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2022 Pennsylvania primary election: McCormick concedes to Oz, who will face Fetterman

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Summer Lee wins Democratic nomination for US House, AP projects
Summer Lee wins Democratic nomination for US House, AP projects 02:27

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania went to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in the state's primary election.

CLICK HERE: Live results tracker

Voters selected the candidates who will represent their parties in the upcoming general election in November. Some of the top races include U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, and other state and local representatives. 

The polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.  For more information, you can find our Election Guide here.

Follow along for updates. 

 

McCormick concedes to Oz

Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded the Republican primary in Pennsylvania for U.S. Senate to celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

By Associated Press
 

Lee wins Democratic primary in historic bid for Congress

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Summer Lee has won a five-way Democratic primary for a Pittsburgh-based U.S. House seat, making her the favorite in the heavily Democratic district to win the fall general election and become the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.

Friday was the fourth day of counting ballots after Tuesday's primary in the closely contested race for the open 12th District seat.

Lee, a second-term state House member, lawyer and former labor organizer, comes from the party's progressive wing. She was endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the two-time presidential candidate and a leading voice in the Democratic Party's left wing who came to campaign for Lee.

Lee beat out second-place Steve Irwin, who was endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Party and backed by prominent Democrats from the county.

The seat is open because longtime Rep. Mike Doyle — first elected in 1994 — is not running again. It also has new boundaries since Pennsylvania's congressional districts were redrawn to account for a decade of demographic changes identified by the 2020 Census.

Lee will face the Republican nominee of the same name as the outgoing Democratic incumbent — Mike Doyle — in the fall general election.

By Associated Press
 

Court rules on mail ballots as Senate race votes are counted

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal court ruled Friday that mail-in ballots without a required date on the return envelope must be allowed in a 2021 Pennsylvania county judge race, a decision that could complicate the ongoing process of vote counting in the state's neck-and-neck U.S. Senate Republican primary.

Elections officials, lawyers and candidates are scrambling to understand and respond to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which was issued late in the day without a written opinion laying out its rationale.

It had an immediate effect in Pennsylvania's too-close-to-call Republican primary contest for U.S. Senate, where counties are still adding up votes in the race between celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund executive David McCormick.

McCormick has been doing better than Oz among mail-in ballots and McCormick's campaign quickly wrote to the state's 67 counties to advise them of the decision and request a hearing if they won't count the ballots in question.

The number of mail and absentee votes at issue in the Lehigh County judge race is 257, enough to potentially sway the results. As it stands now, the Republican candidate leads the Democrat by 74 votes and neither has been sworn in. The contested ballots had been received on time, by the end of Election Day.

The three-judge panel's judgment said the state election law's requirement of a date next to the voter's signature on the outside of return envelopes was "immaterial." They said they found no reason to refuse counting the ballots that were set aside in the Nov. 2, 2021, election for common pleas judge in Lehigh County.

Department of State spokeswoman Grace Griffaton said Friday the Pennsylvania elections agency planned to canvass counties to determine how many of those ballots inside envelopes without signatures have been tossed, and officials plan to issue fresh guidance based on the ruling.

In Philadelphia, officials said that in the Tuesday primary they received 2,103 mail ballots without the requisite date, including 103 from Republican voters.

The handwritten dates are required even though mail-in ballots are usually postmarked and routinely stamped when received by county elections offices.

The trailing candidate, Zac Cohen, lost a state lawsuit over the signature requirement earlier this year and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to take the appeal.

Five voters whose ballots were thrown out in that election, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, then filed a federal lawsuit. They lost at the district court level before the appeals judges overturned that decision on Friday.

Reggie Shuford, the state ACLU chapter executive director, called the decision "an important moment in the struggle to ensure that people who choose to participate in elections have their votes counted."

Cohen's lawyer, Adam Bonin, said mail-in ballots that were allowed tended to favor Democrats in that election.

"We're thrilled that the court recognizes that these voters should be heard and their ballots opened," Bonin said. "The date requirement serves no purpose and it shouldn't be used to prevent timely received ballots from being counted."

