PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Twenty-three candidates, an unusually large number, have filed nominating petitions for the Republican and Democratic nominations for U.S. Senate and governor of Pennsylvania.
KDKA political editor Jon Delano breaks down what is shaping up to be a busy primary.
“We’re certainly facing an unprecedented election year with an unbelievable amount of candidates at the top of the ticket,” says Mike DeVanney, a Republican political strategist.
It’s the first time in decades that no incumbent is running for governor and United States senator on the same ballot, and that has lots of candidates thinking this is their chance.
But not unexpectedly, only one Democrat is running for governor: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Ten Republicans would like the chance to take him on. They are former Congressman Lou Barletta, state Senator Jake Corman, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, political consultant Charlie Gerow, former Congresswoman Melissa Hart, state Senator Doug Mastriano, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, Pittsburgh attorney Jason Richey, former Delaware County Councilman Dave White and heart surgeon Nche Zama.
“It’s going to be off to the races here,” says DeVanney. “It’s going to be a fascinating election year for Republicans. No clear frontrunner, wide-open, and we’ve got nine weeks to go.”