Campaigns & Elections
Your guide to the 2022 primary challengers
City & State’s list of all current legislators facing primary opponents in May
With next Tuesday’s primary election just days away, candidates are making their final pushes before the polls open.
The primary races have been even more convoluted this year as many local officials and party committees have endorsed challengers over incumbents. Races in Philadelphia drew even more scrutiny this week after controversial mailers were sent out implying violence against three progressive legislators seeking reelection.
Here is your final guide to every challenger going up against an incumbent in the primary.
5th Legislative District:
- Barry Jozwiak, a Republican from Bern Township in Berks County
- David Golowski, a Republican from Bern Township in Berks County
- Golowski was a vocal opponent of the COVID-19-related shutdowns and started a directory, PAlockdown.com, during the pandemic to highlight businesses operating in defiance of statewide orders. The Berks County Republican Committee endorsed Golowski over the incumbent Jozwiak.
8th Legislative District
- Aaron Bernstine, a Republican from New Beaver Borough in Lawrence County
- Eric DiTullio, a Republican from Lancaster Township in Butler County
- DiTullio, an industrial estimator for a national construction company, currently serves as the Seneca Valley School Board president and vice-chair of the PSERS Investment Committee.
- John Kennedy, a Republican from Middlesex Township in Butler County
- Kennedy, the son of former Butler County Commissioner James Kennedy and grandson of former Congressman H. Francis Kennedy, owns and operates a bird hunting preserve and retail meat market, and serves as the Mars Area School Board president.
10th Legislative District
- Amen Brown, a Democrat from Philadelphia currently serving the 190th district, was drawn into the 10th district in this redistricting cycle.
- Sajda Blackwell, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Sajda “Purple Queen” Blackwell, founded the internet radio station PQRadio1 and has been a vocal supporter of curbing gun violence in the city. Blackwell’s been endorsed by Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal and City Council member David Oh.
- Cassandra Green, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Cassandra Green, who helped found the Mill Creek Community Partnership, has received endorsements from several unions, District Attorney Larry Krasner, State Sen. Nikil Saval and City Council members Jamie Gauthier, Helen Gym and Kendra Brooks.
11th Legislative District
- Marci Mustello, a Republican from Butler Township in Butler County
- Jennifer Steele, a Republican from Summit Township in Butler County
- Steele, vice president of Butler PA Patriots, a grassroots conservative organization, has an endorsement from lieutenant governor candidate Teddy Daniels.
13th Legislative District
- John Lawrence, a Republican from London Grove in Chester County
- Carmela Ciliberti, a Republican from New London in Chester County
- Ciliberti, an expert in aviation regulations, was previously a candidate for Chester County Clerk of Courts in 2020; she was defeated by incumbent Democrat Yolanda Van de Krol.
20th Legislative District
- Emily Kinkead, a Democrat from Pittsburgh
- Nicholas Mastros, a Democrat from Ross in Allegheny County
- Mastros, 65, is the owner of Allegheny Sandwich Shoppe in Pittsburgh and in his first run for public office. He received an endorsement from the region’s Democratic committee members over the incumbent Kinkead, as well as several local unions.
34th Legislative District
- Summer Lee, a Democrat from Swissvale Borough in Allegheny County. Lee is also running to fill the 12th Congressional seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle at the same time.
- Abigail Salisbury, a Democrat from Swissvale
- Salisbury is an attorney and borough council president who could take the Democratic nomination should Lee win the primary to replace Doyle. She’s advocated for climate-ready infrastructure and support for small businesses.
36th Legislative District
- Jessica Benham, a Democrat from Pittsburgh
- Stephanie Fox, a Democrat from Brentwood in Allegheny County
- Fox, an executive with the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Center for Victims, is a former member of Brentwood Borough Council. She received the county Democratic Committee’s endorsement over Benham and earned the support of several local unions.
39th Legislative District
- Michael Puskaric, a Republican from Union Township in Washington County. Puskaric recently successfully defended a petition challenge.
- Andrew Kuzma, a Republican from Elizabeth Township in Allegheny County
- Kuzma, a former Elizabeth Township Commissioner, is an attorney who backed Puskaric’s Democratic opponent during his first race in 2018.
40th Legislative District
- Natalie Stuck, a Republican from Peters Township in Washington County
- Stephen Renz, a Republican from Peters Township in Washington County
- Renz, who currently serves as vice-chair of the Republican Party of Peters Township, is a former Brentwood School Board member and Steamfitters Local 449 journeyman.
