State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Democrats have near-full candidate slates in PA House, Senate elections

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 14, 2018 4:10 AM

 

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Lawmakers could face significant upheaval in their ranks come November. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Democrats have put together their largest slate of state House and Senate candidates in years.

Come November, they're hoping to start reversing Republicans' massive majorities in both chambers.

The GOP currently controls 121 of the House's 203 seats, and 34 of the Senate's 50.

But Democratic officials said if any year will shift the numbers, it's this one.

Nathan Davidson, with the House Democratic Campaign Committee, said the party's lineup of 180 candidates is its biggest since at least 2000.

They left 22 Republicans without challengers. Meanwhile, 51 House Democrats don't have GOP opponents.

Davidson acknowledged, many of the races will be a wash. But he said 18 or 19 are key targets--especially near Philadelphia.

"I look at the [Delaware County] seats--Nick Miccarelli's seat is obviously on the radar for sure. Jamie Santora's District, Alex Charlton, Chris Quinn--you know, the entire Delco delegation should be pretty nervous right now," he said.

And he added, he thinks interest in Pennsylvania's high-profile congressional redistricting case might boost his party's numbers.  

"There's now going to be some more competitive races in Delco, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks," he said. "And you know, if there's a competitive race up-ticket, that motivates voters to come out."

Davidson's Senate counterpart, David Marshall, said his caucus found candidates for all the races but one -- a tie with the previous 2006 high-water mark of 24.

The numbers aren't set in stone--both caucuses say it's possible some announced candidates won't be eligible, or that others will drop out or jump in as write-ins.

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