Nearly half of midstate House and Senate races have only one candidate

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Mar 21, 2016 1:44 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Nearly half of the candidates running for a seat in the state House or Senate will not be challenged in the April primary.

That essentially means two dozen midstate lawmakers have already won another term, before a single vote has been cast.

In central Pennslvania, there are 49 legislative races.

In 24 of them, only one name will be on the ballot.

That means voters won't have much of a choice, unless outside candidates mount a furious write-in campaign.

One state Senate race has become especially competitive - the fight to replace retiring Republican Pat Vance in Cumberland County, with four candidates on the GOP side.

But that's pretty much it.

Three incumbent Republicans don't have an opponent - Richard Alloway, David Argall, and John Gordner.

And when you look at the House, 21 races - that's half - have only one declared candidate.

For example, in Juniata County there's one candidate for the House district.

The same thing is true in southeastern Franklin County and in south-central York County.

There's no particular theme among the uncontested races - some are in rural areas, others in the suburbs and some include more urban districts.

According to our analysis, three Senate Republicans, 18 House Republicans, and three House Democrats will all likely win seats in November because they face no formal opponent.

The lack of opponents comes as members of the Legislature and Governor Tom Wolf have both faced strong criticism from the public over a budget standoff that forced nonprofits, such as those who serve victims of sexual assault, to lay off staff or consider shutting down.

School districts have also had to use loans to stay open, paying millions of dollars in interest fees.

Pennsylvania's primary is April 26th.

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