Redrawn Pennsylvania map at play as 4 states hold primaries

Pennsylvania crucial to Democratic hopes for winning House majority

Polls close in Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. ET, in Nebraska at 9 p.m. ET, and final polls close at 11 p.m. ET in Idaho, which crosses two time zones.

Democrats seldom have the luxury of choice in Nebraska, where Republicans have dominated for 80 years. "Quite a few people (on the Republican side locally) are interested in the governor's race".

Despite all that, interest in the primary election is low, with 23 percent of ballots returned so far, according to the Oregon Elections Division, including almost 30 percent in Crook County, almost 28 percent in Deschutes and more than 26 percent in Jefferson, according to Tuesday morning's statewide ballot tally.

Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter faced a spirited challenge from U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

Turnout tends to be low in midterm primary elections such as this one, when there are no presidential nominations at stake, although Benton County voters will have a say in the contested Democratic and Republican primaries for the 4th and 5th congressional districts, depending on what part of the county they're in.

Only Democrats and Republicans can vote in partisan races on the primary election ballot, but all voters may vote in nonpartisan races requiring a primary.

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In the new 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Union and Snyder counties and a portion of Northumberland County, GOP voters will decide a race between incumbent Tom Marino of Lycoming County and his challenger, Doug McLinko of Bradford County.

Democrats have choices for the U.S. House as well.

The 3rd District Republican primary pits the state's former top ranking health official, Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, against two other candidates - Mike Craven and Rhonda Palazzo.

Democrat primary candidates are Lawrence Arata III, Margo Lomax Davidson, Thaddeus Kirkland, Richard Lazer, Ashley Lunkenheimer, Lindy Li, Mary Gay Scanlon, Molly Marie Sheehan, Gregory Vitali, and Theresa Wright. Bob Casey, who is seeking a third term in November.

For the 16th Congressional District, Democrats will choose from Ron DiNicola of Erie County, Robert D. Multari of Mercer County and Christian Rieger of Butler County.

Republican voters will see only one name, Mike Kelly of Butler County, the incumbent congressman for the region, who is seeking the nomination to try for a fifth term.

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Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli is the most conservative Democrat on the ballot.

Pennsylvania voters have a lot of races to settle in the primary election, including picking Republican challengers to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. The Idaho GOP gubernatorial primary has become another nasty fight, with the Republican candidates trying to establish their outsider credentials. Michele Brooks, R-Jamestown, has a potential Democratic opponent in Sue Mulvey, of Sharon.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

Those who need a ride to the polls can call the county Democratic headquarters, at 570-622-3155 or Republican headquarters at 570-622-1540.

Crawford County has 52,096 voters registered for today's primary election with Republicans holding a substantial lead in registrations. When you go to the polls, or in the mail, you will be given three separate ballots, one for the Democratic Party, one for the Republican Party and one for the Green Party.

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