Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1998

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Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1998

← 1994 November 3, 1998 (1998-11-03) 2002 →
Candidate 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%

Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election Results by County, 1998.svg
County results

Governor before election

Tom Ridge

Elected Governor

Tom Ridge

The Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election of 1998 was held on November 3, 1998. It was between incumbent Republican Tom Ridge and Democrat Ivan Itkin. Ridge, a popular moderate, won with 57% of the votes cast.

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


Runningmate: 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
Runningmate: Mark Schweiker
1,736,844 57.42
Democratic Ivan Itkin
Runningmate: Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky
938,745 31.03
Constitution Peg Luksik
Runningmate: Jim Clymer
315,761 10.43
Libertarian Ken Krawchuk
Runningmate: Henry Haller
33,591 1.11
Write-in 281 0.01
Total votes 3,025,022 100.00
Voter turnout 41.67%


  2. Kennedy, John J. (2006). Pennsylvania Elections: Statewide Contests From 1950-2004. University Press of America. ISBN 9780761832799.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-94.
  4. The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-16.