The Punxsutawney Spirit

Fetterman, Mastriano, Shapiro win races; GOP senate too close to call

- By Matthew Triponey Of The Spirit

Residents of Jefferson County reported to the polls Tuesday to vote in the primary for this year’s midterm elections.

The 2022 ballot was largely bereft of local races, with area residents instead joining citizens throughout Pennsylvan­ia in a handful of state and federal races. The most closely watched of these were the contests for governor and U.S. senator.

The Republican race was particular­ly hotly contested. With 36 of 37 precincts reporting, Jefferson County Republican­s appeared to favor Kathy Barnette for U.S. Senate, with Dave McCormick in second by a few hundred votes. Mehmet Oz put in a strong showing as well in third place. The same three candidates were dominant among Republican­s statewide. At Spirit press time,

McCormick and Oz were neck and neck, the former leading by less than a single percentage point. Barnette trailed Oz in third by about 7 percent.

The Republican race for governor was not as close. Just after 10 p.m., the Associated Press called it for state Sen. Doug Mastriano. His victory in Jefferson County was significan­t, leading the second-place finisher — Bill McSwain — by well over 2,000 votes. Statewide, Louis Barletta was runner-up to Mastriano at Spirit press time, but still behind by close to 20 percent.

The Democratic side of the ticket was less competitiv­e and quickly resolved. The Associated Press called the Democratic nomination for Senate for Lt. Gov. John Fetterman just before 9 p.m., only an hour before polls closed. Jefferson County Democrats overwhelmi­ngly backed the lieutenant governor in his race; at Spirit press time, he had a lead of more than 1,000 votes over the nextcloses­t candidate, Conor Lamb.

Fetterman himself had to cast an emergency ballot from the hospital after suffering a stroke just before the weekend, the Associated Press reported. He tweeted that a procedure to install a pacemaker with a defibrilla­tor in his heart was successful, and said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Josh Shapiro, the current state attorney general, was the only name on the Democratic Party’s ballot for governor, and secured the nomination handily.

It was a similar story for lieutenant governor: a largely uncompetit­ive Democratic race and a more intense Republican one. At Spirit press time, Austin Davis held a significan­t lead statewide for the Democratic nomination; Jefferson County Democrats also favored him overwhelmi­ngly. As for the Republican­s, local voters largely supported Carrie Lewis DelRosso, who led by more than 1,000 votes; they had Teddy Daniels and Rick Saccone in second and third, respective­ly, separated by less than 200. At Spirit press time, it was a similar story statewide — DelRosso in the lead by around 14 percent, with Daniels and Saccone neck-and-neck for second.

Also up for election this year: the U.S. and state congressio­nal seats for the area. There were no names on the Democratic side of the ballot in either race, and the incumbents — U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson and state Rep. Brian Smith — were unchalleng­ed on the Republican side, clearing the way for them not only to obtain their party’s nomination but seemingly to retain their seats in November.

An hour after polls closed, Pennsylvan­ia’s acting Secretary of State, Leigh M. Chapman, released a report indicating the election had gone well. Localized issues were reported in Berks and Lancaster counties. In the former, at least two dozen polling places were impacted by long lines due to new electronic poll books; a court order extended the deadline to 9 p.m. as a result. In the latter, election officials were unable to scan about 22,000 mail ballots because of incorrect codes. The county will duplicate them by hand and scan them over the next few days.

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