The Republican candidate in the judge race, David Ritter, said in an email he was disappointed with the 3rd Circuit decision and noted the written opinion had not been issued.

"When we are in receipt of the full opinion, we will thoroughly review its contents, and decide on any further action at that time," Ritter said.

Pennsylvania allowed only limited use of absentee mail-in ballots until 2019, when a state law permitted them for voters who did not otherwise qualify from a list of acceptable excuses. Mail-in ballots proved popular in 2020, as the pandemic raged, but their widespread use has also brought litigation over the new law.

lawsuit seeking to invalidate the mail-in voting law is pending before the state Supreme Court. More than 2.5 million Pennsylvanians voted by mail during 2020′s presidential election, most of them Democrats, out of 6.9 million total votes.

By Associated Press
 

Oz, McCormick tied with thousands of ballots left

(AP) — Vote counting in Pennsylvania's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate dragged into a third day as Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick remained essentially tied with thousands of ballots left to tally.

Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by 1,122 votes, or 0.08 percentage points, out of 1,337,790 ballots counted as of midday Thursday. The race remained close enough to trigger Pennsylvania's automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law's 0.5% margin.

Oz's margin has narrowed in the past day, as county election officials continue to count mail ballots, but election workers still have thousands of ballots left to count in the exceptionally close race. Pennsylvania's Department of State, which oversees elections, said Thursday that there are about 38,000 mail-in and absentee ballots — 8,700 in the Republican primary — left to be counted.

The hard-fought primary for the Republican nomination to fill retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey's seat is expected to be among the top races in the country in the November general election. The winner will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination just days after suffering a stroke. He said he expects a full recovery, and remained in the hospital Thursday.

Oz and McCormick each have said they believe victory is near.

Statewide, McCormick was doing better than Oz among mail ballots, while Oz was doing better among votes cast on election day. Counties also must still count provisional, overseas and military absentee ballots before they certify their results to the state by next Tuesday's deadline.

By Associated Press
 

Waiting game

Allegheny County election officials said final results could take until Friday.

By Michael Guise
 

Oz, McCormick still neck and neck

(AP) — Heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick spent Wednesday essentially tied in Pennsylvania's hotly contested race for the Republican nomination to fill an open U.S. Senate seat. It's also expected to be among the party's most competitive races with the Democrats in the fall.

The GOP nomination battle was still too early to call.

Oz led McCormick by 1,723 votes Wednesday, out of more than 1.3 million votes counted. There were tens of thousands of votes left to be counted, including at least 22,000 mail ballots and an unknown number of votes cast on election day.

Statewide, McCormick was doing better than Oz among mail ballots, while Oz was doing better among votes cast on election day. Counties also must still count provisional, overseas and military absentee ballots before they certify their results to the state by next Tuesday's deadline.

2 races in Pennsylvania's primary still too close to call 02:36

The race was close enough to trigger Pennsylvania's automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law's 0.5% margin.

Oz and McCormick emerged at their election night watch parties after midnight to say they would have to wait for vote-counting to resume, with each saying he was confident of victory. Former President Donald Trump encouraged Oz to preemptively declare victory. but Oz has made no indication of doing so.

The state's lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, won the Democratic nomination hours after undergoing surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator to help him recover from a stroke he suffered on Friday.

Democrats view the race to replace retiring two-term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey as perhaps their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the closely divided 100-seat Senate.

All eyes on 2 close races in Pennsylvania 03:39
By Associated Press
 

Two races remain too close to call

It's been approximately 10 hours since the polls closed on Tuesday and two hotly contested races remain too close to call.

The Republican primary race for U.S. Senate is less than 3,000 votes apart, with Dr. Mehmet Oz leading against Dave McCormick.

Two primary election races remain too close to call 05:02

In the Democratic primary race for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 12th District, Summer Lee holds a lead of just over 400 votes over Steve Irwin. 

By Mike Darnay
 

Too close to call

The race for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator is too close to call.

Businessman and hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick and TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz are neck and neck. 

