Update Sept. 7; correction appended
With the primary behind us and the November election four months away, you might think you can safely disregard state politics for the summer.
But if you live in one of the below districts, you’ll have a choice to make this fall — and now is the perfect time to vet the candidates in person. With the General Assembly on recess from now until September, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet your reps and their challengers.
Here’s a guide to which races are contested, who’s running, how much they’ve raised in 2018, and whether or not the district went for Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump in 2016.
(Don’t know which districts you live in? Find out here.)
PA House District 152
(includes parts of the far Northeast, including Bustleton)
Incumbent Tom Murt is one of the more moderate Republicans in the state House, and he’s successfully defeated four Democrats in the past. This time around, Murt’s challenger is Daryl Boling, who’s worked for arts organizations on the financial side.
PA House District 170
(includes parts of Somerton)
No, not that Mike Doyle. Martina White, who’s been behind some of the most conservative legislation in the House, easily beat her Democratic opponents in 2015 (a special election) and 2016. It remains to be seen if Trump’s election will turn voters away from the GOP and to a progressive Democrat like Mike Doyle, who wants to keep Philly a sanctuary city (White does not).
PA House District 177
(inlcudes parts of Port Richmond, Mayfair, Harrowgate)
Republican John Taylor is not running for reelection in a district that Clinton handily won in 2016. Attorney Joe Hohenstein is already backed by several unions and has a strong fundraising advantage, but the Republicans are not going down without a fight. Their nominee is Patty-Pat Kozlowski, a “socially liberal” moderate who made headlines for calling some drug users “junkies.”
PA House District 181
(includes parts of Callowhill, West Poplar, Francisville)
It’s pretty safe to say community organizer Malcolm Kenyatta will succeed Democrat Curtis Thomas, who is not running for reelection because of health issues. But to make things a little more interesting, former state senator and perennial mayoral candidate Milton Street has thrown his hat into the ring as a Republican.
PA House District 182
(includes parts of Rittenhouse, Fairmount, Gayborhood, Bella Vista)
In a surprise twist, incumbent Democrat Brian Sims will face independent challenger James McDevitt. Like Sims, the self-described “Berniecrat socialist” is also openly gay. According to Philly Mag, this is the first-ever state House general election race with two out candidates.
PA House District 194
(includes parts of East Falls, Manayunk, Roxborough)
Incumbent Pam DeLissio has faced Sean Stevens before — when he ran against her in a Democratic primary. Now, he’s running as a Republican with positions that include killing the soda tax. Libertarian Matt Baltsar collected enough signatures by Aug. 1 to also appear on the ballot, barring a successful petition challenge.
PA Senate District 4
(includes parts of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Germantown, West Oak Lane)
Democrat: Art Haywood | $36,368
Clinton-Trump margin: 84.20 to 13.48 percent
Art Haywood won more than 80 percent of the vote in his first election, against a Republican and Independent. James Williams, a self-proclaimed moderate who unsuccessfully ran for Philly City Council, won the GOP nomination, but withdrew his candidacy in July. Mike Meehan, chairman of the Philly GOP, told Billy Penn the committee is “meeting with candidates right now” to pick a replacement.
A decision is likely “a couple weeks away,” he added.