From presidential on down, candidates file Pa. petitions
February 17, 2016 12:00 AM
Tom Lynn/Associated Press
Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton
Republican presidential candidates John Kasich, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Ben Carson and Jeb Bush. Mr. Christie dropped out of the race.
Republican presidential candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (L-R) line up on the stage at the beginning of a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News at the St. Anselm College Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
By Chris Potter / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Brace yourself, Pennsylvania: Attorney General Kathleen Kane may not be running for re-election, but at least for now, it seems your primary ballot will include the eight presidential candidates you’ve been watching tear each other up for months.
For candidates seeking to run in the April 26 primary, Tuesday marked the deadline for filing petitions with the Department of State. Although candidates may later withdraw, or have their petitions challenged in court, all six Republican presidential contenders cleared the initial 2,000-signature requirement: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.
Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton also submitted petitions; they were joined by Roque De La Fuente, a political activist and car dealer from San Diego.
In the race for Senate, Republican incumbent Pat Toomey will face a November challenge from one of four Democrats: John Fetterman, Katie McGinty, Joe Sestak or Joseph Vodvarka, who has run a lower-profile campaign.
Among Western Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation, Republicans Mike Kelly, in District 3, and District 18’s Tim Murphy face no major-party challengers. In District 12, Democrats Erin McClelland and Steve Larchuk will compete for the right to take on Republican incumbent Keith Rothfus. In Pittsburgh and the rest of District 14, Mike Doyle faces pastor Janis C. Brooks in the Democratic primary; Art Halvorson will seek a rematch of his 2014 Republican primary fight against Bill Shuster in District 9.
Ms. Kane’s withdrawal leaves three Democrats seeking the attorney general’s office: Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. On the Republican side, state Sen. John Rafferty has drawn a late-breaking challenge from Joe Peters, a veteran prosecutor from Cumberland County.
In other state row-office action, incumbent Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, has a Republican challenger in John Brown, the county executive in Northampton County. Meanwhile, Republican Otto Voit and Democrats Joe Torsella and Albert Baker Knoll filed petitions for state treasurer.
Allegheny County’s Harrisburg delegation will see several primary and general election fights.
In state Senate District 37, Democrat Ed Eichenlaub is seeking to challenge Republican incumbent Guy Reschenthaler, who won the seat in a special election last fall.
In state House District 19, Hill District incumbent Jake Wheatley faces fellow Democrats Aerion Abney and Jessica Wolfe. (A third would-be challenger, former Pittsburgh school board member Mark Brentley, does not appear on the state’s list of filers.) In District 20, North Side Democrat Adam Ravenstahl will face Brian Weismantle, a former Pittsburgh homicide detective who unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Ravenstahl’s father in a district magistrate race last year.
Some state House races offer familiar matchups. In the East End neighborhoods of House District 24, incumbent Ed Gainey faces William Anderson and Todd Elliott Koger, the same opponents he trounced in 2014. In District 25, Monroeville Democrat Joseph Markosek also faces the same Republican challenger, Gateway School District director John Ritter, he beat two years ago.
Come November, Democrat Ray Linsenmayer could challenge Republican incumbent Hal English in District 30; in District 35 Republican Fawn Walker-Montgomery is preparing to take on Democrat Marc Gergely. Democrat Bill Kortz may go toe to toe with professional boxer and businessman Rod Salko in District 38. Attorney Peter Kobylinski, a Democrat, filed petitions to challenge District 39 Republican incumbent Rick Saccone, and Democrat Andrew Zahalsky hopes to take on 40th District Republican incumbent John Maher. In District 46, Republican Jason Ortitay could be challenged by Democrat Joe Szpara.
Chris Potter: email@example.com or 412-263-2533.
This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Willie Wilson is not on the ballot; his petition was rejected for insufficient signatures.
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