Crowded Fields of Candidates to Vie for Statewide Offices

Last Tuesday was the deadline to file paperwork to get on Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary ballots for the open governor’s office, lieutenant governor’s office, and U.S. Senate seat – all hotly contested races. This year’s election is the first time in decades that Pennsylvania has its governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat on the same ballot with no incumbent running. The state allows one week to file court challenges to a candidate’s paperwork, and courts have one more week after that — until March 29 — to render a decision.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term, while U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a second-term Republican, is not running again. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, is running for U.S. Senate instead of seeking another term.

Below is a list of all the candidates in the races for governor and Congress. Hundreds of state races are also on the ballot, although the petition filing period opened Friday and ends on March 29.

Governor’s Race

Nine candidates will be on the Republican Primary ballot for Governor: former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta; PA Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman; Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale; political consultant Charlie Gerow; former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart; State Sen. Doug Mastriano; former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain; former Delaware County Councilman Dave White; and heart surgeon Nche Zama. Lawyer Jason Ritchey did reach the signature threshold to be on the ballot, but last Thursday withdrew his candidacy and endorsed McSwain.

The Democratic Party’s presumed nominee is Josh Shapiro, who is serving his second term as Pennsylvania’s attorney general. No other Democratic candidates filed for the nomination.

Lieutenant Governor’s Race

On the Republican side, nine candidates filed for the nomination for lieutenant governor: former Northampton County Executive John Brown, former State Rep. Jeff Coleman; former police officer and Army veteran Teddy Daniels; State Rep. Carrie DelRosso; State Rep. Russ Diamond; New Castle Mayor Christopher Frye; former State Rep. Rick Saccone; businessman James Jones; and activist Clarice Schillinger.

On the Democratic side, three candidates filed for the nomination: State Rep. Austin Davis, State Rep. Brian Sims, and financial planner Raymond Sosa. Last month, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro announced his endorsement of Austin.

U.S. Senate Race

Seven Republicans filed to be on the ballot for the nomination for U.S. Senate: political commentator Kathy Barnette; real estate investor Jeff Bartos; lawyer George Bochetto; lawyer Sean Gale; former hedge fund CEO David McCormick; television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz; and former ambassador Carla Sands.

Five candidates filed for the Democratic Party’s nomination: emergency room physician Kevin Baumlin; Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman; State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta; activist Alex Khalil; and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.

Congressional Races

Fifteen incumbents are vying for re-election for Pennsylvania’s 17 congressional seats in newly drawn districts. Fifty-six candidates filed to run, and every incumbent except Republican U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler will have a primary or general election challenge. Two Pittsburgh-area districts lack an incumbent, potentially providing an opportunity for political newcomers.


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