Pennsylvania Perspective Special Edition: 2022 Pennsylvania Midterm Election Recap

November 9, 2022

Information current as of 1:45 pm on November 9, 2022

Pennsylvania has a long and storied history of being a divided trifecta — that is, having split party control among the office of the governor, state House, and state Senate. Republicans have held the majority of both chambers of the General Assembly for Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s entire time in office. The 2022 general election was the first since new legislative maps were adopted following the redistricting process. Political pundits said the new state House maps favored the Democrats but to what extent remained to be seen.

Heading into the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans held a 113-88 majority (with 2 vacancies) in the state House and a 28-21, with one independent, majority in the Senate. Twenty-five Senate seats were up for election this year — 13 Republican-held, 11 Democratic-held, and one independent — while all 203 House seats were up for election. Furthermore, this election brought a fair amount of turnover in both chambers, with 33 members of the House (24 Republicans and nine Democrats) and five members of the Senate (four Republicans and one Independent) retiring at the end of this year, promising fresh blood regardless of which party won the majority.

These factors, in combination with the newly implemented redrawn district maps, made Pennsylvania a state to watch, as there was significant potential for change in the state’s power dynamic. Looking ahead to next year, Tuesday, January 3, 2023 will be a busy swearing-in day as both Congress and the PA Legislature officially begin their new terms on that day. Pennsylvania’s new Governor and Lt. Governor will be sworn in on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Yesterday’s election results, along with other factors leaving vacancies, will trigger the need for special elections to be held in several state House seats (A. Davis, Deluca, and Lee). All of these seats are in strong Democratic leaning districts and should not impact the make-up of the House. A date for those special elections has not yet been set by the PA Speaker of the House.

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Democrats Josh Shapiro & Austin Davis defeated Republicans Doug Mastriano & Carrie Lewis DelRosso by double digits.

  • Article IV, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution grants the governor the power to nominate a successor in the event of a vacancy in the Office of the Attorney General. This nomination must be made to the state State Senate within 90 days of the vacancy. The Senate must then take action (confirming or rejecting nomination) within 25 legislative days.
  • Austin Davis is the first Black Lieutenant Governor in Commonwealth history.
  • Doug Mastriano did not have to resign his Senate seat in order to run for Governor. His seat, Senatorial District 33, was not up for re-election this cycle so he has two years left on his four-year term.

U.S. Senate

Democrat John Fetterman defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in the hotly contested race for U.S. Senate. Fetterman will now serve with fellow Democrat Bob Casey in Washington.

U.S. House

All 17 of PA’s US House Districts were on the ballot. It appears that all incumbents will win and Dems will win both open seats in PA-12 & 17. This leaves PA’s Congressional Delegation at 8 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

  • PA-07 (Allentown & Suburbs)Incumbent Susan Wild (D) is leading challenger Lisa Scheller (R)
  • PA-08 (Scranton & Suburbs)Incumbent Matt Cartwright (D) is leading challenger Jim Bognet (R)
  • PA-12 (Pittsburgh) — (Open Seat vacated by Mike Doyle) In the race to represent the 12th U.S. Congressional District in Pittsburgh, progressive Democratic State Representative Summer Lee defeated Republican Mike Doyle (not to be confused with outgoing Democratic Representative Mike Doyle). Summer will be the first Black woman elected to congress in Pennsylvania.
  • PA-17 (Pittsburgh Suburbs) — (Open Seat vacated by Conor Lamb) In the 17th U.S. Congressional district vacated by Conor Lamb, Democrat Chris DeLuzio defeated Republican Jeremy Shaffer.

PA Senate

The GOP will stay in control of the state Senate. The current make-up of the PA Senate is 28-R, 21-D, 1-I. After last night’s results, the Senate make-up for next session will be 28-R, 22-D. The 14th Senatorial seat used to be held by former Democrat and current Independent John Yudichak. However, redistricting moved his northeastern PA district closer to the Allentown area and he did not seek re-election. That open seat was won by Democrat Nick Miller.

PA House

Control of the PA House is still up in the air as the Democrats do have a path forward to flip the chamber as several races remain too close to call. Unfortunately, it could be several days until results are finalized. However, at the very least, the Democrats have significantly cut into the current 23 seat difference and the control of the House, by either party, could end up being by just a handful of seats. Either way, change is definitely on the docket in the PA House as at least 15 House Republican committee chairs (16 if Todd Stephens loses) and seven House Democratic committee chairs will not be returning next year.

