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Lehigh Valley Election News

Election 2024: The Lehigh Valley's primary races take shape

Easton polling place
Jim Deegan
Voters will decide races for president, Congress, the General Assembly and other races in a busy 2024 election cycle.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The 2024 election cycle began taking shape Tuesday as candidates filed their petitions ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline to appear in the April 23 primary.

The majority of candidates turned in their paperwork and signatures ahead of the snowstorm that blanketed the region Monday night and Tuesday morning. While most state offices in Harrisburg had a delayed opening, the State Department opened its doors at 8 a.m. so candidates could still file.

At least one candidate braved the conditions to turn in his paperwork. Jay Santos, a Democrat running for the 131st House District, said the highways between Lower Saucon Township and the capitol were in surprisingly good condition.

"It's like we're being guided by divine intervention," he said.

The list of races below may not be complete as late filing candidates may not immediately appear in the state's online candidate database. The official roster of candidates will not be released until later this month. Opponents still have time to review candidates' petitions and challenge their qualifications to appear on the April ballot.

Independent candidates do not need to turn in their petitions until August.


The 2024 presidential election is expected to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. But neither will appear alone in their primary. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will challenger in the Republican primary, while U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., will face Biden.

If the election comes down to Trump and Biden, it will be the first campaign in 112 years featuring two candidates who have already served in the White House. The last case came when Woodrow Wilson defeated incumbent William Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912.

U.S. Senate

Democratic incumbent Bob Casey is expected to face off against Republican challenger Dave McCormick. Political observers expect the campaign to be one of the most expensive in the country. Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate, and political observers view Pennsylvania as a critical swing state.

McCormick, who lost to Mehmet Oz in the 2022 Republican primary for Pennsylvania's other Senate seat, served as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush. Casey is one of the most well known politicians in the state, being a three-term incumbent and the son of a popular former governor.

McCormick will be joined on the Republican primary ballot by long-shot candidate Joseph Vodvarka. The small business owner from Allegheny County lost Democratic primaries for Senate in 2010 and 2012 and was disqualified from running in 2016 due to signature issues. He became a Republican in 2018 but withdrew from that primary as well due to more petition problems.

Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District

The Lehigh Valley's congressional seat is one of the most contested battlegrounds in the country. Political observers have labeled it as a toss up since the state redrew the district lines in 2022. U.S. Rep. Susan Wild narrowly won re-election two years ago and is seeking her fourth term this year.

Three candidates are seeking the Republican Party's nomination for the chance to knock her out of office: state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie; Kevin Dellicker, who nearly pulled off an upset in the 2022 GOP primary; and Maria Montero, a member of former Gov. Tom Corbett's administration.

Attorney General

Democratic voters will pick from a crowded field in the primary. Candidates include former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey, former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, former Auditor General Gene DePasquale, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Philadelphia.

York County District Attorney David Sunday earned his party's endorsement late last year. He'll face state Rep. Craig Williams, R-Delaware, in the Republican primary.

Auditor General

A month after being sworn into his second term as Lehigh County controller, Democrat Mark Pinsley is running to be Pennsylvania's fiscal watchdog. He may be the underdog in the April primary after state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia, earned the state party's endorsement in December. The winner will face Republican incumbent Tim Defoor in November.

State Treasurer

Republican incumbent Stacy Garrity is seeking a second term managing Pennsylvania's financial assets. Democrats will chose between state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and Erin McClelland, a former congressional candidate in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

Lehigh Valley state representative races

22nd DistrictParts of Allentown (East Allentown and most of Center City) and part of Salisbury Township (1st Ward, 2nd Ward and 3rd Ward 2nd District)

State Rep. Josh Siegel should have a clear path to a second term in this overwhelmingly Democratic district. No challengers appear to have filed.

