Pennsylvania statewide court race narrows to a dead heat

Regional News

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2020 file photo shown is a general view of the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, home to the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, Pa. Pennsylvania voters will pick four new members of the statewide appeals courts this fall, including the contest to fill a spot on the state Supreme Court open because a veteran justice will soon reach 75, the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Vote-counting in the contest for an open seat on Pennsylvania’s statewide Commonwealth Court narrowed the race to a virtual dead heat as some counties continued Friday to tabulate remaining mail-in, overseas and provisional ballots.

Two seats on Commonwealth Court are opening up next year. Republican Stacy Wallace, a lawyer, won one of them in Tuesday’s election.

But the latest unofficial count on the state’s online election site showed Democrat Lori Dumas and Republican Drew Crompton in a virtual tie, putting the contest well within the margin under state law for a mandatory recount.

Dumas is a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge. Crompton is a former state Senate GOP aide who was sworn in last year to temporarily fill an opening on the court.

The court handles cases involving state government and local governments.

Crompton had held a lead Tuesday night, based primarily on in-person Election Day ballots. The race has steadily narrowed, with registered Democrats accounting for the majority of mail-in ballots cast in the election.

Counties must submit results to the state next Tuesday. After that, counties have two weeks to carry out a recount ordered by the state’s top election official, according to information from the Department of State.

Republicans in Pennsylvania otherwise saw success in statewide elections Tuesday, winning three of the four open seats on appeals courts, including a Supreme Court seat.

About 2.7 million ballots were cast in the election, or 31% of Pennsylvania’s 8.7 million registered voters.

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