First Read

First Read – April 24, 2024

Lee wins in Pittsburgh … Kim in Harrisburg … Kenyatta for Auditor General … and more

WEATHER: Philadelphia: chance of showers and thunderstorms, high of 70; Harrisburg: slight chance of showers, high of 66; Pittsburgh: chance of showers, high of 59. 


* Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas continues to have ramifications across the country, the world – and the commonwealth. 

* Ryan Mackenzie is one step closer to making the jump from the state House to the U.S. House, winning the Republican nomination for the 7th Congressional District last night.

* State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta defeated Mark Pinsley in the Democratic primary for auditor general last night, setting up a matchup in November with Republican incumbent Tim DeFoor. 

* Eugene DePasquale, a Democrat, and David Sunday, a Republican, lapped their respective fields yesterday to set up the general election battle for Attorney General.


* The two races at the top of the primary ballot for Democrats and Republicans were already decided before Pennsylvanians headed to the polls yesterday, but the Associated Press made it official just after polls closed at 8 p.m., The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports.

* Janelle Stelson now becomes the Democratic Party’s next great hope to take down U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, the lightning rod conservative Republican from northern York County, PennLive reports.

* First-term U.S. Rep. Summer Lee held off a spirited primary challenge from Bhavini Patel in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District yesterday after a race that drew national attention and was overshadowed by an international crisis,  WESA reports. 

* The race for Pennsylvania’s 15th Senate District will pit Democrat Rep. Patty Kim against Republican Nick DiFrancesco, who is Dauphin County Treasurer, PennLive reports.

* Voters in two state House districts east of Pittsburgh have confirmed the incumbents that party leaders played a key part in choosing a year ago, WESA reports.

* Small business owner Erin McClelland won yesterday’s primary election to snag the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania treasurer, a surprise victory that sets the stage for a tough matchup this fall with incumbent Republican Stacy Garrity, Spotlight PA reports.

* Democratic U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans has likely secured a fifth term in Congress, fending off a Democratic challenger yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* Republicans representing state House districts on the rural edges of the Pittsburgh metro area coasted to victory yesterday, knocking off challengers in the GOP primary, WESA reports.


* The Inquirer’s Kyle Sammin writes that even though state Rep. Kevin Boyle was a wanted fugitive, then not, he will still – even though he is nowhere near the state Capitol – be a reliable vote for his party’s agenda in Harrisburg.

* The Tribune Review writes that government transparency is black and white. Records are either open or they aren’t. A meeting is public or it isn’t. So what is happening with Pittsburgh City Council?


* The Supreme Court will consider today when doctors can provide abortions during medical emergencies in states with bans enacted after the high court’s sweeping decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Associated Press reports.

* Yesterday, Manhattan prosecutors displayed National Enquirer headlines to the jury in splashy, all-caps font as they sought to show how the tabloid tried to help Donald Trump win the election that year, Politico reports. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: to Andy Toy, policy director at the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations  … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to

MOVING ON: The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Executive Council elected Maurice Cobb as its Secretary-Treasurer to fill the unexpired term… Have a career change or life event to announce? Email us:


10 a.m. – The Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole meets, Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia. Watch here

11 a.m. – The Shapiro Administration and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General will join Lehigh County officials to encourage Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Lehigh County Government Center; 17 S. 7th St., Allentown. 

2 p.m. – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Val Arkoosh and Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Khalid Mumin will celebrate the Third Annual Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Award, Main Rotunda, Main Capitol, Harrisburg. 

5 p.m. – The Allegheny County Council meets, 119 Courthouse, 436 Grant St., Pittsburgh. Watch here. 

KICKER: “Anything that I hear in the marketplace, if I hear anything negative about yourself or if I hear about women selling stories, I would notify Michael Cohen.” – former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker recounting what he told Trump, via Politico 

NEXT STORY: First Read – April 23, 2024