On to November: No primary challenge for 4 incumbent state reps covering Erie County

·2 min read

Incumbents faced no opposition in Tuesday’s municipal primary in four of the five legislative districts covering Erie County.

In three of those state House contests, November will be a different story.

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State Rep. Pat Harkins of Erie, D-1st Dist.
State Rep. Pat Harkins of Erie, D-1st Dist.

1st PA House District

In the 1st Legislative District, incumbent Democrat Pat Harkins, an eight-term incumbent, could have the easiest road.

Harkins has neither a primary challenger nor a Republican opponent to face in the general election since no other candidate from either major party filed to run for the seat.

The campaign of Libertarian candidate Michael G. Thomas, a Mercyhurst University graduate who works as an intelligence analyst, claims he has collected the required 300 signatures from registered voters in the 1st District to secure a place on the November election ballot.

However, Julie Slomski, Erie County's clerk of elections, said Wednesday that county officials are unlikely to confirm the November ballot status of any write-in candidate, including Thomas, until their official primary vote count is finished, "probably sometime next week."

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First elected in 2006, Harkins had faced a challenge from Erie County Councilman Andre Horton. But Horton dropped out of the race, citing an insufficient number of valid signatures on his nominating petitions.

The district covers wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 in the city of Erie, as well as Lawrence Park Township.

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2nd PA House District

In the 2nd Legislative District, incumbent state Rep. Bob Merski, a Democrat, will face Republican Wesleyville Borough Council member Paul Pitonyak in November.

The 2nd District covers the city of Erie’s 5th ward; the borough of Wesleyville; and Greene, Harborcreek and Summit Townships.

Merski, first elected in 2018, is seeking his third two-year term.

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3rd PA House District

In the 3rd Legislative District, incumbent state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, also a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Joe Kujawa, a former Millcreek Township supervisor. Bizzarro is seeking his sixth term; he was first elected in 2012.

The district covers all of Millcreek and Fairview townships.

State Rep. Brad Roae
State Rep. Brad Roae

6th PA House District

In the 6th Legislative District, incumbent state Rep. Brad Roae, a Republican, will advance to the general election to face Democrat Nerissa B. Galt, a quality engineer for Bliley Technologies.

Roae is seeking re-election to a ninth term and has been a member of the state House since 2006.

The 6th District covers Albion and Cranesville boroughs; Conneaut, Elk Creek, and Springfield townships; and portions of Crawford County.

The county’s five legislative districts were tweaked under a newly drawn map which the five-member Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission approved on Feb. 4.

The map withstood legal challenges from Republicans.

Following local races? Download the GoErie app to get all the latest updates.

Contact Kevin Flowers at kflowers@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ETNflowers.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Several state reps covering Erie County face no opposition in primary