DOMINIC PILEGGI didn't become one of Pennsylvania's most powerful politicians by losing elections, and he wasn't about to start Tuesday in the first primary he's faced in a decade.

Pileggi, 54, the state Senate majority leader and former mayor of Chester, brushed aside Republican Roger Howard in the 9th Senatorial District, which stretches from southern Delaware County past Oxford in Chester County.

Howard, 66, a free-market tea-partier with a doctorate in organic chemistry, had campaigned on a platform of cutting taxes, reducing government spending and repealing the state's prevailing-wage law. He ripped Harrisburg Republicans for failing to pursue a fiscally conservative agenda following the party's success in 2010.

But Howard, of East Marlborough, Chester County, didn't stand a chance against Pileggi, a moderate Republican with a seven-figure campaign war chest and the backing of the GOP establishment in both counties.

Pileggi, a Chester city native who has served on its council and school board, was elected to the state Senate in a 2002 special election and became majority leader in 2006. This year, he had touted his support for increased government transparency by moving the state's open-records bill through the Senate.

In November, Pileggi will face Democrat Pat Worrell, a Chester resident and chairwoman of Action United, an advocacy group for low- and moderate-income Pennsylvanians.

Contact William Bender at 215-854-5255 or benderw@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @wbender99. Read his blog, "Daily Delco" at philly.com/dailydelco.