Apr 18, 2024 - News

Primary spotlight: Pennsylvania auditor general

Illustration of the state of Pennsylvania with an "I Voted" sticker in the northeast corner.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The head of Pennsylvania's financial watchdog office is on Tuesday's primary ballot.

Why it matters: The state's auditor general provides checks and balances to the state's $45.5 billion budget and programs.

State of play: Two Democrats are vying for their party's ticket in the primary.

  • Meanwhile, Republican Tim DeFoor, the incumbent, is running unopposed in his party's primary.

The big picture: Tuesday's election will also feature presidential and congressional primaries.

  • Statewide offices on the ballot include attorney general and state treasurer, and those for all state representatives and some senators.

🧠 Be smart: Pennsylvania has closed primaries: Only registered party members can vote in their party's primary on Tuesday.

Here are the candidates.

Democrats

  • Malcolm Kenyatta: He is currently a state representative in North Philly and was the first openly LGBTQ+ member of color in the state Legislature.
    • He has pledged to focus on school accountability, including returning annual school compliance audits to the office, per his campaign website.
    • Kenyatta also would create a bureau of labor and worker protections and increase transparency around how hospitals and nonprofits use state funding.
  • Mark Pinsley: The current Lehigh County controller, he also owns his own business in media and is an Army Reserve veteran.
    • His primary issues include conducting audits of the state's public education system and how the state supports election officers, per his campaign website.
    • Pinsley also would evaluate the state's health care spending.

Republican

  • Tim DeFoor: A first-term auditor general. He is also a former special agent for the state attorney general and ex-Dauphin County controller.
    • His priorities include cutting "wasteful government spending," per his campaign website.
    • He also would seek to end what he calls "political loopholes" that allow state agencies to keep some contracts hidden.

Zoom in: The state Democratic Party has endorsed Kenyatta while the state GOP is backing DeFoor.

What's next: The primary winners will go head-to-head in the November election.

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