As of 12:15 a.m., with 96.9 percent of votes counted, McCormick has 382,282 votes, compared to 380,809 votes for Oz. Kathy Barnett is a distant third with 302,898 votes.

The three are vying to be their party's nominee to replace U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. Both Oz and McCormick said to not expect results Tuesday night, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari.

State Lt. Gov. John Fetterman won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, the AP projects. 

Republican nomination for U.S. Senate too close to call 00:51

The race for the Democratic nomination in the 12th Congressional District is also neck and neck. The primary has turned into a close race between Steve Irwin and state Rep. Summer Lee.

As of 12:13 a.m., Lee leads Irwin by a count of 46,515 to 45,992.

Some races too close to call 02:22
By Michael Guise
 

Republican DelRosso wins Lt. Gov nomination

Carrie Lewis DelRosso has won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, the AP projects. 

She beat out a list of candidates that includes Rick Saccone and Teddy Daniels. The state representative for the 33rd District will run alongside Doug Mastriano, who won the party's bid for governor on Tuesday. 

DelRosso, Davis pick up projected wins 01:26

State Rep. Austin Davis won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, the AP reports. 

By Michael Guise
 

17th District nominees

The results are in for Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District nominees. 

Jeremy Shaffer has won the Republican nomination and Chris Deluzio has won the Democratic nomination, the AP projects. 

The district includes most of the suburbs of Allegheny County and all of Beaver County. The two will face off in the November general election to replace Conor Lamb. 

By Michael Guise
 

Democrat Davis wins Lt. Gov nomination

Austin Davis has won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, the AP projects. 

The state House representative is nominated Democratic governor candidate Josh Shapiro's choice to be lieutenant governor. Davis beat out Brian Sims and Ray Sosa. 

State Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso won the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, according to the AP.

By Michael Guise
 

Mastriano wins Republican nomination

State Senator Doug Mastriano has won the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania, the AP projects. 

Mastriano beat out a lengthy list of candidates, including former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain and businessman Dave White.

He received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump over the weekend. 

Mastriano will face Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro in the November general election. Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited.

You can watch part of his victory speech below.

Doug Mastriano Acceptance Speech 00:45
By Michael Guise
 

Biden endorses Fetterman

After winning the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the state, John Fetterman received a major endorsement. 

President Joe Biden tweeted Tuesday that electing Fetterman "would be a big step forward for Pennsylvania's working people."

By Michael Guise
 

Fetterman wins Democratic nomination

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, the AP projects. 

Fetterman, who suffered a stroke on Friday, beat U.S. Rep Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Jenkintown Borough Council member Alexandria Khalil to advance to the general election in November. 

He will face the winner of the Republican primary in a race to fill the seat of retiring Senate Republican Pat Toomey.

AP projects Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as winner in Democratic primary for US Senate 01:40

Fetterman said he will fully recover from the stroke, but he is still in the hospital on Tuesday after undergoing a procedure to implant a pacemaker.  

Second Lady Gisele Fetterman spoke on his behalf at his watch party.

"From the bottom of our hearts, John and I want to thank you for everything," she said.

You can watch her full speech below. 

John Fetterman Wins Democratic Nomination For U.S. Senate 04:18
By Michael Guise
 

McCormick's watch party

KDKA-TV's Erika Stanish is at U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick's watch party in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood.

Follow her on Twitter @Erika_Stanish for updates throughout the night. 

By Michael Guise
 

Shapiro is the nominee

(AP) — Pennsylvania Democrats have made their choice for governor official, handing the nomination to second-term state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Shapiro was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The incumbent, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, is term-limited.

Shapiro, 48, from the Philadelphia suburb of Abington, spent the primary campaign season raising money and working to boost his pick for lieutenant governor ahead of what is expected to be a grueling fall campaign.

He is a former state lawmaker and county commissioner whose record as attorney general includes the production of a 2018 report into child sexual abuse among the state's Catholic churches.