47th Legislative District:
- Keith Gillespie, a Republican from Hellam Township in York County
- Joseph D’Orsie, a Republican from Mt. Wolf Borough in York County
- D’Orsie, a former football player and wrestler at Duquesne University, is the communications director at Praise Community Church in East York.
51st Legislative District:
- Matt Dowling, a Republican from Uniontown in Fayette County
- Ryan Porupski, a Republican from Nicholson Township in Fayette County
- Porupski is the school board president of Albert Gallatin Area School District and a part-time instructor at the Fayette County Career and Technical Institute.
55th Legislative District:
- Jason Silvis, a Republican from Washington Township in Westmoreland County
- Michelle Schmidt, a Republican from Washington Township in Westmoreland County
- A board member of the Kiski Area School District, Schmidt has been a supporter of parental choice when it comes to masking and other policies in schools. She cites her banking experience and educational background as proof of her fiscal responsibility.
- Jill Cooper, a Republican from Murrysville in Westmoreland County
- Cooper is a Republican State Committeeperson and chair of the Westmoreland County Republican Party, as well as a board member with the Murrysville Economic & Community Development Corporation. She’s vowed to not accept any taxpayer-funded pension and per diems or labor union campaign funds.
56th Legislative District
- George Dunbar, a Republican from Penn Township in Westmoreland County
- Samuel Wright Jr., a Republican from Penn Township in Westmoreland County
67th Legislative District
- Martin Causer, a Republican from Annin Township in McKean County
- Robert Rossman, a Republican from Allegheny Township in Potter County
- Rossman, owner of Cream ’n Sugar in Coudersport, is a former vice-chair of the Potter County GOP and has an endorsement from lieutenant governor candidate Teddy Daniels.
72nd Legislative District
- Frank Burns, a Democrat from East Taylor Township in Cambria County
- Michael Cashaw, a Democrat from Johnstown in Cambria County
- Cashaw, the current president of the Rotary Club of Johnstown, is a freelance photographer with a background in banking. He recently revealed that he went to family counseling after he faced a child endangerment charge nearly 20 years ago for spanking his daughter with a belt.
80th Legislative District
- James Gregory, a Republican from Hollidaysburg in Blair County
- Patricia Haight, a Republican from Frankstown in Blair County
- Haight is a conservative activist and community organizer who founded the charity Love Them Both to help support unwed mothers.
81st Legislative District
- Rich Irvin, a Republican from Spruce Creek Township in Huntingdon County
- Andrea Speck, a Republican from Cromwell Township in Huntingdon County
- Co-host of the Hippie Sunday School Podcast, Speck has been a community organizer over the last two years, collecting donations for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a local nursing home and more.
86th Legislative District
State Rep. John Hershey, a Republican serving the 82nd district, was drawn into this new district with state Rep. Perry Stambaugh, a Republican currently serving the 86th district.
94th Legislative District
- Stan Saylor, a Republican from Windsor Township in York County
- Wendy Fink, a Republican from Windsor Township in York County
- Fink, a conservative education advocate, has experience as both a public school and home-school educator. She’s been endorsed by the Gun Owners of America and Make Liberty Win PAC.
96th Legislative District
- Mike Sturla, a Democrat from Lancaster City
- Dana Hamp Gulick, a Democrat from Manheim Township in Lancaster County
- Hamp Gulick, a business liaison for an advertising company and domestic violence survivor, lost her previous two elections when she tried to unseat state Rep. Steve Mentzer in the old 97th district.
100th Legislative District
- Bryan Cutler, a Republican from Drumore Township in Lancaster County
- Anne Weston, a Republican from Quarryville Borough in Lancaster County
- A chiropractic assistant, Weston says she prioritizes election integrity and has the support of Audit the Vote PA, an organization that has promoted unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She’s been endorsed by Gun Owners of America and the PA Liberty Alliance.
103rd Legislative District
- Patty Kim, a Democrat from Harrisburg in Dauphin County
- Heather MacDonald, a Democrat from Camp Hill Borough in Cumberland County
- A community activist who also works for a residential real estate company, MacDonald would be the first LGBTQ+ candidate to represent the district. She’s received support from Democratic Party State Committeeperson Sandy Wolfe and former Congresswoman Katie Hill.
134th Legislative District
- Peter Schweyer, a Democrat from Allentown in Lehigh County, currently serves the 22nd district but was drawn into the new 134th.
- Enid Santiago, a Democrat from Allentown in Lehigh County
- Santiago, who works at a local service-based community organization, narrowly lost to Schweyer in the 2020 primary. The Puerto Rico native works at a local service-based community organization and is active in Allentown’s Latino community.
