Special election to test Pittsburgh's suburbs ahead of 2020

April 01, 2019 - 1:44 pm

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pittsburgh's suburbs are under the microscope again in a state Senate election that may serve as an early test of President Donald Trump's strength ahead of his 2020 reelection bid in a critical battleground state.

The open Pennsylvania Senate seat is in territory historically influenced by Republican-leaning neighborhoods outside the Steel City but is viewed as increasingly friendly to Democrats.

Tuesday's special election pits Republican D. Raja against Democrat Pam Iovino for a seat largely controlled by Republicans the past 50 years. He's the chairman and chief executive of an information technology consulting firm. She's a Navy veteran who served in a top U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs post.

Trump won the district by 6 percentage points in 2016. But Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf won it by a double-digit margin in 2018.

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