Regional Updates

Southeast PA

  • All U.S. House incumbents in the southeast portion of the state appear to have managed to win reelection — most handily so — with the closest race occuring in the 7th District between incumbent Susan Wild (D) and challenger Lisa Scheller (R).
  • Longtime Bucks County State Representative Frank Farry (R) won election in the 6th Senate District against opponents Ann Marie Mitchell (D) by a margin of 54% to 44%, meaning he will be moving from one chamber of the General Assembly to another.
  • The 16th Senate District will now be represented by Jarrett Coleman (R), who defeated incumbent Patrick Brown during the Republican primary in May. Coleman defeated his opponent Mark Pinsley (D) by a margin of 55% to 45%.
  • Current State Representative Tracy Pennycuick (R) will now represent Senate District 24 after defeating Jill Dennin (D) by a margin of 53% to 48%.
  • So far, seven House districts in the southeast have been flipped from Republican to Democratic control. Notable among these are Paul Friel (D) of House District 26, of Brian Munroe (D) of House District 144, and Lisa Borowski (D) of House District 168 — who defeated incumbents Tim Hennessey (R), Todd Polinchock (R), and Chris Quinn (R), respectively.
  • Philadelphia voters approved both ballot questions, which will create a new Department of Aviation that will allow the city’s airport officials input on budget discussions, and allow for city jobs to grant preference to graduates of Philadelphia’s Career Technical Education programs on the civil service exam.

Northeast PA

  • Current State Representative Rosemary Brown (R) will now represent Senate District 40 after handily winning the seat vacated by Republican Mario Scavello by a margin of 55% to 45% against opponent Jennifer Shukaitis (D).
  • In Luzerne County, 21-year-old Alec Ryncavage (R) won the open House seat previously held by Democrat Jerry Mullery.
  • The 14th Senatorial District seat, previously held by Senator John Yudichak (Independent), was won by Nick Miller (D). This Senate seat was moved from Northeast PA to the Allentown area in the Lehigh Valley. This is the only Senate seat that changed parties, resulting in the Senate Republican control now at 28-22 (formerly 28-21-1).

Central PA

  • Congressman Scott Perry defeated his Democratic opponent, Shermain Daniels, by a 52% to 48% margin. The win gives Perry a sixth 2-year term representing the 10th District.
  • Republican Congressman Lloyd Smucker handily defeated Democrat Bob Hollister by a 62% to 38 margin.
  • Incumbent Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson outpaced his Democrat opponent, Michael Molesevich, by a 70% to 30% count.
  • Representative Greg Rothman won his bid to represent Pennsylvania’s newly redrawn 34th Senatorial District by a 67% to 32% margin.
  • Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill handily beat her Democrat challenger, Judith Higgins, by a 67% to 33% margin.
  • Several PA House seats previously held by Republicans (Hershey, Helm, Lewis) have been won by Democrats. All three of those races were open seats after retirements.
  • In Berks County, the seat (129th District) held by retiring Representative Jim Cox flipped to Democrat Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz.

Western PA

  • In the two highly visible, open congressional races out of Pittsburgh & surrounding suburbs, Democrats Summer Lee (PA-12) and Chris Deluzio (PA-17) emerged as winners over their Republican challengers.
  • In Northwestern PA, Republican Incumbent Mike Kelly (PA-16) comfortably defeated his Democratic opponent to be reelected.
  • There will soon be three special elections in Western PA, all in generally safe Democratic districts, to replace Representatives Tony DeLuca (passed away), Summer Lee (elected to Congress), and Austin Davis (elected Lieutenant Governor).
  • In two newly created PA House seats in the Pittsburgh suburbs, Democrats Arvind Venkat and Mandy Steele both defeated their Republican opponents. Venkat will be the first Indian-American elected to the state House.
  • Democrat La’Tasha D Mayes won the seat vacated by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, making her the first out, Black lesbian woman elected to state legislature.

General Assembly Election Highlights

Republican House Seats Going to Democrats (12)

  • District 26: Hennessey — Friel
  • District 29: Schroeder (open) — Brennan
  • District 30: Mizgorski (open) — Venkat
  • District 33: Perry (open) — Steele
  • District 54: Brooks (open) — Gregory
  • District 82: Hershey (open) — Takac
  • District 104: Helm (open) — Madsen
  • District 105: Lewis (open) — Fleming
  • District 129: Cox (open) — Cepeda
  • District 144: Polinchock — Munroe
  • District 168: Quinn — Borowski
  • District 189: Rosemary Brown (open) — Probst

Too-Close-to-Call Republican House Incumbent Seat Race (1)

  • District 151: Stephens — Cerrato

Democratic House Seats Going to Republicans (3)

  • District 9: Sainato — Brown
  • District 50: Snyder (open) — Cook
  • District 119: Mullery (open) — Ryncavage

Too-close-to-call Democratic House Incumbent Seat Races (2)

  • District 16: Matzie — Elmore
  • District 158: Sappey — Spencer

Senate Seat Change (1)

  • District 14: Yudichak (open) — Miller
    * formerly independent seat

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