Primary election: Some messages, but November needed for the big answers

Tuesday’s primary election provided some indicators of how much redistricting and the presidency of Donald Trump – and the resistance to his agenda – will impact midterm elections in Pennsylvania.

The truest answers, however, were left for the November election.

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, a Cogan Station Republican and firm backer of President Trump, easily gained the Republican nomination for the realigned 12th Congressional District seat. He will be challenged in the fall by Marc Friedenberg, who gained the Democratic nomination and ran strong in his native Centre County, which is now part of the district.

Marino won the nomination more handily than some expected and took that as evidence that his constituents like the path the country has embarked on the past two years.

Four-term U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, another staunch supporter of Trump and one of the first elected officials to take a hard line on illegal immigration, won his nomination race for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Democrat Bob Casey.

Barletta defeated Jim Christiana but spent his campaign attacking the incumbent he will face in the fall for his “resist, reject and obstruct” approach to President Trump.

Meanwhile, Scott Wagner, who presents himself as a Trump-like candidate who aims to shake up Harrisburg, won the Republican nomination to face incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall.

So it was a strong day Tuesday for some candidates who are using the country’s shifting direction since Trump took office as their campaign weapon of choice.

But most pundits see the court-ordered redrawing of congressional maps as a distinct advantage for Democrats in Pennsylvania, some even predicting it could lead to Democrats retaking the House majority in Congress.

And both Wolf and Casey carry name recognition and polling advantages into their races in the general election.

Something’s got to give Nov. 6.

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