May 2023 Pennsylvania Primary Election Results
Some change is coming, despite low voter turnout
The May 2023 Pennsylvania Primary election was held throughout Erie County yesterday. Among key local races in the City of Erie, City Council will be seeing some change, despite predictably low voter turnout (at just under 25% of all registered voters in Erie County). Since all City Council candidates ran as Democrats, their election win in the primary largely means that they will win the general election (barring any third party candidate participation or an overwhelming write-in situation).
The runaway winner for City Council was Dr. Tyler Titus, who already holds the historic title of being the first transgender person to be elected to public office in Pennsylvania through their election as Erie School Director in 2017. They were narrowly defeated in their most recent race for County Executive. Titus remarked on social media, "Grateful for each candidate on the ballot yesterday. Running for public office isn't easy and I am honored to have been in the City Council race with many phenomenal candidates. Thank you to each person who knocked on a door, made a phone call, had a conversation, and supported this campaign. I could not have done this without you. Voters of Erie sent a loud message about the community we want to call home and I am grateful that I will be part of making that happen."
Joining Titus in victory for the four year seats available on City Council will be council veterans Ed Brzezinski (who won his reelection) and Kathy Schaaf (who held a seat on City Council in the past). Ed Brzezinski (who was on the ballot for the City Council four year seat as well as the City Council two year seat) won in the contest for the two year seat as well. What will happen next will depend on when Brzezinski vacates the two year spot. The runner-up in the two year race, Susannah Faulkner was originally appointed to City Council to fill the seat vacated by Councilmember Liz Allen, who resigned mid-term.
Other hot-button races included Erie County Judge in which Democrat Peter Sala won his nomination handily and is expected to face off against Republican opponent Eric Mikovch in November. Primary totals appear to give Sala the edge on that election. Sala won the Democratic nomination by more than 9,000 votes while Mikovch (on the Republican ballot) garnered 5,596. Mikovch as well as Republican opponent Leigh Ann Orton cross-filed and appeared on both Democrat and Republican ballots (despite being registered Republicans). Sala also cross-filed on the Republican ticket and earned 5, 350 votes, meaning the Democratic nominee nearly took the Republican nomination as well (which would have guaranteed his victory in the general election), losing to Mikovch by only 246 votes.
Additional local election information is as follows:
- For City School Director, five highest voted Democrats include: John Harkins, Angie Amantangelo, Linda Graff, Gwendolyn Cooley, and Sumner Nichols. The Republican candidates numbered only four (all of whom cross-filed): John Harkins, Linda Graff, Troy Woodard, and Zakaria Sharif.
- Uncontested races will result in Elizabeth Hirz (R) for District Attorney, Kyle Foust (D) and Wade Root (R) for County Controller, Lyell Cook (R) for Coroner, Kaz Kwitowski (D) for Treasurer
County Council, magisterial, and municipal election results can be found: eriecountypa.gov
Statewide election results can be found: electionreturns.pa.gov