No Red Wave in Pennsylvania: Democrats Win Majority of House Seats in the Commonwealth

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By Isabel Soisson

November 9, 2022

Razor-thin margins around the country left control of Congress still undetermined Wednesday, but Democrats showed strength overall in the midterm election, especially in Pennsylvania, where Democrats won nine out of the 17 congressional races in the commonwealth.

Key victories in Western Pennsylvania, where Summer Lee will become the first Black woman to represent the commonwealth in Congress and Chris DeLuzio flipped a Republican seat, helped Pennsylvania Democrats gain a 9-8 edge in the House.

Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation has been redistricted twice in recent years—first because of a court challenge against GOP gerrymandering and again as a result of the 2020 census—and the state lost one seat in Congress through reapportionment because of slow population growth.

Here’s a quick look at all the races:

  1. PA-1: Incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick (Bucks) defeated Democrat Ashley Ehasz
  2. PA-2: Incumbent Democrat Brendan Boyle (Philadelphia) defeated Republican Aaron Bashir
  3. PA-3: Incumbent Democrat Dwight Evans (Philadelphia) defeated Christopher Hoeppner of the Socialist Workers Party
  4. PA-4: Incumbent Democrat Madeleine Dean (Montgomery) defeated Republican Christian Nascimento
  5. PA-5: Incumbent Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon (Delaware) defeated Republican David Galluch
  6. PA-6: Incumbent Democrat Chrissy Houlahan defeated Republican Guy Ciarocchi
  7. PA-7: Incumbent Democrat Susan Wild defeated Republican Lisa Scheller
  8. PA-8: Incumbent Democrat Matt Cartwright defeated Republican Jim Bognet
  9. PA-9: Incumbent Republican Dan Meuser (Luzerne) defeated Democrat Amanda Waldman
  10. PA-10: Incumbent Republican Scott Perry (Dauphin) defeated Democrat Shamaine Daniels
  11. PA-11: Incumbent Republican Lloyd Smucker (Lancaster) defeated Democrat Bob Hollister
  12. PA-12: Democrat Summer Lee (Allegheny) defeated Republican Mike Doyle
  13. PA-13: Incumbent Republican John Joyce (Blair) wins reelection (unopposed)
  14. PA-14: Republican Guy Reschenthaler (Lancaster) wins reelection (unopposed)
  15. PA-15: Incumbent Republican Glenn Thompson (Centre) wins reelection (unopposed)
  16. PA-16: Incumbent Republican Mike Kelly (Butler) defeated Democrat Dan Pastore
  17. PA-17: Democrat Chris DeLuzio (Allegheny) defeated Republican Jeremy Shaffer, flipping the seat for Democrats

Now, let’s take a closer look at the four most hotly contested races:

Susan Wild Defeats Lisa Scheller

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Susan Wild will serve another term as a member of the US House of Representatives, representing Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district, which includes all of Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties and part of Montgomery County.

Wild defeated Lisa Scheller, the chairman and CEO of Silberline Manufacturing Co., a global manufacturer of aluminum-based pigments in Schuylkill County. She previously served on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.

Wild, a former solicitor in Allentown, was the first woman to represent the Lehigh Valley in Congress, and she made the issue of women’s rights central to her campaign. She assumed office in 2019.

Wild has been outspoken in her support of abortion rights for years. When a document leaked in May detailing the Supreme Court’s plan to overturn Roe v. Wade, Wild called on the Senate to join the House and codify Roe into law by supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act. She also chastised the court for their decision in a strongly-worded denunciation.

“The draft […] overturning Roe leaves little doubt that the ultra-right has succeeded in its decades-long effort to use the Court to achieve a fundamentalist society in which women no longer have the right to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies,” she said at the time.

Then in June, when the court did overturn Roe, Wild repeated her call for action in the Senate.

Wild has also been outspoken in her support of worker’s rights, stressing the importance of “forward-thinking” manufacturing jobs for the economic future of the Lehigh Valley at a rally in September. She’s also a supporter of the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to significantly increase American semiconductor production. This act includes Wild’s Regional Innovation Act, which focuses on creating regional technology hubs.

Wild has also fought to cap prescription drug costs, provide support for veterans struggling with addiction, and to fix supply chain issues.

Matt Cartwright Defeats Jim Bognet

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright will serve another term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district after defeating Republican Jim Bognet.

The 8th congressional district includes all of Lackawanna, Pike, and Wayne counties and part of Luzerne and Monroe counties.

Cartwright is a former trial attorney. Serving in Congress, he’s fought to protect low-income veterans, safeguard the rights of child pornography victims, and pass COVID-19 relief packages that helped workers, families, and small businesses.

Bognet was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who called the political consulting and communications firm owner “pro-wall, pro-life, and pro-gun.”

Cartwright and Bognet differed on many pressing issues, including Social Security. Cartwright said that he supports raising the retirement age so more people pay into the program longer, while Bognet said that he does not support a cut in benefits and is against raising the retirement age.

Cartwright’s win is a victory for Democrats’ hopes of maintaining control of Congress, which still depends on the outcome of other key races.

Summer Lee Defeats Mike Doyle

Democrat Summer Lee, now the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress, has defeated Republican candidate Mike Doyle and will represent the 12th congressional district in the U.S. House.

This district includes Allegheny and part of Westmoreland County.

Lee defeated Republican congressional candidate Mike Doyle, who served as Plum Council president, a borough in Allegheny County.

Lee, the first Black woman to represent southwest Pennsylvania in the state legislature, announced her bid for Congress when Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (not to be confused with her opponent) announced his retirement last year after serving 14 terms.

Lee a progressive attorney from Braddock,has represented Pennsylvania’s 34th legislative district in the state House since 2018. is. She supports Medicare for All, tuition-free public college, student debt cancellation, and far-reaching criminal justice reform. She’s in favor of the $15 minimum wage and has supported COVID-19 vaccinations and Pennsylvania’s school mask mandate. Lee is pro-choice and a proponent of LGBTQ+ rights.

She also backs the Green New Deal, a congressional resolution that lays out a plan for tackling climate change, and is anti-fracking.

Chris DeLuzio Defeats Jeremy Shaffer

Election lawyer Chris Deluzio, a Democrat, prevailed Tuesday in the contest for an open US House seat north of Pittsburgh, beating a Republican businessperson and former township commissioner.

Deluzio will represent a district that consists largely of the voters who elected Democratic U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb to Congress for the past couple terms. It became vacant for this year’s election when Lamb chose not to seek reelection in what was an ultimately failed attempt to get his party’s nomination for US Senate.

He beat GOP candidate Jeremy Shaffer, a former Ross Township commissioner who had billed himself as a pragmatic problem solver.

Deluzio’s campaign biography noted his involvement in the effort to establish a faculty union at the University of Pittsburgh last year.

“The union way of life is a huge thing here in western Pennsylvania,” Deluzio campaign manager Matt Koos said. “And there’s no doubt that the Dobbs decision has put abortion access at the front of voters’ minds.”

Shaffer had said he would position himself in Congress as “a pragmatic, common sense problem solver” who wants term limits and nonpartisan redistricting policies.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Author

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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