Philly primary preview: What to expect on the ballot

voting laws primary
Philadelphians will go to the polls to vote in the state’s primary election on Tuesday.
AP Photo/LM Otero, File

Philadelphians will cast ballots Tuesday for their party’s nominees for president, Congress, General Assembly and several statewide offices.

While Pennsylvania figures to again play a key role as a swing state in November’s general election, the presidential primary race is all but settled. The candidates are also set in an important U.S. Senate election.

However, there are competitive contests for state attorney general, auditor general and treasurer, and voters will be making decisions in some Philadelphia-based state House of Representatives districts.


For president, Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, are the only major party candidates still campaigning.

Democrat Dean Phillips and the GOP’s Nikki Haley will appear on the ballot Tuesday, but both suspended their presidential bids last month.

Republican David McCormick, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, speaks during an event at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association offices, March 15, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pa.AP Photo/Marc Levy, File

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who is pursuing reelection, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, as is businessman David McCormick on the Republican ballot.

Former Philadelphia Register of Wills Tracey Gordon is challenging U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans in the 3rd Congressional District. No Republicans are on the ballot.

In the 2nd District, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle is unchallenged in the Democratic primary. Aaron Bashir, who has frequently run for various public offices, is alone on the GOP side.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon is unopposed in the primary for the 5th District, which covers parts of South Philadelphia and Delaware County. Alfeia Goodwin is also the only candidate for the GOP.


Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed his former first deputy, Michelle Henry, to finish out his term as state Attorney General when he was elected governor.

Henry is not running for a full four-year term, but five Democrats and two Republicans are seeking to become the commonwealth’s top law enforcement official.

Four of the five Democratic candidates are from the Philadelphia region. Jack Stollsteimer is Delaware County District Attorney; attorney and former city prosecutor Joe Khan hails from Bucks County; Keir Bradford-Grey previously served as Philadelphia’s chief public defender; and state Rep. Jared Solomon represents part of Northeast Philadelphia.

The other Democratic AG hopeful, Pittsburgh native Eugene DePasquale, previously served as state auditor general.

On the GOP ballot, York County District Attorney Dave Sunday and state Rep. Craig Williams, whose district covers parts of Chester and Delaware counties, are vying for the nomination.

The commonwealth’s auditor general conducts investigations to provide oversight of the state’s finances, similar to the role of the city controller in Philadelphia.

Incumbent Republican Timothy DeFoor is unopposed in the primary as he seeks his second term. Democrats Malcolm Kenyatta, a North Philadelphia-based state representative, and Mark Pinsley, controller for Lehigh County, are battling for the nomination.

Pennsylvania’s treasurer oversees deposits and withdrawals from state funds, and GOP incumbent Stacey Garrity is unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

Democratic voters will be choosing between state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Erie County, and Erin McClelland, who has experience as an addiction and mental health counselor.

PA Senate and House

No fellow Democrats or Republicans are challenging three of the four state senators from Philadelphia running for reelection.

Sens. Nikil Saval, Sharif Street and Vincent Hughes are expected to cruise to reelection. Jimmy Dillon, a Democrat whose district includes part of Northeast Philadelphia, is unopposed in the primary and will face first-time Republican candidate Joe Picozzi in the general election.

Unlike in the senate, all seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are up for election every two years, and there are a handful of competitive races Tuesday in the city.

Amen Brown
State Rep. Amen Brown faced two challenges in Tuesday’s primary.JACK TOMCZUK / METRO FILE

It will be a 2022 rematch in the West Philadelphia-based 10th District, where state Rep. Amen Brown is again being challenged by progressive Cass Green, who finished second in a tight race two years ago, and Sajda Blackwell.

In Northeast Philadelphia’s 172nd District, Rep. Kevin Boyle will be on the ballot for reelection, even though police recently issued a warrant for his arrest for allegedly violating a restraining order.

Boyle is being opposed by Sean Dougherty, who is the nephew of former electricians union leader John Dougherty – who is currently on trial for federal criminal charges – and son of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty.

There is also a contested GOP primary in the 172nd. Burholme Townwatch and Civic Association President Aizaz Gill and U.S. Army veteran Patrick Gushue will be on the ballot.

In addition to running for auditor general, Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta pursuing reelection in the 181st District in North Philadelphia. He is being challenged by NaDerah Griffin and pastor Lewis Nash, who was removed from his position as a Democratic ward leader earlier this month for making controversial comments about LGBTQ people, the Inquirer reported.

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is running for reelection and for Pennsylvania auditor general.JACK TOMCZUK / METRO FILE

Rep. Rick Krajewski, who took office in 2021, and Tony Dphax King are on the ballot in the Democratic primary for the 188th District, covering a section of West and Southwest Philadelphia.

In the 190th District, which incorporates parts of North and West Philadelphia, James Love Jackson is hoping to unseat incumbent Rep. Roni Green.

All other state house candidates in Philadelphia are running unopposed on Tuesday.

Ballot question

City voters will be prompted to answer one ballot question in the primary, and it involves Registered Community Organizations.

RCOs typically hold monthly community meetings, and developers and other property owners seeking zoning changes have to meet with the groups before presenting to the zoning board, which considers input from the neighborhood organizations.

On the ballot, voters will decide whether the city should set up a mechanism to pay legal costs for RCOs facing litigation relating to zoning actions.

Pennsylvania holds closed primaries, meaning only registered party members can vote to determine nominations; however, independents and those belonging to third parties can go to the polls to vote on the ballot question.

How to vote

Those planning to vote in-person can find their polling place by typing in their address at Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot was April 16. Mail ballots must be received by the City Commissioners Office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. In the final days before an election, officials strongly encourage people with mail ballots to personally deliver their votes to a dropbox.

Boxes, which are available 24/7, are located at City Hall (South Broad side); 50th Street and Kingsessing Avenue; Corporal Jimmy O’Connor Memorial Playground; Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center; Eastern State Penitentiary; Eastwick Library; the election warehouse at 11311 Roosevelt Blvd.; Engine 55 Fire Station (101 W. Luzerne St.); Engine 64 Fire Station (Rising Sun Avenue and Benner Street); Ford PAL Rec Center; Heitzman Rec Center; Independence Branch Library; Kendrick Rec Center; Markward Playground; Overbrook Park Library; Pelbano Rec Center; Pleasant Playground; Satellite Election Office at 4029 Market St.; Shepard Rec Center; Shissler Rec Center; Smith Playground; Stenton Playground; Strawberry Mansion HC; Vogt Rec Center; and the Voter Registration Office (520 N. Columbus Blvd.) in Philadelphia.

Voters can only drop off their own ballot. People with a physical disability or illness that prevents them from traveling to a dropbox can fill out a form designating someone else as their delivery agent.

For more information about voting, go to or

Once polls close Tuesday, election results will be posted at Go to for coverage.