, elected in 2010, wasn’t impressed with Sabatina’s signatures, claiming there were defects in the majority of them. He cited circulators from New Jersey, signers from South Philadelphia and a signature from a Cheltenham resident on a sheet circulated by Sabatina.
“Given that my opponent was appointed in a back room rather than elected by the Democratic voters of the 5th district last year, I’m looking forward to letting the people have their say on April 26,” Boyle said. “I have a proven record of fighting for Northeast Philadelphia families. From working to try and raise the minimum wage, protect workers’ rights and keep our communities safe, I believe my work in Harrisburg and Philadelphia on these issues and others will lead us to a positive result on Election Day.”
Boyle is also running for re-election to his 172nd Legislative District seat. The Republican candidate is Jim Pio, who’ll officially announce his candidacy on Sunday afternoon at his Burholme home. He’ll be endorsed by City Councilman Al Taubenberger.
The Boyle campaign has not said whether he will drop out of the House race, allowing Democratic ward leaders to select his replacement, if he wins the Senate primary.
In other state House races, Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) will face Democrat Albert DerMovsesian.
Rep. Martina White (R-170th dist.) will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Fran Nelms and Matt Darragh. Democrats have a registration advantage of better than 2 to 1.
White won a special election last year to replace Brendan Boyle. She sponsored a bill that passed the House that prevents the release of the name of police officers involved in the use of force until an investigation is complete.
“I am going to continue to do what is right for the people I represent by putting aside partisanship and political games. When people know you are fighting for them and their families, it’s easy to ask for their vote,” White said. “My goal is to knock on every door to meet the people I serve, and listen to their concerns and ideas. Doing that gives me the ability to know where to act to help solve the problems they face.”
Darragh, a liquor store examiner for the auditor general’s office, had a fundraiser Friday night at the Ashburner Inn. He was joined by ward leaders Mike McAleer, Shawn Dillon and Mike Kates, who recently replaced Stack as Democratic leader of the 58th Ward. Also on hand were Sen. Sabatina and Sarah Del Ricci, who lost to Martina White in last year’s special election.
Darragh, who has been endorsed by the Sheet Metal Workers union, is the oldest candidate in the race, at age 30. He’s also the only homeowner, and said he has the best history of voting in prior elections.
“I want to get something accomplished for the voters of the 170th,” he said. “It was a great place to grow up, and I want to keep it a great place.”
Sabatina said, “He’s very capable, very intelligent and a hard worker. He’s in it for the right reasons.”
Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) will face Democrat Joe Hohenstein.
Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179th dist.) will face former Rep. James Clay, whom he beat in the 2014 primary. There is no Republican.
Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) will face Jared Solomon, whom he beat in the primary two years ago by 158 votes. There is no Republican.
In the 203rd district, longtime Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans is running for Congress. The only candidate running to replace him is Democrat Isabella Fitzgerald.
Reps. Mike Driscoll (D-173rd dist.) and Ed Neilson (D-174th dist.) are unopposed in the primary and general elections. ••