Smith Wins U.S. Senate Nomination

Kane beats Murphy in hotly-contested Democratic A.G. race

With the presidential primary race pretty much a forgone conclusion with Mitt Romney in the driver’s seat as the likely Republican nominee to take on President Barack Obama in November (Romney won in Pa., Del. and three other states Tuesday night), the attention of the Philadelphia region turned to races for U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania Attorney General and some State House races.

The most hotly-contested race was the five-man battle for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Former Coal Company owner Tom Smith beat out four challengers to earn the nomination. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting; Smith had 40 percent of the vote to 22 percent for former state Rep. Sam Rohrer, 21 percent for businessman Steven Welch, 10 percent for decorated Vietnam veteran David Christian and 7 percent for lawyer Marc Scaringi.

On the Democratic side of the ballot, incumbent Sen. Bob Casey beat retired manufacturing shop owner Joseph Vodvarka 81 to 19 percent as Casey bids for a second term.

The other major race was the at times ugly Democratic race for Attorney General as Kathleen Kane was projected the winner over former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 53 to 47 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Both candidates turned to negative TV ads in the days leading up to the election.

In the Republican race for Auditor General, State Rep. John Maher was projected as the winner over Frank Pinto 66 to 34 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

There were also a slew of contested Democratic primaries for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with the 182nd, 188th, 197th Districts up for grabs. In the 182nd, Brian Sims beat incumbent Rep. Babette Josephs 52 to 48 percent; in the 188th (93 percent reporting), Rep. James Roebuck held off a challenge from Fatimah Muhammad 56 to 44 percent (93 percent reporting); and in the 197th, Jose Miranda got 40 percent of the vote (98 percent reporting) to hold off challenges from Jewel Williams, Kenneth Walker and Jamil Ali.

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