Romney Is Easy Winner of Republican Primary Contest in PA

Critz defeats Altmire in congressional race, Raja wins bitter contest with Mustio for state senate seat.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had little trouble winning the Pennsylvania Republican primary for President of the United States, with his closest competition coming from a man who no longer is in the race. 

Romney finished with 57 percent of the vote, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum at 19 percent. . Texas congressman Ron Paul finished third with 13 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was last with 11 percent of the vote. 

In the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, incumbent Sen. Bob Casey of Lackawanna County easily defeated Joseph Vodvarka of Robinson Township, Allegheny County, by a four-to-one margin in the Democratic primary. 

Vodvarka who spent the evening with his family at his home, said he thought his message of fair trade resonated with voters who are concerned about jobs being shipped overseas. He blamed the media for not taking an interest in his campaign, pointing to stories about the Republican U.S. senate candidates and contending there had been a dearth of coverage of his candidacy.

“They mentioned everyone else, but they never said my name,” Vodvarka said. “The media avoided me like the plague.” 

Former coal company owner Tom Smith will face Casey in November after winning a five-man race for the Republican nomination. 

In the race for Pennsylvania Attorney General, Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane defeated former military prosecutor Patrick Murphy of Bucks County.

Kane will face Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. 

In the race for Pennsylvania Auditor General, state Rep. John Maher of Upper St. Clair easily defeated Dauphin County businessman Frank Pinto in the Republican primary.

"The voters declared today that Pennsylvania deserves an auditor for auditor general," Maher said during his victory speech at the  in Bethel Park. 

Maher will face York County state representative Eugene DePasquale in November. 

In the Democratic primary for the newly reapportioned 12th congressional district, Johnstown incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Critz edged out McCandless incumbent Rep. Jason Altmire 52 to 48 percent. 

"Congratulations to my colleague Congressman Mark Critz on his hard-fought and well-deserved victory in the primary. He has my full support as his campaign moves on to the fall," Altmire said in a statement.

"I want to thank my constituents who supported me by an overwhelming margin in the portion of the new 12th District that I have represented. It is gratifying to know that democratic voters in my current district continue to support me by such a large margin," Altmire said.  

Critz will face Republican Tea Party favorite Keith Rothfus of Edgeworth, who nearly defeated Altmire in 2010. 

In the Republican Primary for the 18th congressional district, incumbent U.S. Rep.  of Upper St. Clair easily defeated challenger , a native of Peters Township.

“We have so many good people here. I want to thank everybody,” Murphy said to supporters at the Clarion Hotel in Green Tree. "It feels good to win tonight.

"We want to focus on representing the district, the values of families here and the hard workers. These are things I want to continue to represent in Washington D.C.," he added. "We want the talents of the regions to grow. We want the dreams of the region to grow." 

Feinberg said he fought long and hard during the campaign.

"Running for Congress is not an easy thing for someone who is not part of the establishment," he said. "What was easy was speaking from the heart and persuading people that the things that make America great are the solutions to the country's problems."

In November, Murphy will face Democratic Washington County Commissioner , who was unopposed in the primary. 

In the often-bitter Republican primary for the state senate seat in the 37th district, former Mt. Lebanon Commissioner D. Raja defeated longtime conservative activist Sue Means of Bethel Park and State Rep.  of Moon. 

Raja, who is vying to replace outgoing state Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, won the GOP nomination with more than 40 percent of the vote. No Democrat has entered the race for the seat but Pleasant Hills Democrat Greg Parks has indicated that he will run as a write-in candidate, according to the Raja campaign.  

"Tomorrow is when the real work begins," Raja said of the general election. "I was thinking we were going to have tonight to celebrate, but it looks like we're going to head into a general election." 

In the race for state treasurer, Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. She will face incumbent state treasurer Robert McCord, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. 

As predicted, turnout for the primary was generally low around the state.

In Allegheny County, 18 percent of registered voters cast ballots — even lower than the 25 percent forecast earlier in the week by the county Elections Division. Across the state, poll workers in the Philadelphia area reported  with some in Chester County calling turnout slow but steady and others calling it simply


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