Pa. voters head to the polls

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Howard Nickle, 75, Thornton, was the first voter at Thornbury Township's precinct #2 when polls opened 7 a.m. Nickle, who voted in the Republican primary, has been first in line to vote for over 30 years. May 20, 2014. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )

Pennsylvanians began casting ballots this morning in a contentious primary election race for the Democratic nominee for governor led in the polls by a mutli-millionaire businessman.

Although voters are choosing both the Republican and Democrat nominees to face off in November's general election, Gov. Tom Corbett is unopposed for the GOP. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters can find locations of polling places at votespa.com. The site also lets Pennsylvanians confirm that they are registered to vote.

The marquee race across the state is the Democratic primary with four candidates running in the contentious race: state Treasurer Rob McCord, former state Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and York businessman Tom Wolf. The winner faces Corbett in the fall.

Voters are also choosing party nominees for lieutenant governor. Five Democrats are vying to face Republican Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Congressional candidates and state legislators are also on the ballot.

The most high-profile of those races is the contest for the 13th Congressional District along the Philadelphia-Montgomery County border, which became open when Schwartz chose to run for governor.

Democratic candidates include physician Val Arkoosh, State Rep. Brendan Boyle, State Sen. Daylin Leach and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies. The victor will take on the winning Republican primary contestant, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Beverly Plosa-Bowser or businessman Carson "Dee" Adcock. 

The legislative candidates include several Philadelphia lawmakers under legal scrutiny: State Rep. Vanessa Brown, among the public officials reportedly caught on tape accepting money or gifts in a sting that was controversially dropped by the state Attorney General’s Office; State Rep. J.P. Miranda, charged with allegedly funneling taxpayer money to his sister using a “ghost” employee; and State Sen. Leanna Washington, indicted for allegedly having her staff work on a campaign fundraiser. 

In Philadelphia, a special election is also taking place so voters can select a new City Council member to fill the seat that became vacant when Bill Green became chairman of the School Reform Commission.

The candidates are Democratic State Rep. Ed Neilson, Republican lawyer Matthew Wolfe and Libertarian marijuana-legalization activist Nikki Allen Poe. 

Philadelphia voters will also decide several ballot questions, including whether the city should end its rule requiring politicians to resign from office before running for another position.

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