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Voters' guide: 2016 Pennsylvania primary election

Pennsylvania voters head to the polls Tuesday. As you prepare to cast your ballot, here's what you need to know about the races and candidates. Polls are open until 8 p.m.


Explainer: How Pa.'s delegate process works

Analysis: What to watch in today's primaries

Map of the primaries already held: Delegate counter

Committee of Seventy:

Philadelphia polling place lookup: Philadelphia City Commissioners

Read more: Complete politics coverage from the Inquirer, Daily News and

Looking back: Results from past primaries

Looking ahead: What we know about the Democratic National Convention, which is being held in Philadelphia this July


As in every presidential election year, the marquee race on the primary ballot is for the Oval Office.

Democrats will decide between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The Republican presidential primary pits businessman Donald Trump against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

In the race for Pa. Senate: Braddock Mayor John Fetterman; Katie McGinty, Gov. Tom Wolf's former chief-of-staff; Joe Sestak, a former congressman and three-star admiral; and manufacturer Joseph Vodvarka face off for the Democratic nomination. The winner faces Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, widely viewed as one of the most vulnerable GOP senators, in November.

Another high-profile statewide race is the contest to succeed the embattled Kathleen Kane as attorney general. Kane, a Democrat, announced in February that she would not run for another term as she fights criminal charges for allegedly leaking confidential grand jury information.

On the Democratic side, the race features Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. Former prosecutor Joe Peters and State Sen. John Rafferty face off for the Republican nomination.

Primaries for two other statewide positions, auditor general and state treasurer, are uncontested.

The most high-profile congressional race in the region is in the 2nd Congressional District, where three challengers – state Rep. Dwight Evans, Ninth Ward Leader Dan Muroff and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon – are vying to defeat indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in the Democratic primary.

Jury selection at the federal racketeering trial for Fattah, who is seeking his 12th term, is scheduled to start May 2, with opening arguments set for May 16.

In the suburbs, the most hotly contested congressional race is in the Bucks County-based 8th District, where three Republicans and two Democrats are vying to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. The race, considered a toss up, is one of the Democrats' best chances to flip a seat this election cycle. Democrats will chose between State Rep. Steve Santarsiero and scientist-business owner Shaughnessy Naughton. Brian Fitzpatrick – a former FBI agent and the incumbent's brother – neuropsychologist Marc Duome, and former Bucks County commissioner Andy Warren are competing for the Republican nomination.

A complex side of the Republican presidential contest concerns the delegates who will be on the primary ballot. The winner of the Republican presidential primary gets 17 of the state's 71 delegates. The other 54 – three from each congressional district – are elected directly by voters. Those delegates are officially unbound, and nothing on the ballot indicates which candidate a delegate prefers. Some delegates have committed to vote on the first ballot for whichever candidate wins their district.

Ballot questions ask voters whether the maligned Philadelphia Traffic Court (which was engulfed in a ticket-fixing scandal and has not heard cases since 2013) should be formally abolished and whether Philadelphia's charter should be amended to create a Commission on African-American Males. (A question about raising the mandatory retirement age for state judges to 75 that was to appear on the ballot has been pushed to the November election).


Clinton: Held a rally at City Hall; participated in a town hall at the National Constitution Center; appeared at North Philadelphia churches on Sunday; took part in a Philadelphia discussion on gun violence and appeared at the Fillmore in Fishtown; spoke at Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention; addressed women's issues in Jenkintown Friday.

Sanders: Held a rally at Drexel University; took part in a town hall at the National Constitution Center; campaigned in Montgomery County; held rallies at Temple University and Pennsylvania State Universityspoke at Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention

Cruz: Held a rally at the National Constitution Center; rallied at antique-automobile club in Hershey

Kasich: Appeared at a South Philadelphia diner; campaigned in Delaware County; previously spoke in Philadelphia and at Villanova

Trump: Held a West Chester rallyfired up a crowd in Harrisburg; has supporters trying to round up delegates in the Pennsylvania suburbs.

Transcripts and audio of candidate interviews with the Inquirer and Daily News editorial boards.

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

John Kasich


President (Democrat): Hillary Clinton
"To paraphrase a Republican, Sanders may have 'the best words' in this contest, but Hillary Clinton is better prepared to lead her country."

President (Republican): John Kasich
"Kasich is better than Cruz or Trump. Having served in the House during the Newt Gingrich revolution, Kasich has learned as a congressman and governor how to work across the aisle to solve problems."

Senate (Democrat): Joe Sestak
"Joe Sestak, a former Navy admiral who served two terms in the House, has the best credentials and experience to immediately serve Pennsylvania and the nation. His unrelenting intellectual curiosity has helped Sestak, a notoriously hard taskmaster, form a deep understanding of government and foreign policy that Katie McGinty and John Fetterman cannot match."

Attorney general: John Rafferty (Republican), Josh Shapiro (Democrat)
"John Rafferty possesses the political seasoning and pragmatic bent to make the Attorney General's Office work again. The Montgomery County native distinguished himself as a politically courageous problem-solver by championing legislation to raise fuel taxes and restore dangerously depleted transportation funds. [...] But the Democrats' most compelling candidate, with a record of competent management, political independence, and reform-mindedness, is Josh Shapiro. As chairman of the Montgomery County commissioners, he has shown he can inherit a fiscal and political mess and restore order."

Second District (Democrat): Dan Muroff
"Experience is valuable, but the Second District also needs a departure from past experience. Dan Muroff offers the best combination of both."


President (Democrat): Hillary Clinton
"Today, she's more accomplished than any other candidate and, in our view, most qualified to lead the country with tenacity and intelligence. Her time on the national and international stages has given her stature and authority, especially among other world leaders. Her deep knowledge of policy is informed by homework, just as her pragmatism has been shaped by consistent opposition."

Senate (Democrat): Katie McGinty
"We favor McGinty for the biggest difference she would bring: She would help alter the serious gender gap in the Senate, where only 20 of the 100 members are female."