As votes were being counted on election night, PAMPAC-supported candidates across the commonwealth repeatedly emerged as the winners in key races.
Against the backdrop of a loss by incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett; a historic reversal in the U.S. Senate as the GOP took control; and an increased GOP majority in the U.S. House, Pennsylvania’s legislative races followed the form of their national counterparts as the state GOP solidified legislative majorities.
Here is a brief blow-by-blow of the results:
Ryan Costello (R-6th) and Brendan Boyle (D-13th) won the only “open” seats and both won their election with PAMPAC/AMPAC support. Costello will replace the retired Jim Gerlach in the Berks/Chester/Montgomery based seat and Boyle will replace the retired Allyson Schwartz in the Montgomery/Philadelphia seat. With those results the partisan split in the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation remains 13 GOP and five Democrats.
In the State Senate
The GOP entered the general election with 27 votes and they emerged after the polls closed with 30. Republicans did not lose any seats that they previously held and secured three takeovers to reach their new 30-20 majority. Their most important “hold” was a win in the 26th District (based in Delaware County) where Tom McGarrigle (R) will succeed retiring Ted Erickson (R). McGarrigle won with PAMPAC support. In the 40th District, Mario Scavello (PAMPAC win) won the seat that moved to the Poconos region (Monroe County) from Allegheny County in re-apportionment. The GOP then picked up two seats now held by Democrats—the “open” 32nd in Fayette and Somerset counties where Pat Stefano won (with PAMPAC support), and the 46th based in Washington County where incumbent Sen. Tim Solobay lost to Carmera Bartolotta (R). Solobay was the PAMPAC- supported candidate.
In the PA House
For the 2015-2016 legislative session, the House GOP caucus count will increase from the current 111 seats to 119 seats. With more than 100 seats in play, there were no negative surprises for the House GOP. Their eight-seat gain was built around wins in three “new” seats (moved through the reapportionment process, but previously held by Democrats), three “challenge” wins (three Democratic incumbents were defeated), and two “takeover” wins (vacant seats previously held by Democrats).
For PAMPAC purposes, the big re-election winner was Rep. Warren Kampf (R-157th) in Chester County. PAMPAC supported Kampf and brought to his campaign a coalition of tort reform special interest groups that helped provide resources in an expensive campaign.
The only PAMPAC loss was Rep. Rick Mirabito (D-83rd) in Lycoming County. Mirabito was the last of the five Democratic House members who crossed party lines to vote against the Mcare raid in 2009. He has been the top takeover target for the GOP for three elections. In each election, PAMPAC stayed loyal to Mirabito.
House GOP takeovers
- Jason Ortitay (R) defeated incumbent Jesse White (D) in Allegheny/Washington
- Ryan Warner (R) won the vacant Fayette County seat (Kula retired)
- Harris Lewis (R) won the new seat in Chester County
- Jeff Wheeland (R) defeated incumbent Rick Mirabito(D) in Lycoming County (PAMPAC loss)
- David Parker (R) won the new seat in Monroe County
- Aaron Kaufer (R) won the vacant Luzerne County seat (Mundy retired)
- Former Representative Tom Quigley (R) defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Painter (D) in Montgomery County (PAMPAC win)
- Kate Klunk (R) won the new seat in York County
Medical liability note
Proposition 46, the California ballot initiative to repeal the existing medical liability insurance cap and impose drug testing requirements on health care professionals, was defeated 67 – 33.