Shapiro's advertising in recent weeks has included spots introducing him to voters, but he also has targeted state Sen. Doug Mastriano as the Republican gubernatorial candidate emerged from the large primary field as a front-runner.

By Associated Press
 

Polls closed

The polls have officially closed in Pennsylvania. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. is still allowed to vote. 

As of 8 p.m., Allegheny County said 90,909 mail-in and absentee ballots were scanned. 

By Michael Guise
 

Fetterman out of surgery

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, underwent a successful procedure to implant a pacemaker and defibrillator, his campaign announced. 

The procedure began at 3:15 p.m. and Fetterman was released at 5:56 p.m. on Tuesday. 

"He has been given the all-clear that it was successful. He is resting at the hospital and recovering well. John continues to improve every day, and he is still on track for a full recovery," Joe Valvello, Fetterman's director of communications, said in a release. 

By Michael Guise
 

Printing error affects mailed ballots

(AP) — An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties made thousands of mail-in ballots unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation's most important battleground states.

Officials in Lancaster County, the state's sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly. The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can't be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days. Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.

"Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later," Josh Parsons, a Republican and vice chair of the county board of commissioners, said at a news conference. "But because of this, we're not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us."

The Lancaster Board of Elections, of which Parsons is a member, renewed its criticism of a 2019 state voting law that expanded mail-in balloting but prevented counties from opening mailed ballots before Election Day to check for errors.

The board said the law, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support, also forces counties to use vendors to print ballots rather than doing them in house.

"Act 77 is untenable for us as counties to continue to work in elections and not have problems like this," said Ray D'Agostino, chairman of the Lancaster board.

The vendor's error left county officials with the task of having to hand-mark thousands of fresh ballots, a process that was expected to start Wednesday morning. For ballots that won't scan, county election workers will recreate voters' choices on blank ballots, and then scan those.

Lancaster County had to use a similar process during primaries last year because of a printing error by a different vendor.

Christa Miller, chief clerk of voter registration, said an elections worker will read out each voter's choices, a second worker will record them on a blank ballot, and an observer will make sure the choices are marked correctly.

County officials said the contractor, Claysburg, Pennsylvania-based NPC, sent the county test ballots with the correct ID code, but used the wrong code on the ones sent to voters.

NPC, which replaced the vendor fired after last year's error, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. D'Agostino said NPC had taken "full responsibility."

By Associated Press
 

Fetterman undergoes procedure

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for the state's U.S. Senate seat, is undergoing a procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator after he had a stroke. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Fetterman cast his vote from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital using an emergency absentee ballot.

By Michael Guise
 

White Oak voting precinct delayed opening

Allegheny County's 2:30 p.m. Update

A voting precinct in White Oak did not open until 11 a.m., Allegheny County officials said. The delayed opening was not reported to the Elections Office.

The county is reporting a few other minor issues, including:

• Campaign volunteers in Pine were campaigning too close to a polling place and were asked to move back from the location;
• In Richland, a utility closed a road near a polling place; one-lane access was restored;
• In Pittsburgh, a tree cutting crew was obstructing a polling place and had to be moved.

For mail-in and absentee ballots, the county reports that as of 2:20 p.m., 40,551 ballots have been scanned.

By Heather Lang
 

Some voters frustrated with delays

Ross Township polling place opens late 02:50

Voter Linda Watson went to the church twice to vote and could not get inside.

"I'm very frustrated and very upset that not just in this essence my right to vote is taken away, but so many other people are given obstacles to prohibit them from voting," Watson said.

Click here to for Briana Smith's full report.

By Briana Smith
 

Scanning of mail-in and absentee ballots begins

Allegheny County's 11:30 a.m. Update

The scanning of mail-in and absentee ballots began at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Allegheny County. They are also working through ballots that were damaged during the opening process.

Approximately 4,500-5,000 ballots additional ballots were delivered from the post office today.

Some polling places reported being low on ballots.

"When responding, we've found that workers underestimate the number that they have and/or have all of the packets together and are not sorting through them to find what they need," a county spokesperson said. "Even with that being the case, each request for additional ballots is being fulfilled with polling place coordinators and leadmen delivering."

