Pennsylvania Republicans will choose among five candidates in next week’s primary for United States Senate, and undecided voters will get to see the hopefuls at a local forum.
The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PECO Energy and Wesley Enhanced Living are sponsoring the event, which takes place on Thursday, April 19, at 8 a.m., at Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack, at 8401 Roosevelt Blvd.
The public is invited. Tickets cost $10.
The candidates are Malvern businessman Steve Welch; former coal company owner Tom Smith, of Armstrong County; former state Rep. Sam Rohrer, of Berks County; David Christian, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and veterans’ advocate from Bucks County; and Marc Scaringi, an attorney from Perry County.
Welch has the support of the Republican State Committee and has been endorsed by state Rep. John Taylor and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Smith, who made a recent campaign stop at SmokeEaters Pub in Mayfair, has saturated the airwaves with television commercials. He’s been endorsed by the Independence Hall Tea Party Political Action Committee.
Rohrer has some statewide name recognition from his 2010 campaign for governor. He lost the primary to Tom Corbett.
Christian has been endorsed by state Rep. Tom Murt and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He is president of DacVal Corp.., a defense manufacturing company located at 7341 Tulip St in Holmesburg that builds ground support equipment for U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. He’ll be listed first on the ballot.
Scaringi once worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
The survivor of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and small-businessman Joseph Vodvarka, of Allegheny County.
Vodvarka pledges to serve one six-year term, then go back to work and fishing. He does not necessarily hold typical Democratic views. He wants to repeal Obamacare, make English the official language of the United States, build a fence along the southern border with Mexico and increase domestic oil drilling.
Pennsylvania Republicans will also choose among four presidential candidates, though one candidate — Rick Santorum — has dropped out of the race. His name will remain on the ballot. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has all but clinched the GOP nomination. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remain in the race.
President Barack Obama is unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
Pennsylvania Democrats will choose among two candidates for attorney general — former congressman Patrick Murphy and former Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News have endorsed Kane. The Republican candidate is Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.
In the race for auditor general, Republicans will choose between Frank Pinto and John Maher. The Democratic candidate is Eugene DePasquale.
The general election matchup is set in the race for state treasurer. Incumbent Democrat Rob McCord will take on Republican Diana Irey Vaughan.
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-1st dist.) will face Republican John Featherman in the general election. Both men are unopposed in their primaries.
State Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-3rd dist.) is unopposed in the primary and general elections. The Legislative Reapportionment Commission passed a plan last week that takes away the Northeast areas of her district, effective January 2015.
State Sen. Mike Stack (D-5th dist.) will face Republican Mike Tomlinson in the general election.
State Rep. Tom Murt (R-152nd dist.) will face Democrat Ronald Kolla in November.
Democrat Steve McCarter is the only candidate seeking to replace longtime Rep. Larry Curry in the 154th Legislative District, which includes one division in Burholme. That division is not included in the proposed 154th district under the reapportionment plan passed last week.
State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.) was to face Republican George Weiss, a Realtor, in the fall, but Weiss dropped out on Tuesday, citing the time a political race would take away from his work and family. The GOP will name a replacement.
State Reps. Mike McGeehan (D-173rd dist.) and John Sabatina Jr. (D-174th dist.) are unopposed in the primary and general elections.
State Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) will face Democrat William Dunbar in the general election.
Democrat James “Scoot” Clay is the only candidate in the 179th district. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Tony Payton withdrew from the race when it became clear he did not have enough valid nominating petitions.
State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-203rd dist.) faces a primary challenge from Lamont Thomas.
The new voter identification law does not go into effect until the Nov. 6 general election. However, as a trial run, poll workers will ask for identification on primary day. Anyone without a photo ID that day will still be able to vote.
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone with questions about photo ID, polling locations, election rules or problems at the polls can call the Committee of Seventy toll-free at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. ••EndFragment