How a Northeast Philly Politician Won and Lost Races in Tuesday's Primary

State Rep. Kevin Boyle appears to have lost his bid to become a state senator when he challenged a Northeast Philadelphia rival for Lt. Gov. Mike Stack's old seat.

Boyle trails by 620 votes to John Sabatina in the 5th Senate District race, with 99.22 percent of precincts reporting. Only about 400 absentee ballots remain uncounted, in addition to provisional ballots, according to the City Commissioner's Office.

But don't feel too bad for Boyle. He also won on Election Night.

The 36-year-old ran unopposed for his state House seat: the 172nd District, which represents parts of Northeast Philadelphia including Rhawnhurst, Fox Chase, and Bustleton, and a small portion of Montgomery County. He is in his third term.

"I asked constituents of mine if they thought I should not run for re-election and no one told me not to," Boyle said in an interview Thursday. "If I do gain the senate Democratic nomination [against Sabatina], then I would resign the House seat so there could be an election in November."

His attempt to win two offices was unique to this election, but not to Northeast Philadelphia politics -- or the Boyle family, even.

Kevin Boyle's older brother, Brendan, won two races in the same election. In the 2014 general election, Brendan Boyle, a Democrat, won re-election unopposed to his state House seat in 170th District and crushed a Republican opponent in the 13th congressional district, succeeding longtime U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz.

In the same election, Mike Stack won the race for lieutenant governor, and considered briefly whether he needed to give up his seat in the state senate. He eventually did, and Sabatina won a special election last year to fill out Stack's term.

Boyle said he always expected a tough race against Sabatina, who also was a state representative representing part of the Northeast.

"It involved two well known elected officials and was an extremely tight race," Boyle said. "Whatever the outcome, regardless, I’m going to remain committed to what I've fought for in Harrisburg during my tenure: economic equality, worker rights, and women’s rights."

He will face Republican Jim Pio in the general election in November.

Contact Us