A Look Back on Politics in 2018

2018 opened with embattled State Representative Kevin Haggerty from Lackawanna County announcing he would not seek re-election.

"I didn't have that real passion that I had to get here," said Haggerty.

Haggerty had angered colleagues and constituents with regular absences in Harrisburg, missing hundreds of votes.

His departure sparked a crowded Democratic primary field.

When it was over, legislative aide Kyle Mullins won the nomination in the spring and easily prevailed over the Republican nominee in the fall.

The State Supreme Court may have had the biggest impact on Pennsylvania politics this year when the justices threw out the old congressional map and drew a new one which the justices deemed fairer.

Republicans appealed but the new districts stood, jumbling the plans of candidates across the commonwealth who suddenly found themselves living in different districts.

President Trump had a big impact on Pennsylvania politics in 2018.

The president personally enticed congressman Lou Barletta from Hazleton to take a shot at the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Bob Casey.

A number of local and statewide Republican candidates sought the president's endorsement with mixed results.

Scott Wagner, the Republican candidate for governor, also got Trump's endorsement but he lost badly to incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf.

In northeastern and central Pennsylvania. Republican John Chrin, also endorsed by the president, was unable to shake accusations of carpetbagging and was beaten soundly by incumbent congressman Matt Cartwright in northeastern Pennsylvania's new 8th district.

Republican Dan Meuser had better success proudly proclaiming to be pro-Trump.

Meuser easily won election to Congress on his second try.

He beat Democrat Denny Wolff in the new 9th district despite Wolff's very memorable TV commercials.

Wolff, a farmer, used a manure spreader to illustrate his thoughts on Meuser.

But even Barletta, the president's handpicked Senate hopeful, was trounced by Casey in the fall.

And after he won, Casey had another message for the white house.

"Because you cannot get elected president unless you win Pennsylvania. I've shown that I can do that. I've won by an average of over 13 points over three elections. So it's something I'm considering," said Casey

As 2019 dawns, he may not be alone among Democrats with Scranton ties, having at least one eye on the White House.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.