Pennsylvania primaries 2024: Lee and Fitzpatrick survive, matchups set for November

538 tracked congressional and downballot primary races in the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania is already in the thick of campaign season for November's presidential and U.S. Senate races, but on April 23, Democrats and Republicans in the Keystone State chose their candidates in a slate of other consequential races down the ballot this fall.

Among the key races to watch: a couple of incumbent House members — progressive Democrat Summer Lee and moderate Republican Brian Fitzpatrick — both fended off challengers from their right, and ballots are now set for a few other consequential contests that could help determine control of the House next year. Plus, some key battle lines for control of the state government in November are set, with the parties finalizing their candidates for attorney general, auditor, treasurer and both chambers of the state legislature.

538 reporters and contributors broke down the election results as they came in with live updates, analysis and commentary. Read our full live blog below.

That’s all she wrote in Pennsylvania

It’s a little after 11:20 p.m. Eastern, and every key race on our board has a result! Here’s a recap of what happened tonight in Pennsylvania:

In the solidly blue 12th District, ABC News reports progressive Democratic Rep. Summer Lee is projected to defeat Edgewood Borough Council member Bhavini Patel by about 20 percentage points, with 99 percent of the expected vote reporting. Lee’s win is an early indication that The Squad’s criticisms of Israel won’t necessarily weigh members down in the primaries to come this summer.

Meanwhile, in the 10th District, former news anchor Janelle Stelson is projected to win the Democratic primary with 44 percent against a field of five other candidates and 99 percent of the expected vote, ABC News reports. She’ll face Republican Rep. Scott Perry, a former chair of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, in a slightly GOP-leaning seat that may be competitive.

In the 1st District, another seat that could be in play, Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick held off a challenge from the right in anti-abortion activist Mark Houck, leading by 26 points at this point with 91 percent of the expected vote. ABC News reports that Fitzpatrick is projected to win that race. Fitzpatrick will now face off against Democrat Ashley Ehasz, whom he defeated by 10 points in 2022, but it may very well be a closer race in this swingy district this time around.

And over in Eastern Pennsylvania, three Republicans squared off tonight for the opportunity to run against — and potentially unseat — three-term Democratic Rep. Susan Wild in the 7th District. But it was state Rep. Brian Mackenzie who came out on top and is projected to win according to reporting by ABC News. He’s currently leading with 42 percent of the vote, and 85 percent of the expected vote reporting, perhaps in part thanks to the nearly half a million dollars spent on his behalf by the Koch Brothers’ PAC. Mackenzie and Wild will now be gearing up for a tight race that is set to be one of the most competitive House races in the nation, so expect a lot of attention — and money — to be paid to Lehigh Valley.

Neither candidate faced primary opposition in the U.S. Senate contest today, meaning that Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick will face off in November. In the open-seat race for state attorney general, former state Auditor Eugene DePasquale is projected to win a five-way Democratic primary, while York County District Attorney Dave Sunday is projected to handily win the Republican nomination, according to ABC News. In the contest for auditor general, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is projected to defeat Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley in the Democratic primary and face incumbent Republican Tim DeFoor in the fall, according to the AP. And the race for state treasurer saw a bit of a surprise in the Democratic primary, as the AP projected that substance abuse and mental health counselor Erin McClelland will defeat state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro despite Bizzarro’s endorsement from the state party and sizable fundraising edge. McClelland will face incumbent Republican Stacy Garrity in November.

Finally, in notable races for the state House and Senate, we watched Democratic primaries in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas — which will set up key contests this fall, as Democrats fight to hold onto their narrow, one-vote majority in the state House and flip the Senate to secure a state government trifecta. Incumbents mostly fended off challenges from more progressive candidates in these races, notably Rep. Amen Brown in West Philadelphia, and Rep. Abigail Salisbury, who won against a Summer Lee-backed candidate, Ashley Comans.

