State Representative Paul Costa had the name recognition, the experience, and, by all accounts, the political connections.
But Summer Lee had the people, and their votes.
In a stunning 68 to 32 percent margin, Lee defeated state Rep. Costa in the May 15 Primary Election. Lee is now the Democratic nominee for the state House District 34 seat, and, in this highly Democratic House District, she’s virtually assured to win the November 2018 general election and become the first African American female from outside the City of Pittsburgh limits elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Lee garnered 6,795 votes. Costa finished with 3,182. A total of 9,977 votes were cast, according to totals presented by WTAE-TV.
Lee is a 2005 Woodland Hills High School graduate, who has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Lee was raised in North Braddock, and she maintained from the outset of her campaign during a January 2018 launch party that she would be the candidate that could most relate to the people of her community – their problems, concerns, issues, and most importantly, how to help rectify the issues and create real change.
In other Primary Election notes, state Rep. Jake Wheatley held onto his crown as House District 19 representative, defeating upstart Aerion Abney by a 48 to 42 percent margin. State Rep. Ed Gainey easily took the honors in House District 24, garnering 81 percent of the vote.
Braddock mayor John Fetterman won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He will run on the Tom Wolf train – the current Pennsylvania governor, no doubt, wants to stay on the state’s top perch as he faces Republican challenger Scott Wagner in the November general election. Wagner’s Lt. Governor mate will be Jeff Bartos.
(The New Pittsburgh Courier will have extensive coverage of the May 15 Primary Election in its May 23 print edition.)