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Both parties have contested primaries to replace retiring Pa. Sen. Jim Brewster

Both parties have contested primaries to replace retiring Pa. Sen. Jim Brewster
Both parties have contested primaries to replace retiring Pa. Sen. Jim Brewster 02:38

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) - Election Day is just one week from Tuesday, April 23, and this region has one Senate seat where both parties have contested primaries next Tuesday.

In his ongoing series on primary contests, KDKA-TV political editor Jon Delano explains this race is to fill the seat of a retiring state senator.

Both Democrats and Republicans are picking their nominees to replace retiring Pennsylvania Sen. Jim Brewster, a Democrat in the 45th state senatorial district that stretches from Plum and Monroeville into the Mon Valley to Elizabeth and forward and westward into the South Hills to Castle Shannon.

"It's one of the five senatorial districts in Allegheny County. There are 50 state senators in Pennsylvania," said Rep. Nick Pisciottano, a Democrat from West Mifflin.

Rep. Pisciottano is one of the Democrats seeking this office. He's not alone on the ballot in the 45th District.

"[The district] was redistricted, so this is the first election we are having in the new district," said Makenzie White, a Brentwood Democrat.

The other Democrat, Makenzie White, is a social worker and public health professional from Brentwood. White says the district doesn't need another politician in Harrisburg.

"I felt like it was time that we had representation from our community that understood the struggles that most of us are facing every day, and I also felt like it was time that we had more people with human services backgrounds," White said.

Pisciottano, elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2020, is a certified public accountant, and he cites his experience in both the private and public sectors.

"When you want to send somebody to the state senate, you want to have somebody who has the experience in Harrisburg, who has the relationships, both here in Allegheny County and Harrisburg, to be able to hit the ground running on day one and to be able to argue loudly for my future constituents," Pisciottano said.

Republicans also have two candidates running for this office: Kami Stulginskas of Munhall and Jennifer Dintini of Plum Borough.

Dintini is a small businesswoman.

"I own two businesses: AmGard and 3G Security Solutions, and we provide contract security guard service," Dintini said.

Dintini, who has never held an elective office, wants to bring economic opportunity back to a region she says has lost out.

"If we keep electing the same kinds of politicians to Harrisburg, we're going to keep getting the same result," Dintini added.

Despite many requests, Stulginskas has not made herself available for interviews. In her campaign filing, she describes herself as a consultant.

Voters in both parties will pick their nominees on April 23. 

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