Some of the big news stories in our area involved politics. Here is a look at the faces that shaped Pennsylvania's political scene in 2022.
2022: Rep. Fred Keller
The first political casualty of 2022 came before the first votes were even cast. Rep. Fred Keller (R) from central Pennsylvania lost his seat to redistricting. Rep. Keller briefly considered a primary challenge to fellow Republican Rep. Dan Meuser but ultimately decided to step away from Washington, at least for now.
2022: May Primary Election
That left the primary season for two closely watched statewide races.
For an open governor's seat, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro found himself unopposed on the Democratic ticket.
The Republicans featured a crowded field that included former Hazleton mayor and former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta.
In the end, controversial State Senator Doug Mastriano from Franklin County ended up with a relatively easy victory in the May primary.
A late endorsement from former President Trump and a controversial decision by Shapiro to run ads aimed at Republican voters helped put Mastriano over the top.
Pennsylvania also had an open U.S. Senate seat in 2022 following the retirement of two-term Republican Pat Toomey.
For the Republicans, the race narrowed to a battle between celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz and investment banker Dave McCormick. The two waged a relentless and expensive TV ad campaign.
Oz got the Trump endorsement and eked out a narrow victory in May.
For the Democrats, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman had a surprisingly easy time defeating Congressman Connor Lamb
But days before the primary, Fetterman suffered a stroke. It would become one of the biggest issues in the fall campaign against Dr. Oz.
2022: Incumbents Retire
Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania saw a wave of longtime incumbent state legislators choose retirement over reelection in 2022.
- Mike Carroll
- David Millard
- Jerry Knowles
- Gerry Mullery
Newswatch 16 morning anchor Tom Williams gave up his microphone for a shot at one of the open seats. He didn't survive the Republican primary.
2022: Campaign for Congress
The fall campaign for Congress featured two rematches from 2020.
The 7th District, represented by Democrat Susan Wild of Allentown, was expanded back into parts of the Poconos after reapportionment.
Even with the new lines, Wild again beat back a challenge from Republican Lisa Scheller.
2022: Governor's Race
In the governor's race, Shapiro was barely challenged in the general election. Most polls showed Mastriano trailing by double digits throughout.
His unconventional campaign mostly avoided local media outlets and had very little money for advertising.
Shapiro won easily. His running mate, State Rep. Austin Davis, will be Pennsylvania's first lieutenant governor of color.
2022: U.S. Senate
Conversely, the Senate race came down to the wire.
Oz made a blunder early on with a homemade video where he confused the name of Wegmans supermarket.
Fetterman kept an extremely low profile while he recovered from his stroke.
When he finally debated, his uneven performance led to a tightening of the polls as voters considered whether he was healthy enough to serve.
In the end, Fetterman won comfortably in November.
In January, Pennsylvania will have two elected Democrats in the U.S. Senate for the first time in many years.
2022: Special Election
But even after the November election, there was still one more political surprise for 2022. Long-time State Senator John Gordner announced his retirement from the legislature. The special election to replace him will be one of the first political stories of 2023.
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