Your Guide to Pennsylvania’s Primaries

From Congress to the legislature, these are the 15 primaries to watch on April 23.
April 17, 2024
A polling place in Philadelphia (AP Photo/Matt Slocum).

Pennsylvania will hog the election spotlight on Tuesday. Far from the tumult of March, the commonwealth holds its primaries on April 23, a day it shares with no other states.

On the menu? Summer Lee is the first member of the congressional Squad to face an opponent this year. Legislative primaries feature more clashes between left and center. And both major parties select their nominees in a suite of statewide races, including the powerful role of attorney general that Democrat Josh Shapiro held until he became governor in 2022. 

The figure of Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s progressive DA, looms over several races. A GOP lawmaker who managed his impeachment hearings is running for attorney general, and Democratic allies and critics of Krasner also face legislative races where criminal justice issues are at play. But Krasner himself is not up for re-election, nor are any other prosecutors; the state holds county elections in odd-numbered years. 

Be sure to return to this page on election night and subsequent days to check the results. And note that this guide is not exhaustive; it is Bolts’ selection of important races to monitor. 

Support us

Bolts is a non-profit newsroom that relies on donations, and it takes resources to produce this work. If you appreciate our value, become a monthly donor or make a contribution.


PA-07 (GOP primary)

Republicans are deciding who will face Democratic incumbent Susan Wild in this swing district; contenders are Kevin Dellicker, Ryan Mackenzie, and Maria Montero. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Montero, who dodged a question on who won the 2020 presidential election at a recent debate, has received support from election deniers.
PA-10 (Dem primary)

In January 2021, U.S. Representative Scott Perry, a Republican, tried to overturn his own state’s presidential election results; Democrats are now picking their nominee against him. One of the frontrunners, former TV news anchor Janelle Stelson, has faced scrutiny for being a registered Republican until last year and for an on-air remark about Asian countries.
PA-12 (Dem primary)

The Pittsburgh region hosts what may be the state’s marquee primary: Democratic incumbent Summer Lee, a member of the Squad and a progressive force locally, faces challenger Bhavini Patel, who has gone after her left-leaning politics. Running with financial support from GOP megadonor Jeffrey Yass, Patel has also taken issue with Lee’s criticism of Israel’s actions; the primary has been cast by national media as a test of Democratic voters’ response to the war in Gaza.

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Bob Casey is running for reelection unopposed in the Democratic primary; his challenger David McCormick is running unopposed in the Republican primary. The two will meet in November.

Presidential primaries

The state will also hold its presidential primaries. Joe Biden and Donald Trump have locked their parties’ nomination, but Dean Phillips and Nikki Haley will be on the ballot as well. The state has no formal ‘uncommitted’ option, though voters have the option to write in a name; some progressive organizers are pushing for tens of thousands of write-in votes in the Democratic primary over the war in Gaza.


Both parties are choosing their nominees in this open race.Result
GOP primary

The two candidates in the GOP primary—Dave Sunday, the DA of York County, and Craig Williams, a state lawmaker—are both running as ‘tough on crime’ candidates. Still, they differ on the extent to which the state should intervene in local decisions, a significant fault line given the role attorneys general can play in preempting DAs. For one, Williams led legislative Republicans’ impeachment of Krasner, while Sunday says the impeachment was misguided.
Dem primary

On the Democratic side, five candidates agree on topline priorities like protecting abortion rights but tout different experiences.

Keir Bradford-Grey used to be Philadelphia’s chief public defender, while two of her opponents have made careers in prosecution: Joe Khan, who lost the Philadelphia DA race to Krasner in 2017, and Delaware County DA Jack Stollsteimer, who was the only candidate to leave the door open to the death penalty at a recent debate, WESA reports. Former auditor general Eugene DePasquale and state Rep. Jared Solomon are also running.

Other statewide offices

Auditor general (Dem primary)

In the race to be the state’s fiscal watchdog, GOP incumbent Timothy DeFoor will face whichever Democrat wins on Tuesday: Mark Pinsley, a county controller who emphasizes his financial experience, or Malcolm Kenyatta, a lawmaker endorsed by the state party and progressive groups.
Treasurer (Dem primary)

Either Ryan Bizzarro, a state lawmaker, or Erin McClelland, a substance abuse counselor will move on to face Stacy Garrity, the Republican incumbent who has associated herself with election deniers and become a top Democratic target.

State and Local

House District 10 (Dem primary)

Democratic lawmaker Amen Brown is seeking reelection after a term marked by his unsuccessful bid for Philadelphia mayor on a ‘tough on crime’ platform, and his decision to side with the GOP to hold Larry Krasner, the city’s reform DA, in contempt. He faces two primary challengers, Sajda Blackwell and Cass Green, a community activist he defeated in 2022 who has taken issue with his criminal justice views.
HD34 (Dem primary)

Progressives have made major gains in the Pittsburgh region. But when Summer Lee moved to Congress in 2022, local Democratic leaders chose Abigail Salisbury as the Democratic nominee to replace her over her ally Ashley Comans. Now Comans is running against, with support from local progressives, including Lee and Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato.
HD172 (Dem primary)

After allegations surfaced in February that Democratic lawmaker Kevin Boyle threatened the female employees of a bar, he drew a challenge from public defender Sean Dougherty in this Philadelphia district. Both are members of prominent political families; Boyle is the brother of a sitting member of Congress; Dougherty is the son of a state justice.
HD159, HD188, HD190 (Dem primary)

Bolts is also monitoring three Democratic primaries in the Philadelphia region where lawmakers associated with their party’s progressive wing, and endorsed by the left-leaning Reclaim Philadelphia, face challengers; the incumbents are Carol Kazeem, who used to be an criminal justice activist in Delaware County, Rick Krajewski, a former field organizer for Krasner, and Roni Green, a former labor organizer.
Kazeem, Lrajewski, Green
Senate District 15 (Dem and GOP)

Democrats hope to erase the GOP’s majority in the state Senate for the first time in three decades. Their prime target is this Harrisburg-area district, an open seat currently held by the GOP; both parties will choose their nominee and set up one of November’s critical races.

Ballot measure


The goal of this local ballot measure is to help Philadelphia community groups defend themselves against lawsuits filed by real estate developers when they participate in local zoning debates.