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May 15, 2018

Two women among winners in Pennsylvania congressional primaries

Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean capture big wins in Democratic races

Elections Congress
05152018_Scanlan_Dean Sources/Campaign photos

Mary Gay Scanlon, left, won the Democratic primary in the 5th Congressional District, a hotly-contested race that featured 10 candidates. Madeleine Dean, right, beat two well-known candidates to win the Democratic party nomination in the 4th Congressional District.


A number of changes are coming to Southeastern Pennsylvania's congressional representation. And Tuesday's primary election offered a glimpse into the possibilities.

A trio of open seats prompted a plethora of candidates to enter the congressional races. And women walked away winners in the most heavily-anticipated races.

Mary Gay Scanlon came out on top in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District, a hotly-contested race that featured 10 candidates.

And Madeleine Dean beat two well-known candidates to win the Democratic party nomination in the 4th Congressional District.

Thanks to a trio of open seats, including the 4th and 5th districts, Southeastern Pennsylvania's congressional delegation will have a new look come 2019. 

U.S. Reps. Pat Meehan, Ryan Costello and Bob Brady are not seeking re-election, which prompted a plethora of candidates – particularly in the 5th Congressional District. 

And with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrawing district lines, many incumbent candidates found themselves seeking re-election in new areas.

Tuesday's primary whittled down the candidates. 

Here's how specific races turned out:

FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick held off attorney Dean Malik in the Republican primary for the new First Congressional District, which encompasses all of Bucks County and small portion of Montgomery County that includes Hatfield and Lansdale.

Fitzpatrick had gained 66.8 percent of the vote with 41 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results released by the Department of State. Malik, a Bucks County prosecutor, civil litigator and Marine Corps. veteran, had gained 33.2 percent of the vote.

Fitzpatrick, a former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and FBI supervisory special agent in California, first won the seat in 2016, taking it over from his brother, Mike, who retired after four terms. 

Scott Wallace, a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs, won a three-person race in the Democratic primary, capturing 56.3 percent of the vote.

Rachel Reddick, a mother who formerly prosecuted sexual assault cases in the U.S. Navy, gained 35.4 percent and Steve Bacher, who worked for 30 years in the higher education, nonprofit and government sectors, gained 8.2 percent.

SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat from Northeast Philadelphia, defeated entrepreneur Michele Lawrence to win the party nomination.

Boyle received 64.4 percent of the vote, according to unofficial elections results released by the city commissioners. Lawrence, the CEO of self-empowerment business and a former banking industry executive, gained 35.5 percent.

The new Second Congressional District encompasses Northeast Philadelphia, the river wards and parts of North Philadelphia that lie east of Broad Street.

Boyle, who is seeking his third term in Congress, will face Republican David Torres in the general election. 

Torres, a West Kensington retiree and political newcomer, ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Incumbent Dwight Evans easily dispatched challenger Kevin Johnson in the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District, which now includes parts of Center City, West Philadelphia and Northwest Philadelphia.

Evans had gained 80.6 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results released by the city commissioners. 

Johnson, a public education advocate and president and CEO of Philadelphia OIC, a workforce development organization, garnered 19.2 percent.

Evans is seeking his third term in Congress. He will face Republican Bryan Leib in the general election.

Leib, of Center City, ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Three Democrats with name recognition sought the party's nomination in the 4th Congressional District, which now includes all of Montgomery County (except for a small sliver in Lansdale/Hatfield and a part of the Main Line) and a small part of eastern Berks County.

But state Rep. Madeleine Dean, ran away with the vote. Dean, who co-founded the gun violence prevention caucus, PA SAFE, had gained 73.8 percent of vote, according to unofficial results released by the Department of State.

Shira Goodman, CEO of CeaseFire PA, gained 14.8 percent, and former Congressman Joe Hoeffel took 11.4 percent.

On the Republican side, Dan David ran unopposed. He is a business executive and entrepreneur, and co-founder of GeoInvesting, an equities markets research firm.

5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

It was a free-for-all in the 5th Congressional District, where 10 Democrats sought the nomination in a reconfigured district that includes all of Delaware County and parts of South Philadelphia and Southwest Philadelphia.

Mary Gay Scanlon, a child advocate, former attorney for the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania and national pro bono counsel at the Ballard Spahr law firmcame, come out on top.

Scanlon took home 28.4 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results released by the Department of State. 

Her chief competitor was Richard Lazer, a longtime activist and former deputy mayor for labor for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. Lazer earned 15.8 percent.

Ashley Lunkenheimer, a former federal prosecutor and health care advocate, received 15 percent, and Molly Sheehan, a recognized cancer researcher, gained 9.8 percent. 

The others included state Rep. Greg Vitali, cancer research advocate Lindy Li, Dare to Compare founder Theresa Wright, Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, state Rep. Margo Davidson, and former software salesman and public school teacher Larry Arata.

In the Republican primary, special victims prosecutor Pearl Kim ran unopposed.

6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

The candidates in the 6th Congressional District ran unopposed. 

Republican Greg McCauley, is a businessman who operated Wendy's restaurants with his family and was on the Quigley Corp. team that made Cold-EEZE a national-brand.

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan is a U.S. Air Force Reserve captain and former chief operating officer of the AND1 Basketball apparel and footwear brand.

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello withdrew from the race after the new districts were announced.

The redrawn district now includes all of Chester County and a portion of Berks County, including the city of Reading.