—Geoffrey Skelley, Kaleigh Rogers, Monica Potts, 538

Final thought: I agree with Meredith

As Meredith said, I think the big takeaway for the night is that Republicans did not nominate some of their more extreme candidates. That was a losing strategy in 2022, and we may see more competitive statewide races as a result this fall.

The 1st District race I noted earlier is a good example: Anti-abortion Republicans suffered a notable loss with Houck's decisive defeat in favor of incumbent Fitzpatrick, one of the most moderate Republicans in the U.S. House. So far, abortion has been a winning issue for Democrats, and it’s likely to be a defining issue in the race this fall — so Republicans are likely glad Fitzpatrick prevailed in this purple district.

—Monica Potts, 538

Final thought: Did Pennsylvania Republicans learn from loss?

All told, the races today suggest that Republicans in Pennsylvania may be "learning from loss," as my fellow political scientist Seth Masket puts it. To “learn from loss” is to change tack after certain efforts proved failed. The failed effort in 2022 was when the GOP nominated Doug Mastriano for the governor's race, who proved to be too extreme for the state. In Pennsylvania today, the GOP avoided nominating some of the more extreme candidates on the ballot in the 1st and 7th Districts.

—Meredith Conroy, 538 contributor

Last big projections of the evening: McClelland secures the treasurer upset

In what look to be the last statewide or federal projections of the evening, ABC reports that Chris Dziados is projected to win the 14th Congressional District Democratic primary, which Geoff mentioned earlier. And in perhaps the surprise of the night, the AP has projected Erin McClelland as the winner in the Democratic primary for state treasurer. McClelland overcame what seemed like a prohibitive fundraising deficit to best the party’s preferred pick, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro.

And with that, we're about ready to wrap up! We'll get you all a wrapup post shortly to recap the major outcomes, and let you go with an hour to spare before the clock strikes midnight.

Last call for hot Pennsylvania takes, everyone!

—Tia Yang, 538

Attorney general and other statewide races to watch tonight

One of the most competitive races today could be the Democratic contest for the open state attorney general, where Pennsylvania voters have a full slate of five candidates to pick from. It seems to be anyone's contest here, with each candidate bringing endorsements and support from different Democratic factions to the table.

The fundraising leader in this race is Northeast Philadelphia State Rep. Jared Solomon, a veteran who's emphasized anti-corruption and public safety on the campaign trail and in the state legislature. But his good-government bent hasn't seemed to win him friends in the party — he came in last in balloting for the Democratic Party endorsement (which no candidate ended up winning). The next biggest fundraising numbers came from Delaware County DA Jack Stollseimer and former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, who previously served as a prosecutor in Philadelphia.

But there are two other candidates who may have other advantages in their pockets: The top vote-getter in the inconclusive party endorsement contest was Eugene DePasquale, who likely has a name recognition advantage. A Pittsburgh native, he represented York County as a state rep before winning statewide office as auditor general, and he's the only candidate from Western Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the most progressive candidate in the race is likely Keir Bradford-Grey, a former chief public defender in both Montgomery County and Philadelphia. She's backed by the progressive Working Families Party and is looking to become the state's first Black AG, and the first AG in the country with a background primarily as a public defender. Her showing could tell us something about Pennsylvania Democrats' mood at a time when progressive prosecutors like Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner have come under increased scrutiny.

Whoever wins will be gearing up for a competitive general election, where they'll face the winner of today's GOP primary between York County DA David Sunday, who has his party's endorsement, and state Rep. Craig Williams, another veteran who represents parts of Chester and Delaware Counties and served as the chamber's impeachment manager against Krasner last year.

Further down the ballot, Democrats are also choosing their candidates today to challenge incumbent Republicans for two other statewide posts. In the Democratic primary for auditor general, the state's top fiscal watchdog, progressive Philadelphia state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta earned the party nod, and is likely favored over Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley. For state treasurer, Erie state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro is similarly favored over Pittsburgh-area small business owner Erin McClelland. These races are expected to be highly competitive in November too: They were each decided by just a few percentage points in 2020, and Democrats have set their sights on reversing the results this time around.

—Tia Yang, 538