FILE PHOTO: Susan Wild, Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, speaks to a supporter after casting her vote Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in Allentown, Pa. Wild is facing Republican Marty Nothstein for the seat held by Charlie Dent, who retired.
Ed Mahon is a reporter for PA Post.
Previously, he was an investigative and political reporter at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, where his work revealed holes in Pennsylvania’s system for protecting victims of domestic violence.
He grew up in Delaware County, graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia and has lived in Pennsylvania most of his life.
Here’s a look at some statewide trends in Pennsylvania.
Winner: Women running for office
Pennsylvania had the distinction of having no women in Congress since U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz left office after the 2014 election. But that changed Tuesday.
Four women, all Democrats, won election to Congress: state lawmaker Madeleine Dean, Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan and attorney Mary Gay Scanlon in the Philadelphia suburbs and attorney Susan Wild in the Lehigh Valley.
Jacqueline Larma / AP Photo
Susan Wild, Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, speaks to a supporter after casting her vote Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in Allentown, Pa. Wild is facing Republican Marty Nothstein for the seat held by Charlie Dent, who retired.
Winner: Supporters of abortion rights
The appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court led to the possibility that the court could eventually overturn the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.
Since Pennsylvania’s constitution was changed to allow governors to serve two terms, no incumbent lost — until Tom Wolf defeated Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.
But this year, Wolf won re-election — a return to tradition.
Winner: Different types of Republicans
Matt Slocum / Associated Press
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., right, candidate for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, greets a voter outside the Carroll Township Municipal Building, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Dillsburg, Pa.
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick gets an F rating from the NRA. U.S. Rep. Scott Perry gets an A-rating from the group.
Fitzpatrick is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Perry quit that group and is part of the conservative Freedom Caucus, a group known for taking a hard line on issues.
Both Republicans were in toss-up races. But both managed to win: Perry in a central Pennsylvania district that includes Harrisburg, and Fitzpatrick in a suburban Philadelphia district for all of Bucks County.
Matt Rourke / Associated Press
Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., gestures after casting his ballot in Langhorne, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
In 2016, Republicans won 13 of the state’s 18 Congressional seats. Then earlier this year, the state Supreme Court tossed out the district borders, saying they were an unconstitutional gerrymander. The new map, along with a backlash to Republican President Donald Trump, led to a 9-9 split among Democrats and Republicans on Nov. 6.
The next time the maps are drawn, after the 2020 census, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will be in office. So he will have veto power over any map he thinks is unfair.
Pennsylvania- An NDRC target because gerrymandering in Pennsylavania was awful and because Tom Wolf is a great Governor and a champion for fair map drawing. Congratulations Governor. https://t.co/xwgGGnD1ox
All five won, including Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick in suburban Philadelphia. Fitzpatrick has supported expanded background checks, an increase in the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle, a ban on bump stocks, and gun violence restraining orders.
Still, some supporters of increased gun restrictions question whether the endorsement of Fitzpatrick will pay off.
Now let’s see if we get any #gunreform@Everytown ‘s previous endorsements of @SenToomey@RepBrianFitz didn’t pay off. Also, both of Everytown’s state level endorsees lost, a shame since we need more #gunsafety advocates in Harrisburg. Did Everytown help their campaigns? 🤔🤔🤔
The endorsed Democrats in Congressional races, meanwhile, were spread across Pennsylvania: Chester County; the Lehigh Valley; northeastern Pennsylvania and outside Pittsburgh.
Winner: The importance of Pennsylvania in 2020
Maybe this was never really in doubt. But the strong showing of Democrats in the Philadelphia suburbs, combined with the fact that Republicans managed to win tight Congressional races in southcentral Pennsylvania and northwestern Pennsylvania, could give both sides hope for 2020, with Trump at the top of the ticket.
And other states could look like steeper hills for both parties in 2020.
Dave Wasserman, U.S. House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, wrote on Friday that 2020 will effectively be decided by six states. Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the Rust Belt and Arizona, Florida and North Carolina in the Sun Belt.
Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, meanwhile, had a brash style and business background that prompted many Trump comparisons. At one point, Wagner said Trump was “actually a mini-Scott Wagner.”
Both Barletta and Wagner received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania GOP and went on to win their party’s nomination. But they trailed in general election polls by double digits for months. And they lost on Tuesday by double digits. Wagner, for instance, lost in Erie, Luzerne and Northampton counties — three counties that Trump flipped from blue to red in 2016.
If you’re looking for sea changes, note state Senate races in PA southeast. GOP incumbents McGarrigle & Rafferty will lose their seats. Quinn (R) loses 10th district bid to Santarsiero. Sen. Greenleaf’s son (R) loses the family seat to Collett. Williams (D) takes former GOP 38th.
The plan Wagner supported called for a personal income tax increase, a sales tax increase, and an expansion of what’s covered by the sales tax. Plus, Wagner said he would cut state funding to help pay for the increase.
Gov. Tom Wolf, who won on Tuesday, has opposed full elimination of property taxes.
Loser: Returning millionaire candidates
In northeastern Pennsylvania, Republicans hoped to build on Donald Trump’s success there in 2016. In suburban Philadelphia, Democrats hoped to build on Trump’s unpopularity there. Both parties nominated a wealthy candidate for Congress who lived away from the district until fairly recently.
In suburban Philadelphia’s 1st Congressional district, wealthy philanthropist Scott Wallace challenged the Republican incumbent, Brian Fitzpatrick. Wallace grew up in Bucks County but had lived elsewhere for decades, spending time in the Washington, D.C., area and southern Africa, according to WHYY.
The issue of where Chrin and Wallace lived wasn’t the only one in the races.
Chrin lost by about 9 percentage points. Wallace lost the toss-up race, and Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report referred to him as “Perhaps worst Dem candidate choice of the cycle.”