HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Friday is the first day for candidates for statewide office in Pennsylvania, including governor and U.S. Senate, and Congress to start gathering signatures from voters to get on ballots for the May 17 primary election.
There are huge fields of candidates for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat and governor’s office, and the boundaries of the state’s new congressional districts are just two days old, sending would-be candidates scrambling to decide where to run.
Candidates can circulate petitions through March 15, under a two-day-old court order by the state Supreme Court.
For governor, the Republican primary field is thus-far double-digits deep. The GOP rivals are vying for the nomination to take on the presumed Democratic Party nominee, two-term state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in November’s general election.
For U.S. Senate, both parties have competitive primary races.
Meanwhile, 16 of Pennsylvania’s 18 incumbents in the U.S. House are expected to run again, but this time in 17 districts, since the state is losing a seat because of relatively sluggish population growth.
With two northern Pennsylvania districts being combined, Republican Reps. Fred Keller and Dan Meuser could face each other in the primary.
Meanwhile, two Pittsburgh-area districts where incumbents are not running again will provide opportunities for newcomers.
Guy Ciarrocchi, who stepped down as president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry to run for governor, instead filed paperwork Wednesday to run for Congress. The Republican will seek his party’s nomination to challenge second-term Democratic Rep. Chrissy Houlahan.