Pennsylvania voters headed to the polls Tuesday to vote in primaries for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and other regional offices. Early voting -- which involved voters having to request, fill out, and return a mail ballot in person -- ended last week. Polls closed at 8 p.m. ET.
Pennsylvania is considered a swing state and could play a key role in determining which party gains or maintains control of Congress after the midterms.
Pennsylvania’s high-profile Republican primary to fill the U.S. Senate seat occupied by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey was considered a test of both celebrity cachet and the power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Former talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz had Trump’s endorsement and powerful name recognition but has been controversial within the Republican Party for his past statements on abortion among other statements made on his show, as well as his Turkish citizenship, which he says he would give up if elected.
Another high-profile candidate, conservative commentator and veteran Kathy Barnette faced questions over incendiary statements she has made on Islam and LGBTQ people. ABC News has verified images first shared by an independent researcher of Barnette marching toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but she has denied to NBC any connection to the Proud Boys.
While Trump has said Barnette has a future in the Republican Party and would suppport her if she wins, he has also posited that she can't win the general election.
The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, meanwhile, is emblematic of the ongoing tensions in the party between more progressive and establishment candidates. Lt. Gov John Fetterman and state Sen. Malcolm Kenyatta are both staking out progressive positions on policy, while current 17th Congressional District candidate Rep. Conor Lamb is considered more centrist. Fetterman has faced some backlash over a 2013 incident while serving as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, in which he pursued a man he suspected of a shooting but who ended up being an unarmed Black jogger. The last sprint to election night also brought breaking news of Fetterman suffering a stroke and undergoing surgery, which took him off the trail for the last day of campaigning.
Attorney Christopher Deluzio and LGBTQ rights advocate Sean Meloy ran in the Democratic primary for the House seat being vacated by Lamb.
Pennsylvanians will also be electing a new governor this year, as current Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited. The governor appoints the secretary of state in Pennsylvania, who will oversee the 2024 election, and Republicans hope to flip the state red. Multiple candidates in the Republican primary have echoed baseless claims questioning the 2020 election results -- including Trump-backed state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who attended the rally preceding the Jan. 6 insurrection. In the Democratic primary for the state's attorney general, incumbent Josh Shapiro ran unopposed.