Dems Success Could Expand Beyond U.S. Senate, Governor and into PA General Assembly
HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - In Pennsylvania, Democrats closed out election night with some major wins, capturing races for U.S. Senate and Pennsylvania governor. However, their success may expand beyond the U.S. Senate and Governor’s Mansion and into the lower chamber of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Democratic candidate John Fetterman was declared the winner in the closely-watched U.S. Senate race early Wednesday morning, with over 50 percent and a margin of roughly 185,000 votes. Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz called Fetterman around 9:30 Wednesday morning to congratulate him on his victory and issued the following statement after their call:
"This morning I called John Fetterman and congratulated him. I wish him and his family all the best, both personally and as our next United States Senator. Campaigning throughout our great Commonwealth was the honor of a lifetime, and I will cherish the memories and the people I met. Pennsylvanians showed up with passion and a vision for a bright future that I found inspiring every day. I want to thank my supporters, so many of whom worked tirelessly to spread our message and support me and my family...
We are facing big problems as a country and we need everyone to put down their partisan swords and focus on getting the job done. With bold leadership that brings people together, we can create real change. As a Doctor, I always do my best to help others heal. That's why I ran for Senate. I hope we begin the healing process as a nation soon.”
In the race for governor, Josh Shapiro emerged as the winner with over 55 percent of the vote. As of Wednesday evening, there has been no concession from Doug Mastriano. ErieNewsNow reached out to the Mastriano campaign for comment on whether he plans to concede, but has not heard anything back.
Aside from the Governor’s Mansion and the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House may be up for grabs for the first time in over a decade. The PA House Democratic Campaign Committee held a press event in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon, saying they’re confident Democrats will control the lower chamber in Harrisburg next year.
A House Republican spokesperson told ErieNewsNow Wednesday afternoon that it is premature for Democrats to declare they will control the House. They added that Republicans are still looking at several races and waiting for additional numbers to come in.
Key races that could determine who controls the lower chamber include PA-151 in Montgomery County, where Republican incumbent Todd Stephens is neck and neck with Democratic challenger Melissa Cerrato. Stephens is currently ahead by just under 30 votes.
As of Wednesday evening, PA-142 may be the closest of the eight races that have yet to be called. It's currently a two-vote difference in favor of Democrat Mark Moffa in the Bucks County open-seat race against Republican Joseph Hogan.
In addition to PA-142 and PA-151, PA-07 in the northwest leans toward Republican incumbent Parke Wentling, who leads Democratic challenger Timothy McGonigle by just under 1,000 votes, with 37 out of 38 precincts reporting. PA-18 (Bucks) shows Republican incumbent Kathleen Tomlinson leading Democratic challenger Laurie smith by just over 1,000 votes. In PA-137 (Northampton) Republican incumbent Joe Emrick leads Democratic challenger Anna Thomas by a margin of just under 800 votes. In PA-144 (Bucks) Democratic challenger Brian Munroe leads Republican incumbent Todd Polinchock by about 400 votes. In PA-160 (Delaware/Chester) Republican incumbent Craig Williams leads Democratic challenger Catherine Spahr by over 2,000 votes. Lastly, in PA-172 (Philadelphia/Montgomery) Democratic incumbent Kevin Boyle leads Republican challenger Al Taubenberger by over 2,000 votes. All numbers are as of Wednesday evening.
Republicans maintained control of the State Senate, but Democrats feel confident they’ll have the House. Because of the razor-thin margin in some of these races, any outstanding mail ballots, military and overseas ballots, as well as provisional ballots that may have to be adjudicated, could determine which party controls the lower chamber in Harrisburg.