By Heather Lang
 

Ross Township polling place open after delay

Allegheny County's 10 a.m. Update

A Ross Township polling place is now open to voters after a lengthy delay Tuesday morning.

The person who was supposed to open the building arrived late, letting elections officials into the building shortly before 9 a.m., Allegheny County officials said. That's nearly two hours after polls opened across the state.

The state Elections Office was notified of the issue. They pursued "all options, up to and including contacting the Courts for an order to have the Sheriffs enter the building when the authorized individual showed up to open it," an Allegheny County spokesperson said.

For mail-in and absentee ballots, Allegheny County officials said all privacy envelopes have been opened and staff are now extracting, opening and flattening ballots. As of 4 p.m. Monday, the county said it had received 86,515 ballots back.

By Heather Lang
 

Josh Shapiro tests positive for COVID

The attorney general made the announcement Tuesday morning on Twitter:

 

Polls open across Pennsylvania

Polling places have now opened and voters can cast their ballots in Tuesday's primary election.

Polls will be open until 8 p.m. 

By Mike Darnay
 

Voters prepare to head to the polls for Primary Election

Polls open in under two hours across the commonwealth, allowing voters to voice their choice in races the entire nation is following. 

Pa. voters prepare to head to the polls 02:18

Primary election ballots today will include key races for Governor, U.S. Senate, and for two seats in U.S. Congress.

Why does today's voting matter? 

The state's U.S. Senate race will have a direct impact nationally, and the Governor's race will determine the balance of power in Pennsylvania for the next four years.

How can you vote in person?

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. As long as you're in line by 8 p.m., you will be allowed to vote. Some opted to vote by mail. You needed to do mail your ballot back in time so that it makes it to county officials by 8 p.m., or you can drop it off in person. If you choose to do that, make sure you know where your county's elections office is. 

Who's on the ballot?

First on the ballot will be the U.S Senate race. Three Republicans are in a tie for the nomination - Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick, and Kathy Barnette .

For the Democrats, John Fetterman is still in the lead over the other two candidates, Conor Lamb and Malcolm Kenyatta.

Next is the race for governor, with the Democrats only having one candidate -- Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

On the Republican side of the ballot, nine candidates will be vying for the nomination on their side of the ballot.

Winners in Tuesday's primary election will be on the ballot for November's general election

By Lindsay Ward
 

Fetterman won't attend party

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will miss his election night party on Tuesday as he continues to recover from a stroke. 

His wife, Second Lady Gisele Fetterman, will speak on his behalf. John is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the Senate seat Pat Toomey is vacating.

By Michael Guise
 

PPS moves online

Pittsburgh Public Schools said every school in the district will learn remotely on Tuesday.

The move was made due to the overlap of student arrival with the opening of polls, school parking and congestion, limited school security, and space for social distancing, the district said.

PPS learning remotely on Tuesday 00:21

"As many more schools will be in use to support the May 17 Primary Election, all schools will transition to full synchronous learning," said Wayne Walters, the interim PPS superintendent, in a release from April.

By Michael Guise
 

More coverage

You can find KDKA-TV's previous stories on the primary election here

It includes interviews with candidates and explanatory pieces on what the candidates stand for.  

By Michael Guise
 

What's next for Fetterman?

KDKA political editor Jon Delano shared his analysis of Fetterman's announcement.

"My political gut tells me that the unfortunate, but luckily caught in time, medical issue for @JohnFetterman will have NO impact on the election so long as doctors say a full recovery is expected, and he appears to be his old self, as per the video below. Anyone disagree?" Delano tweeted Sunday.

By Michael Guise
 

Fetterman suffers stroke

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is recovering after suffering a stroke. 

Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for the state's U.S. Senate seat, said he is on his way to a "full recovery."

He said his campaign will continue. 

Read more about the announcement from his campaign on Sunday here.

By Michael Guise
 

KDKA Election Guide

Looking for information before Tuesday? 

Find everything you need to know right here in our 2022 Primary Election Guide.

By Michael Guise
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