Pa. primary comprises crowded field of congressional candidates

Jim Melwert
May 14, 2018 - 6:52 pm

Xinhua/Sipa USA

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Voters in the Philadelphia suburbs will whittle down a crowded field of congressional candidates in Tuesday's Primary Election Day. 

The largest crowd is Democrats seeking the nomination for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, made up of Delaware County, part of South Philadelphia and a sliver of Montgomery County.
 
There are 10 candidates, but Republican political strategist John Keleman narrowed it down to three: Mary Gay Scanlon, Ashley Lunkenheimer and Rich Lazer have separated from the pack. 

Keleman said Lunkenheimer and Scanlon have spent a lot of money on TV ads, while Lazer has organized labor on his side.
 
“You have two candidates who have been on air for a number of weeks, and one in Rich Lazer who enjoys the significant influence that organized labor can bring to bear on the ground on Election Day," he said.
 
The winner will face unopposed Republican Pearl Kim in the fall.
 
In Montgomery County's new 4th Congressional District, state Rep. Madeleine Dean, former Congressman and County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, and anti-gun violence activist Shira Goodman are battling for the Democratic nomination. 

While Dean fell just shy of getting the endorsement from the Montco Dems, Keleman pointed out most grassroots supporters are behind her. 
 
“Everyone expects female voters to turn out in significant numbers," he added, "so to the extent that the base of support might be divided between Dean and Shira Goodman, that could potentially give Hoeffel an opening to surprise some people and pull off a primary victory.”
 
The winner there will face another unopposed Republican, Dan David.
 
In Bucks County’s 1st Congressional District, three candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination: Scott Wallace, Rachel Reddick and Steve Bacher. Wallace is a wealthy, self-funded, further-to-the-left candidate, while Reddick is former military. As a recent Republican-turned-Democrat, Reddick is more moderate.
 
“Wallace enjoys the support of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, but again, with women being projected to be such a significant factor in this race, you can't discount Reddick’s chances," said Keleman.
 
Incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick is facing a challenge from the right by Dean Malik, a former Bucks County prosecutor and Marine corps officer who is running on a pro-Trump platform, adding that he is the only “real” Republican in the race.
 
There is no contested primary in Chester County’s 6th Congressional District, as Republican Greg MacCauley and Democrat Chrissy Houlahan are both unopposed. Ryan Costello is not seeking re-election in the district.