Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Pennsylvania Primaries 2018: Endorsement Guide

The Inquirer endorses Laura Ellsworth in the Republican primary election for governor of Pennsylvania, Jeff Bartos in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor and John Fetterman in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

These candidates are endorsed by The Inquirer for the 2018 Pennsylvania primary election — John Fetterman (top left), Mary Gay Scanlon (bottom left), Laura Ellsworth (center), Jeff Bartos (top right), Madeleine Dean (bottom right.)
These candidates are endorsed by The Inquirer for the 2018 Pennsylvania primary election — John Fetterman (top left), Mary Gay Scanlon (bottom left), Laura Ellsworth (center), Jeff Bartos (top right), Madeleine Dean (bottom right.)Read moreStaff photos

The Pennsylvania primary election will be held Tuesday. Here are the candidates and issues we think you should support:

Republican primary for governor of Pennsylvania Laura Ellsworth

Three Republicans with private-sector know-how are seeking their party's nomination to challenge Gov. Wolf, a Democrat, as he seeks a second four-year term in the November general election.

Laura Ellsworth, a leader of a large law firm in Pittsburgh, is our choice in that primary.

Ellsworth brings depth to her understanding of the issues facing the state. She oversaw her law firm's global initiatives and boasts a highly active civic life. Her understanding of the state's priorities — job creation, education, workforce development, and more — is supported by fact-finding and realistic thinking that goes beyond sound bites.

We choose her over State Sen. Scott Wagner of York County and Paul Mango, a business consultant from Allegheny County

>> Read our full endorsement for Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor here.

Republican and Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania

Jeff Bartos and John Fetterman

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack III, a Democrat from Philadelphia, is seeking a second four-year term. Stack is politically vulnerable since Wolf publicly rebuked him last year for verbal abuse Stack and his wife inflicted on state troopers and staffers.

There are nine candidates — five Democrats and four Republicans — seeking the office.

John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock in Allegheny County, is our choice in the Democratic primary. Fetterman, perhaps best known for his failed 2016 bid for the U.S. Senate, has established can-do credentials as he tries to revive an old steel mill town down on its luck.

Jeff Bartos is our choice in the Republican primary. Bartos, who has teamed up with Wagner’s campaign, has a wonky familiarity with key issues impacting the state.

>> Read our full endorsements for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor here.

Democratic primary for the Fourth Congressional District

Madeleine Dean

This newly redrawn district, primarily in Montgomery County, was part of an effort by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to undo gerrymandered district lines in place since 2011.

State Rep. Madeleine Dean of Jenkintown is our choice in the Democratic primary. Dean, elected to the legislature in 2012, has been a vocal advocate for gun control and is a founder of PA SAFE, a caucus of state legislators and firearms safety advocates. She presses for more than lip service in the opioid epidemic, noting that President Trump did little after declaring it a public health emergency. Dean would be the first woman from Pennsylvania in the U.S. House since Allyson Schwartz left in 2015.

We choose her over former U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel and Ceasefire PA executive director Shira Goodman. Republican Dan David is running unopposed in his primary.

>> Read our full endorsement for Pennsylvania Fourth Congressional District here.

Democratic primary for the Fifth Congressional District

Mary Gay Scanlon

In another redrawn district, primarily in Delaware County, 10 Democrats have flooded the field.

Mary Gay Scanlon of Swarthmore, a lawyer with 35 years of experience as an advocate and community activist, is our choice in the Democratic primary. Scanlon has a deep understanding of pressing national, state, and local issues. Her experience includes dispatching lawyers to airports to combat President Trump's travel ban on nations with Muslim populations, fighting for the rights of disabled students through the Education Law Center, and exposing patronage at the troubled Chester Upland School District.

Republican Pearl Kim is running unopposed in her primary.

>> Read our full endorsement for Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District here.

Philadelphia ballot questions

We suggest a Yes vote on three ballot questions in Philadelphia. They are:

  1. Adding $500,000 to the Police Advisory Commission's annual budget

  2. Granting City Council power to approve new members of the Philadelphia Board of Education, who are selected by the mayor

  3. Providing mandatory training for all city employees about sexual harassment in the workplace

>> Read our full endorsements for Philadelphia ballot questions here.