Filing deadline reveals dozens of Lehigh Valley candidates running for Pa. Legislature

Written by on March 28, 2022

Filing deadline reveals dozens of Lehigh Valley candidates running for Pa. Legislature

By WLVR Staff
March 28, 2020

Pennsylvania’s shortened primary election season is coming into focus, now that Monday’s deadline has passed to file nominating petitions for the 2022 ballot. 

Six candidates — three Democrats and three Republicans – plan to run for the Lehigh Valley’s new Senate seat: the 14th District covering parts of Allentown and Bethlehem. 

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They are Democrats Tara Zrinski of Hanover Township, Nicholas P. Miller of Allentown and Yamelisa Taveras of Allentown; and Republicans Dean Browning of South Whitehall Township, Cynthia L. Miller of Lehigh Township and Omy Juriel Maldonado of Allen Township.

The Pennsylvania Department of State maintains a database of all candidates who filed in time for the 5 p.m deadline.

Three Democrats and one Republican filed to run in Allentown’s newly configured 22nd House District. They are Democrats Josh Siegel, Saeed S. Georges, Norberto Dominguez Jr. and Republican Robert E. Smith Jr.

The 22nd had been the turf of incumbent Democratic state Rep. Peter Schweyer, who is seeking re-election. But because of redistricting, he now lives in the 134th House District and is being challenged again in the Democratic primary by Enid Santiago. She lost a close race to Schweyer in 2020 when they were both in the the 22nd District. The only Republican to file in the 134th was Brent Labenberg of Emmaus, according to the Department of State.

Changes in political boundary lines also mean two incumbent state representatives will square off in their party’s primary. Ryan Mackenzie was first elected in the 134th House District in 2012, but he’s now in the 187th House District. He’ll challenge fellow Republican and longtime state Rep. Gary Day in the GOP primary. No one filed on the Democratic ticket.

The primary election is set for May 17.

Court battles over new redistricting maps led to an abbreviated period for candidates to campaign and collect nominating petitions. State House candidates require 300 signatures from registered party voters in their districts; state Senate candidates must get 500 signatures.

Population shifts resulted in the Lehigh Valley getting a third state Senate seat. Longtime Republican state Sen. Pat Browne of the 16th District is seeking another term and will have a challenge in the primary, from Jarrett Charles Coleman of Upper Macungie, according to the nominating petitions. Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley is running on the Democratic ticket for Senate.

In the 18th Senate District, longtime Democratic state Sen. Lisa Boscola will be unopposed in the primary; Bethlehem Township Commissioner John Merhottein Jr. filed on the Republican ticket.

Here’s a rundown of all who filed by the 5 p.m. deadline for Lehigh Valley seats in the General Assembly, according to the state database:

STATE SENATE

14th DISTRICT
Democratic candidates
Tara Zrinski, Hanover Township
Nicholas P. Miller, Allentown
Yamelisa Taveras, Allentown
Republican candidates
Dean Browning, South Whitehall
Cynthia L. Miller, Lehigh Township
Omy Juriel Maldonado, Allen Township

16TH DISTRICT
Democratic
Mark Pinsley, South Whitehall
Republican
Jarrett Charles Coleman, Upper Macungie
Sen. Pat Browne, Allentown

18th DISTRICT
Democratic
Sen. Lisa Boscola, Bethlehem Township
Republican
John Merhottein Jr., Bethlehem Township

STATE HOUSE

22nd DISTRICT
Democratic
Josh Siegel, Allentown
Saeed S. Georges, Allentown
Norberto Dominguez Jr., Allentown
Republican
Robert E. Smith Jr., Allentown

131st DISTRICT
Democratic
Kevin Branco, Upper Saucon
Republican
Rep. Milou Mackenzie, Lower Saucon

132nd DISTRICT
Democratic
Rep. Mike Schlossberg, South Whitehall
Republican
Bethney Q. Finch, South Whitehall

133rd DISTRICT
Democratic
Rep. Jeanne McNeill, Whitehall
Republican
None

134th DISTRICT
Democratic
Rep. Peter Schweyer, Allentown
Enid Santiago, Allentown
Republican
Brent Labenberg, Emmaus

135th DISTRICT
Democratic
Rep. Steve Samuelson, Bethlehem
Republican
None

136th DISTRICT
Democratic
Rep. Robert Freeman, Easton
Republican
None

137th DISTRICT

Democratic
Anna R. Thomas, Bethlehem Township
Republican
Rep. Joe Emrick, Upper Nazareth

138th DISTRICT
Democratic
None
Republican
Rep. Ann Flood, Moore Township

183rd DISTRICT
Democratic
None
Republican
Rep. Zach Mako, Lehigh Township

187th DISTRICT
Democratic

None
Republican
Rep. Gary Day, Heidelberg Township
Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, Lower Macungie

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