- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 2, 2019

MT. LEBANON, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on the special election for a state Senate seat in Pennsylvania (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

Democrats are claiming victory in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in politically divided suburban Pittsburgh where the sides tested some national themes ahead of 2020’s presidential election.

Tuesday’s contested pitted Republican D. Raja against Democrat Pam Iovino for a seat largely controlled by Republicans the past half-century, but the district is viewed as increasingly friendly to Democrats.

Democrats claimed victory shortly before 10 p.m.



With about 90% of precincts reporting, Iovino led by about 4,100 votes. Turnout was expected to be around 20 percent.

Iovino is a Navy veteran who held a top U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs post. Raja the chief executive of an information technology consulting firm. In recent days, both state parties sent mailers linking Raja to President Donald Trump.

____

9:30 p.m.

Initial returns show a close race in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in politically divided suburban Pittsburgh where the sides tested some national themes ahead of 2020’s presidential election.

Tuesday’s contest pits Republican D. Raja against Democrat Pam Iovino for a seat largely controlled by Republicans the past half-century, but the district is viewed as increasingly friendly to Democrats.

With about three-fourths of precincts reporting before 9:30 p.m., the race appeared close and neither candidate had declared victory.

Turnout was expected to be around 20 percent.

He’s the chief executive of an information technology consulting firm. Iovino is a Navy veteran who held a top U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs post. In recent days, both state parties sent mailers linking Raja to President Donald Trump.

____

8 p.m.

Polls are now closed in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in politically divided suburban Pittsburgh where the sides tested some national themes ahead of 2020’s presidential election.

Tuesday’s contest pits Republican D. Raja against Democrat Pam Iovino for a seat largely controlled by Republicans the past half-century, but the district is viewed as increasingly friendly to Democrats and has a Democratic registration edge. Turnout was expected to be around 20 percent.

On Monday, Republicans issued a robocall by Donald Trump Jr., urging listeners to vote for Raja.

He’s the chief executive of an information technology consulting firm. Iovino is a Navy veteran who held a top U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs post. In recent days, both state parties sent mailers linking Raja to President Donald Trump.

____

7 a.m.

Polls are open in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in politically divided suburban Pittsburgh where the sides are testing some national themes ahead of 2020’s presidential election.

Tuesday’s contest pits Republican D. Raja against Democrat Pam Iovino for a seat largely controlled by Republicans the past half-century, but the district is viewed as increasingly friendly to Democrats and has a Democratic registration edge.

On Monday, Republicans issued a robocall by Donald Trump Jr., urging listeners to vote for Raja.

He’s the chief executive of an information technology consulting firm he helped start. Iovino is a Navy veteran who held a top U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs post. In recent days, both state parties sent mailers linking Raja to President Donald Trump.

Republicans control the state Senate, 26-21.

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