131st District — Coopersburg and Lower Milford, Upper Milford and Upper Saucon townships and parts of Lower Saucon Township (Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7), Salisbury Township (3rd Ward 1st District) and Montgomery County

Incumbent Milou Mackenzie is expected to go unchallenged in the Republican primary. Meriam Sabih, an Upper Saucon Township journalist, and Jay Santos, a newly elected Saucon Valley School Board director, are expected to compete in the Democratic primary. Party registration in the district favors Republicans.

132nd DistrictSouth Whitehall Township and parts of Allentown (West End Allentown) and Upper Macungie Township (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th districts)

State Rep. Michael Schlossberg, a member of the House's Democratic leadership team, appears to have no challengers. The district favors Democrats.

133rd DistrictCatasauqua; Coplay; Fountain Hill; Hanover Township, Lehigh County; Whitehall Township and part of Bethlehem (Lehigh County)

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, a Democrat, appears to be running unopposed in the district, which favors Democrats.

134th DistrictEmmaus and parts of Allentown (Southside Allentown and parts of Center City) and Salisbury Township (4th Ward 1st District, 4th Ward 2nd District, 5th Ward 1st District and 5th Ward 2nd District)

No challengers appear to have filed against state Rep. Peter Schweyer. The Democrat is finishing his fifth term in the heavily Democratic district.

135th DistrictParts of Bethlehem (Northampton County) and Hanover Township, Northampton County (all but District 5)

Longtime incumbent Steve Samuelson is looking to serve another two years in Harrisburg. He has no challengers in the district, which is a Democratic bastion.

136th DistrictEaston, Freemansburg, Glendon, Hellertown, West Easton, Williams Township, Wilson and parts of Lower Saucon Township (Districts 1, 3 and 6) and Palmer Township (East District and Western I District)

Rep. Robert Freeman is seeking a 20th term, but won't have a clear path. Easton City Councilwoman Taiba Sultana is challenging him in the Democratic primary. No Republicans appear to be contesting the district, which heavily favors Democrats.

137th DistrictNazareth, Tatamy, Bethlehem, Lower Nazareth and Upper Nazareth townships and parts of Palmer Township (all but East District and Western I District) and Hanover Township, Northampton County (District 5)

The district is a near toss up, though Democrats hold a slight advantage in voter registration. Republican incumbent Joe Emrick is expected to have a rematch against Democrat Anna Thomas in the November election. Emrick defeated Thomas by 2.2 percentage points in 2022.

Political observers from across Pennsylvania may be keeping their eyes on the 137th. Currently, Democrats hold a single seat majority in state's House of Representatives, so any district that flips between the parties could have major consequences in Harrisburg.

138th DistrictBangor; Bushkill Township; Chapman; East Bangor; Forks Township; Lower Mount Bethel Township; Pen Argyl; Plainfield Township; Portland; Roseto; Stockertown; Upper Mount Bethel Township; Washington Township, Northampton County; Wind Gap and parts of Hanover Township, Northampton County (District 5) and Moore Township (East District and Pt. Phillips District)

Republican Ann Flood will seek her third term in the state house this year. Opposing her is Democrat Jared Bitting, a Bushkill Township resident who teaches in the Fleetwood Area School District in Berks County. Party registration strongly favors Republicans in the district.

183rd DistrictBath, Coplay, North Catasauqua, Northampton, Slatington, Walnutport and Allen, East Allen, Lehigh, Lowhill and North Whitehall townships and parts of Moore Township (Beersville District and Klecknersville District)

State Rep. Zachary Mako will face Slatington Borough Councilman Zachari Halkias in the Republican primary. The winner will likely face Joseph Lenzi, a Northampton salesman who appears to be the only Democrat in the race. Republicans dominate the voter registration polls in the district.

187th DistrictAlburtis, Macungie and Heidelberg, Lower Macungie, Lynn, Washington and Weisenberg townships and part of Upper Macungie Township (3rd, 7th and 8th districts)

Incumbent Ryan Mackenzie is not seeking re-election as he's running for Congress. Republican Gary Day, a former state representative, and Democrat Stefanie Rafes, a Lower Macungie Township physician's assistant, will face off in November to be his successor. Republicans hold a numerical advantage in the district.