Pennsylvania voters to choose nominees today

Apr. 22—It didn't look like Election Day eve Monday in Mercer County. Candidate signs, which typically sprout like dandelions along busy roadsides, were few to non-existent.

One explanation: There are few contested races, and none locally. That, said Mercer County Director of Voter Registration and Elections Thad Hall, means area residents aren't getting election literature in their mailboxes every day.

So he expects to see light turnout for Tuesday's election, lower than the 34% figure for the most recent presidential primary in 2020.

"There is no competitive race for president," Hall said. "There is no competitive race for U.S. Senate. I'm guessing its going to be below 34%.

"There's not a lot to motivate people to turn out."

Hall said he expects turnout will be in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 percent, even considering that more than 4,000 votes have already been cast.

The county elections office mailed out 5,907 mail-in ballots, Hall said, and voters returned 4,579 ballots.


Pennsylvania moved its primary, traditionally held in May, into April for the prospect of having a say in the presidential primary, only to have both parties decide their presumptive nominees weeks earlier.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have mathematically clinched the Democratic and Republican nominations, respectively. Both have ballot opposition from candidates who ended their campaigns too late to be removed from Pennsylvania's ballot.

Nikki Haley, formerly governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had sought the Republican nomination. U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, suspended his campaign last month after running against Biden through Super Tuesday.

State legislature

Incumbent state representatives Parke Wentling and Tim Bonner, both Republican, are facing no opposition in the primary, and no Democrats have filed to run for either seat.

Wentling, R-7, Hempfield Township, is seeking a sixth term in the state House. Bonner, R-17, Pine Township, is running for a third term.

State Sen. Michele Brooks, R-50, Jamestown, who represents all of Mercer County in the state Senate, was re-elected in 2022 to a term that runs through 2026.


U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16, Butler, is unopposed in the primary as he seeks an eighth term in Congress. Tim Kramer, a Slippery Rock High School graduate, was stricken from the ballot after three Erie County residents successfully contested more than 300 of his ballot signatures, which pushed him below the 1,000-signature threshhold.

Kelly is chairman of the Tax Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he is a senior member.

He is likely to face Preston Nouri, an Erie businessman and Democratic activist, in the general election.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Robert Casey Jr. is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. He has no opposition in the Democratic primary.

David McCormick, who worked in the Trump administration and served in the military, is Casey's likely general election opponent. McCormick ran for the Senate in 2022, finishing second to Dr. Mehmet Oz in a seven-way primary.

Oz then lost to now-U.S. Sen. John Fetterman in the 2022 general election.

While Joseph Vodvarka's name appears on the ballot, votes cast for him will not count. The state Supreme Court disqualified Vodvarka after a petition signature challenge. However, Mercer County had already printed its ballots before the court ruling.

State attorney general

With Attorney General Michelle Henry — who was appointed to complete the unfinished portion of Josh Shapiro's term when Shapiro was elected governor in 2022 — opting not to run this year, seven candidates are seeking an office that is a traditional jumping off point to the governor's office.

Two Republicans, Dave Sunday of York County and state Rep. Craig Williams of Delaware County, are running for the GOP nomination.

Sunday has been York County district attorney since 2017.

Williams is a Marine Corps veteran and has been a state representative since 2021.

Five Democrats — in ballot order, Jack Stollsteimer of Delaware County, Eugene DePasquale of Allegheny County, Joe Khan of Bucks County, and Keir Bradford-Grey and state Rep. Jared Solomon — are seeking the nomination for attorney general.

Stollsteimer, a former assistant U.S. attorney, is Delaware County district attorney.

Khan has worked as a federal prosecutor and Bucks County solicitor.

DePasquale served in the state House before being elected as Auditor General in 2012, and kept the position until after the 2020 election when he term limited out of office.

Bradford-Grey is a former chief public defender in Montgomery County and works in private litigation with Montgomery McCracken Walker and Rhoads, where she serves as chair of the firm's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Solomon has been a state representative from Philadelphia County since 2017.

State treasurer

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro and Erin McClelland are running for the Democratic nomination as greasurer. The winner will face Republican incumbent Stacy Garrity in the general election.

Bizzarro has represented part of Erie County in the state House since winning election in 2012. McClelland, of Allegheny County, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014 and 2016.

Auditor general

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Mark Pinsley are running for the Democratic nomination as state auditor general. The winner will face incumbent Republican Timothy DeFoor in the general election.

Kenyatta has represented part of Philadelphia County in the state House since 2019. Pinsley ran for the state Senate 16th District in 2022, losing to Republican Jarrett Coleman.

Polls in Pennsylvania are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Absentee and mail-in ballots must be received by the county elections office in Mercer — not just postmarked — by 8 p.m. Tuesday.