Decision 2024

Janelle Stelson wins PA-10 Democratic primary

Stelson will face off against Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in the fall

PA-10 Democratic nominee Janelle Stelson and GOP incumbent Scott Perry

PA-10 Democratic nominee Janelle Stelson and GOP incumbent Scott Perry The Stelson campaign; Wikimedia Commons

Democrats now know who their nominee will be in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District after former WGAL news anchor Janelle Stelson won a six-way primary election to clinch the nomination, setting her up for a November showdown against former Freedom Caucus chair and vocal ally of former President Donald Trump U.S. Rep. Scott Perry.

The six-way Democratic primary featured Stelson; Marine Corps veteran Mike O’Brien; Harrisburg City Councilmember Shamaine Daniels; Carlisle Area School District board member Rick Coplen; Blake Lynch, a former WITF media executive and Harrisburg Police community relations director; and John Broadhurst, a businessman, entrepreneur and former truck driver.

In the months leading up to Tuesday, each of the candidates looked to convince voters that they were the best candidate for the fall general election matchup against Perry, who, in addition to being unopposed in the Republican primary, has become a national target for Democrats due to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Stelson said Tuesday night that she would bring an objective approach that she developed as a news anchor to Congress. “As a news anchor, my job was being objective, nonpartisan, middle-of-that-road – and that’s what I’m going to do in Congress,” she said.

Stelson also ripped Perry over several of his congressional votes, and turned her sights toward the general election. “As sweet as this is, April 23, what really matters is November. We must remove Congressman Perry,” she said.

Perry will enter the general election cycle with a cash advantage over his Democratic counterpart. Perry reported $463,505.71 in total contributions in Q1, and ended the quarter with $513,460.71 in the bank, according to Federal Election Commission campaign finance records.  

Over the course of the Democratic primary, O’Brien led the pack in fundraising in the first quarter, reporting $309,525.93 in total contributions. He ended the reporting period with $165,023.92 on hand. Stelson raised $293,805.82 in total contributions, and ended Q1 with $191,905.11 in cash on hand – more than any other Democratic candidate. 

Most major election prognosticators have given Perry an edge heading into the fall. Both Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales and the Cook Political Report rated the 10th Congressional District as “Lean Republican” while the Center for Politics’ Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated the race as “Likely Republican.”

In a statement released after securing the GOP nomination on Tuesday night, Perry said he was honored to secure the nomination, and he cast this November’s election as a choice that will determine the direction the country takes on areas such as the economy, immigration and national security.

He also hit Stelson over her support for abortion rights and her residency, as Stelson has promised to move to the district if she wins in November. 

“Our neighbors know me, they know I fight tirelessly for them, and they know I do what I said I would – which is fiercely defend their freedoms, their financial well-being, and their safety and security,” Perry said in a release. “My opponent seeks to continue the burden of the destructive Biden Agenda on the people of the 10th Congressional District, while refusing to even move to the district – amongst her other radical Leftist ideologies.”

“I look forward to once again earning the support of Voters of the 10th Congressional District as we fight to regain a stronger America and the growth, strength, and prosperity she once knew,” Perry said.