1998 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

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Congressman Tom Ridge.jpg
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Nominee Tom Ridge Ivan Itkin Peg Luksik
Party Republican Democratic Constitution
Running mate Mark Schweiker Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky Jim Clymer
Popular vote 1,736,844 938,745 315,761
Percentage 57.4% 31.0% 10.4%

1998 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election results map by county.svg
County results
Ridge:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Itkin:      50–60%

Governor before election

Tom Ridge

Elected Governor

Tom Ridge

The 1998 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election was held on November 3, 1998. It was between incumbent Republican Tom Ridge, Democrat Ivan Itkin, Constitutionalist Peg Luksik and Libertarian Ken Krawchuk. Ridge, a popular moderate, won with 57% of the votes cast. As of 2022, this was the last time Delaware, Lackawanna and Montgomery counties have voted for the Republican candidate. It was also the first time since 1930 that Greene County, Fayette County, and Washington County voted Republican. This is the last time a Republican was re-elected Governor of Pennsylannia.

Primary elections

Incumbent Governor Ridge ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. State Representative Ivan Itkin from Pittsburgh bested former Auditor General and US Representative Don Bailey from Greensburg and private detective and anti-corruption activist Bill Keisling from York. Itkin, although well not well known in the state, was a powerful figure in the legislature and had the backing of the party establishment, while the conservative Bailey drew strong union support.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial Democratic primary, 1998[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ivan Itkin 255,555 49.17
Democratic Don Bailey 200,451 38.57
Democratic Bill Keisling 63,696 12.26

Major party candidates



Minor party candidates


Running mate: Jim Clymer, attorney


Running mate: Henry Haller, attorney


During this election cycle, Democrats struggled with fundraising issues and had difficulty recruiting a top tier candidate. Itkin, who had little name recognition statewide, was considered to be a sacrificial lamb. Peg Luksik, who was well known as an outspoken opponent of abortion, ran as a strong third party contender for the second consecutive election cycle; she emphasized the pro-choice stances of both candidates and drew votes in the state's rural, conservative center. However, Ridge's victory was never in doubt, as he ran on a generally positive record from his prior term and a combination of traditional Republican strategies (such as his "tough on crime" image) combined with his ability to somewhat undercut Democratic support (such as through his labor ties).[2]


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1998[3][4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Ridge
Running mate: Mark Schweiker
1,736,844 57.42
Democratic Ivan Itkin
Running mate: Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky
938,745 31.03
Constitution Peg Luksik
Running mate: Jim Clymer
315,761 10.43
Libertarian Ken Krawchuk
Running mate: Henry Haller
33,591 1.11
Write-In 281 0.01
Total votes 3,025,022 100.00
Turnout   41.67


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - PA Governor - D Primary Race - May 19, 1998".
  2. ^ Kennedy, John J. (2006). Pennsylvania Elections: Statewide Contests From 1950-2004. University Press of America. ISBN 9780761832799.
  3. ^ The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-94.
  4. ^ The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-16.