By Alexandra Fabian, manager, PICPA government relations, and Peter Calcara, vice president, PICPA government relations
What an election night … or “election week” as seems to be the case anymore. The unsettled economic environment during a midterm has historically been a recipe for disaster for the party in power. Not this year. Voters seemed to be voting on issues beyond their checkbook concerns. In Pennsylvania, overall, Democrats had a very good night on Nov. 8 from the top of the ticket down. Some key races were pending as we posted this blog, but here is the latest on the election night outcomes.
In the race for governor, Democrat Josh Shapiro won in resounding fashion against Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano. Shapiro got 735,000 more votes than Mastriano, according to results posted on the Department of State’s election returns website.
Mastriano released a statement several days after the election conceding that Attorney General Shapiro won the governor’s race. “Difficult to accept as the results are, there is no right course but to concede, which I do, and I look forward to the challenges ahead,” Mastriano said in the statement.
According to NBC News, Shapiro commented on his victory stating, “We showed in this campaign that no matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you are valued here in Pennsylvania, and we hear you.” Shapiro will serve as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor replacing Tom Wolf, a Democrat, who served two consecutive terms.
State Rep. Austin Davis, Shapiro’s running mate, makes history with his election win. Davis will be the first African American to serve as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.
In the other high-profile race in the state this year, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz in a close race to succeed U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey who is retiring. Fetterman captured nearly 51% of the vote to Oz’s 47%. Adding an extra layer of drama and uncertainty, Fetterman suffered a stroke in the spring which limited his ability to campaign during recovery. It also opened up a new line of attack by his opponents. The contest was seen nationally as crucial for Democrats to have a chance at maintaining control of the Senate. Nationally, Democrats defied historical trends and defeated several senatorial candidates backed by former President Donald Trump to keep control of the U.S. Senate, according to NBC news. With Fetterman’s victory, Pennsylvania will have two Democrats in the U.S. Senate, Fetterman and Sen. Bob Casey.
While control of the U.S. House hangs in the balance, with a razor-thin majority for Republicans being projected, there were no surprises in the Pennsylvania congressional races. Pennsylvania’s 17 congressional seats were all up for election on Nov. 8, and of the 17 races 15 were occupied by incumbents (eight Republicans and seven Democrats). Only two races, the 12th and 17th Districts, were open, and both went to Democrats. Going into the new Congress, Democrats now hold a 9-8 edge in the state delegation. Here’s a rundown of the results all 17 races as provided by the Associated Press:
Pennsylvania splits the reelection of its state senators. Even-numbered districts are elected in gubernatorial years, and odd-numbered districts in presidential years. Republicans held a functional 29-21 majority prior to the election (Independent Sen. John Yudichak caucused with the Republicans). Republicans were ultimately defending a hold on 13 seats with Democrats defending 12. Republicans retained control of the state Senate, holding a 28-22 majority going into the new legislative session beginning in January 2023. The only seat to change hands was Yudichak’s 14th Senatorial District, which was won by Democrat Nicholas Miller. Yudichak did not seek reelection.
The most surprising outcome of the night took place in the Pennsylvania House. Entering Nov. 8, Republicans held a comfortable 113 to 88 majority (with two vacancies). Most political pundits expected Republicans to maintain the majority, albeit with a smaller margin after the election. Results were still being counted and verified as of this post, but if vote counting breaks right for House Democrats they may be on the verge of capturing the majority for the first time in more than a decade.
There are still two uncalled state House seats. House District 142, an open seat in Bucks County being contested by Republican Joe Hogan and Democrat Mark Moffa; and House District 151 in Montgomery County that has Republican incumbent Rep. Todd Stephens squaring off against Democrat challenger Melissa Cerrato. Republicans need both the 151st and the 142nd to retain majority control of the state House. The current count is 101 Democrats to 100 Republicans. Like the U.S. House of Representatives, whichever party gains control will hold the slimmest of majorities.
Further complicating matters is the fact that there are three seats won by Democrats on Nov. 8 that will require special elections next year. State Rep. Summer Lee was elected to Congress, State Rep. Austin Davis was elected lieutenant governor, and State Rep. Tony Deluca passed away last month but was reelected.
CPA-PAC, the political action committee for Pennsylvania CPAs, is pleased to report that all four CPA legislators seeking reelection in November were victorious: Reps. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland), Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster), Ben Sanchez (D-Montgomery), and Nick Pisciottano (D-Allegheny). The PICPA looks forward to continuing our work with them on behalf of the profession. In the upper chamber, however, for the first time in more than a decade there is no CPA in the Pennsylvania Senate.
Of the 115 candidates supported by the CPA-PAC in the Nov. 8 General Election, 90 won their bids for reelection and six lost (one race has yet to be called). The CPA-PAC also supported two candidates in the primary who are retiring and 16 senators who were not on the ballot this year.
Senators will elect each caucus’s leadership team on Nov. 15. The House is scheduled to be in session Nov. 14-16, but Republicans have postponed their leadership elections because of the uncertainty.
The PICPA government relations team is closely monitoring the outcomes in Harrisburg and encourages you to sign up for our Legislative Update newsletter for weekly updates. Sign up today!
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