159th Legislative District
- Brian Kirkland, a Democrat from Chester in Delaware County
- Carol Kazeem, a Democrat from Chester in Delaware County
- Kazeem, a trauma-informed outreach worker, has been a community activist and helped organize protests of the Covanta waste-to-stream facility in Chester. She’s been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Working Families Party and PSEA-PACE.
166th Legislative District
- Greg Vitali, a Democrat from Haverford Township in Delaware County
- David Brown, a Democrat from Haverford Township in Delaware County
- Brown serves as chair of the Pennsylvania Secular Democrats and is a member of the State Democratic Committee and the Main Line NAACP. He’s been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Working Families Party and the Delaware County Democrats.
169th Legislative District
- Katie Klunk, a Republican from Hanover Borough in York County
- Matthew Smith, a Republican from Manheim Township in York County
- Smith, who is an active foster parent specializing in behavioral health, works as a general contractor for automotive, restaurant and alcohol businesses. His campaign website states he is a lifelong proponent of school choice and eliminating property taxes.
172nd Legislative District
- Kevin Boyle, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Robert Stewart, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Stewart is a community journalist who founded Spirit News. A former aide to state Sen. John Sabatina, he serves on several boards, including the 7th Police District Advisory Committee.
181st Legislative District
- Malcolm Kenyatta, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Joy Crudup-Dorsey, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Crudup-Dorsey, a vocal advocate for addressing the city’s gun violence, works as a counselor at the Youth Detention Center in West Philadelphia.
184th Legislative District
- Elizabeth Fiedler, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Michael Giangiordano II, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Giangiordano II has a vast amount of real estate experience, both as a realtor for Century 21 and as the founder and CEO of Rental Rater, a rental experience ratings website. He was endorsed by the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee over the incumbent Fiedler.
187th Legislative District
State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, a Republican serving the 134th district, was drawn into this new district with state Rep. Gary Day, a Republican currently serving the 187th district.
188th Legislative District
- Rick Krajewski, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- James Wright, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- A lifelong Philadelphian, Wright is the director of Community, Economic, and Real Estate Development at the People’s Emergency Center. He was endorsed by the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee over the incumbent Krajewski.
194th Legislative District
- Pam DeLissio, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Tarik Khan, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- A frontline nurse and the immediate past president of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, Khan visited homebound residents to administer COVID-19 vaccines throughout the pandemic. He’s been endorsed by State Sen. Nikil Saval, the 9th and 21st Ward Democrats, as well as several labor unions.
197th Legislative District
- Danilo Burgos, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Gladys DeMatos, a Democrat from Philadelphia
200th Legislative District
State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, a Democrat serving the 203rd district, was drawn into this new district with state Rep. Chris Rabb, a Democrat currently serving the 200th district .
- Janay Hawthorne, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Hawthorne is an active member of AFSCME District Council 47 as a shop steward and serves as a public health adjunct professor at Arcadia University.
201st Legislative District
- Stephen Kinsey, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Andre Carroll, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Carroll, who previously worked in the City Controller’s office and served as community engagement director for City Council member Isaiah Thomas, works as a substitute teacher. He also sits on the board of The Brothahood Foundation and Philadelphia District Attorney’s Youth Aid Panel, and has been endorsed by Thomas, state Sen. Nikil Saval, and City Council member Kendra Brooks.
8th Senatorial District
- Anthony H. Williams, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- Paul Prescod, a Democrat from Philadelphia
- A public school teacher and union activist, Prescod has already received endorsements from organizations including the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFSCME District Council 47 and the Pennsylvania Working Families Party. The most surprising endorsement comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board, which said his commitment to public education is what is needed in Harrisburg.
16th Senatorial District
- Patrick Browne, a Republican from Allentown in Lehigh County
- Jarrett Coleman, a Republican from Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County
- Coleman, an airline pilot and member of the Parkland School Board, has been an opponent of school closures and vaccine mandates.
20th Senatorial District
- Lisa Baker, a Republican from Lehman Township in Luzerne County
- OFF THE BALLOT: Nathan Turock, a Republican from Factoryville in Wyoming County. After Baker’s petition challenge was successful, Turock has confirmed he will not be on the ballot in May. He’s urging supporters to elect him as a write-in candidate.
36th Senate District
- Ryan Aument, a Republican from West Hempfield in Lancaster County
- Michael Miller, a Republican from Ephrata Township in Lancaster County
- Miller, a financial adviser with an office in Manheim Township, has been active in Audit the Vote PA’s efforts to protest the 2020 election, including leading an unsanctioned canvass of Lancaster County last summer.