Summer Lee declares victory, a win for La'Tasha Mayes, and more primary election updates | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Summer Lee declares victory, a win for La'Tasha Mayes, and more primary election updates

click to enlarge Summer Lee addresses supporters during her Election Day party in Downtown Pittsburgh just after midnight on May 18. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Summer Lee addresses supporters during her Election Day party in Downtown Pittsburgh just after midnight on May 18.
UPDATE, 9 p.m. May 20: Steve Irwin conceded the race on May 20, following the Associated Press proclaiming Summer Lee the winner of the Democratic primary election.
The Democratic race for U.S. House District 12 is still too close to call the day after the 2022 primary election, but state Rep. Summer Lee has declared victory with a minimal lead over Squirrel Hill attorney Steve Irwin.

During her election night party on May 17 at Emerald City in Downtown Pittsburgh, Lee said that her campaign “rose to the occasion,” as supporters cheered and joined chants of “Power to the people” and “What time is it? Summer time!”
Irwin has not conceded the race, where only about 500 votes currently separate the two leading candidates. It will be days before official results are tallied, with Allegheny County reporting they will not post more updates until after the Return Board convenes at 9 a.m. on Fri., May 20.

31 precincts have been unable to submit their in-person Election Day ballots due to a memory stick issue. (Good explainer from WESA politics and government editor Chris Potter on what's causing the delay here: twitter.com/CPotterPgh.)

But Lee and supporters, including Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, are confident in her win.


“Our victory shows that we can overcome the billionaire class that wants to divide and conquer us all with fear and lies-for-profit, if only we come together across our differences for a positive vision of multiracial democracy,” Lee tweeted on May 18. “We can have nice things, if we fight.”

At her Election Night party, Gainey congratulated Lee on the win and tweeted that she will be the first Black woman from Pennsylvania in Congress. In 2018, Lee became the first Black woman from Southwestern Pennsylvania to be elected to state legislature.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Mike Doyle (no, not the same U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle the winner of this race will replace) in the general election.

If Lee doesn’t win the U.S. House seat, she will remain in local government, with an Election Day win against Abigail Salisbury for her state seat in District 34. (Lee ran in both races in the primary.)


Allegheny County reports that voter turnout in the spring primary election was at 36.42%, with 286,925 ballots cast out of 787,781 registered voters.

In statewide races, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman won the Democratic race for U.S. Senate by a wide margin, receiving 59% of the votes over Conor Lamb, Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil. On Tuesday night, Lamb conceded and pledged to support Fetterman in the general election.
The Republican senate race is still also too close to call, with talk show host Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund executive David McCormick each currently receiving just over 31% of the votes.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro was uncontested in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Pa. governor. This fall, he will face a right-wing, QAnon-connected Trump ally who was at the Jan. 6 insurrection, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who won the Republican nomination.

State Rep. Austin Davis, Shapiro’s endorsed running mate, easily won the Democratic race for lieutenant governor and will face Republican state Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso in the general election.
click to enlarge La’Tasha Mayes poses for a portrait in East Liberty. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
La’Tasha Mayes poses for a portrait in East Liberty.
Reproductive rights leader La'Tasha D. Mayes won her campaign to fill Gainey's former seat as state House Representative in District 24, beating Martell Covington who is currently serving the position after winning a special election on April 5. In a media statement, Mayes says, "I’m a fearless fighter for all-things justice and an out-and-proud Black woman – the first to ever hold this position."

In other state House results, Aerion Abney won over Glenn Grayson in District 19, Emily Kinkead won in District 20, beating Nick Mastros, and Jessica Benham topped Stephanie Fox in District 36.


In uncontested state House races, Democrats Sara Innamorato won District 21, Dan Frankel won District 23, and Austin Davis won in District 35. Uncontested state Senate winners included Lindsey Williams in District 38 and Wayne Fontana in District 42.

For an election wrap-up conversation, tune to After Hours with Natalie Bencivenga and guest, Pittsburgh legislative aide Mohammed Burny, at 6:30 p.m. on May 18 on Instagram Live at instagram.com/pghcitypaper.

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