Election Recap: The Democratic Party Faces off Against Christian Nationalism and Anti-Choice Trump Republicans

Bucks County Democrats view their dynamic Congressional candidate Ashley Ehasz as ready and able to unseat not-so-moderate Republican Brian Fitzpatrick.
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Ruling in case brought by voters disenfranchised in May primary resolves apparent contradiction in law over counting provisional ballots.

With practically as much anticipation as a general election, Pennsylvania’s 2022 primary offered voters and candidates a nail-biting night and some stark choices for November’s general election. An assortment of candidates vied for a U.S. Senate seat,  as well as Pennsylvania’s next governor and lieutenant governor. Many waited late into the night for results, with the Republican U.S. Senate race still too close to call Wednesday.

(Watch Beacon Editor-in-Chief Cyril Mychalejko & Raging Chicken Press Editor Kevin Mahoney Discuss Yesterday’s PA Primaries.)

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman soundly won the Democratic Party U.S. Senate nomination with 59 percent of the vote. During his current tenure in Harrisburg, Fetterman oversees the Board of Pardons and has consistently sought to increase the amount of commutations and pardons for those serving jail time in Pennsylvania. He has been a strong supporter of raising the state’s minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, supporting a woman’s right to choose and for the legalization of marijuana to boost jobs and revenue in the Commonwealth.

He will face off against a yet-to-be named Republican for retiring Pat Toomey’s senatorial seat. As of this morning, the Republican contenders vying for the top spot are Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick – both of whom spent millions on their campaigns – and face a potential vote recount as the margin of victory looks to be less than 0.5 percent. Frequently referred to as carpetbaggers during their campaigns, Oz – the former television doctor endorsed by Donald Trump, along with McCormick – a former CEO for the largest hedge fund in the world – both fall under the “Make America Great Again” pall, leaving Pennsylvanians potentially less represented than they have been during 12 years of Republican Pat Toomey’s tenure.   

Josh Shapiro, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Pennsylvania attorney general ran unopposed and will compete against Christian Nationalist Republican Doug Mastriano in November’s general election.  However, Mastriano’s pick for lieutenant governor, Teddy Daniels, fell far behind Republican Carrie Lewis DelRosso who will campaign against Shapiro’s running mate Austin Davis.  

Mastriano, currently a state senator for Pennsylvania’s 33rd district, ran on a far-right Christian nationalist message. Mastriano has promised to ban abortion with no exceptions. Additional plans, should he win the governorship, include defunding public education, repealing vote by mail and the implementation of voter I.D. After issuing  QAnon posts, he was a scheduled speaker at the Washington, D.C. “Stop the Steal” rally and was photographed at the January 06, 2021, insurrection for which he’s been subpoenaed by the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the illegalities of that day.  

Pennsylvania’s First District Republican, U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, easily defeated his challenger, “America First” newcomer Alex Entin. Fitzpatrick, hoping to hold on to his seat for a fourth term, will compete against U.S. Army veteran and Apache helicopter pilot Ashley Ehasz, who ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Ehasz, a supporter of a woman’s right to choose and a West Point graduate  has reenergized the Democratic party in the state’s first district. Ehasz, who came from humble beginnings, advocates for the working class, supporting a livable wage, affordable housing and lower prescription drug prices.

Kierstyn Zolfo, an organizer with Indivisible Bucks County and Pennsylvania Indivisible, detailed Fitzpatrick’s right-wing  record, including his opposition to a woman’s right to choose, in a recent Beacon article. Additionally, for three terms, Fitzpatrick – who was endorsed by Donald Trump in 2020 – has refused to hold an in-person town hall, leaving his constituents without a voice and confused as to his political agenda. 

Despite many candidates running unopposed, yesterday’s primary defined the ballot for Bucks County statehouse seats in November’s general election. Source: Bucks County Board of Elections

6th Senatorial District: Anne Marie Mitchell (D) | Frank A. Farry (R)
10th Senatorial District: Steven J. Santarsiero (D) | Matthew McCullough (R) 
16th Senatorial District: Mark E. Pinsley (D) | Patrick M. Browne (R) 
18th Legislative District: Kr Walski (D) | Kathleen C. Tomlinson (R) 
29th Legislative District: Timothy P. Brennan (D) | Diane Smith (R) 
31st Legislative District: Perry S. Warren, Jr. (D) | Bernard C. Sauer (R)  

140th Legislative District: John T. Galloway (D) | Unopposed
141st Legislative District: Tina M. Davis (D) | Kelly Bellerby-Allen (R)  

142nd Legislative District: Mark Moffa (D) | Joseph F. Hogan (R)  

143rd Legislative District: Gwendolyn R. Stoltz (D) | Shelby E. Labs (R)
144th Legislative District: Brian Munroe (D) | Todd F. Pollinchock (R) 
145th Legislative District: Unopposed* | Craig T. Staats (R) 
178th Legislative District: Ilya Breyman (D) | Kristin Marcel (R)
*Jim Miller, a former West Rockhill supervisor, launched a write-in campaign with votes still being counted.

An assortment of both Democratic and Republican candidates secured places on the November ballot for state and local committee seats.  Of particular note is Dawn Bancroft who won a seat as a local Republican committee member in Doylestown Borough.  Bancroft, who was photographed at the January 6 insurrection, pled guilty to multiple crimes surrounding her involvement in the Capitol riot that killed five people.

With the exception of the winning Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, Pennsylvania’s general election is approximately six months away and the ballot is now established. The stakes have never been higher with democracy, women’s rights, and a living wage hanging in the balance. 

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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