Incumbent Summer Lee and Bhavini Patel are running in the Democratic primary election for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District

Incumbent Summer Lee (D) and Bhavini Patel (D) are running in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District on April 23, 2024.

Lee was first elected to the U.S. House in 2022 and previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Lee says she is a progressive and is campaigning on her legislative record. Her priorities include education, voting accessibility, raising the minimum wage, and the environment. When announcing her intention to run for re-election, Lee said, “My voting patterns, everything that I do, the resources I fight for, are for working class people. They’re for Black and brown people … They’re for everybody in this region.”

Patel is a member of the Edgewood Borough Council and a former small business owner. Patel is campaigning on her support for President Joe Biden (D), whom she says Lee does not support. Patel’s priorities include public safety, passing gun legislation, increasing the amount of union jobs, and increasing access to abortion. When launching her campaign, Patel said, “I think that people are looking for change. They want somebody who is focused on delivering on the issues that we need here, and they want somebody who’s going to take this region’s message to D.C. and not focus on a national agenda.”

The New York Times’ Jonathan Wiesman says candidates’ views on the Israel-Hamas war are a central dynamic of the race. In October 2023, Lee co-sponsored a resolution calling for a cease-fire to the war, saying, “We stand here to say that we will fight against any more pain that will come.” At a candidate forum, Patel mentioned Lee’s social media posts on the conflict, saying, “To me, that’s stoking hatred. That’s stoking antisemitism.” Patel also said that she attended rallies in support of Israel following the start of the conflict. Lee said the conflict “elicits deep pain in multiple communities … The reality is that peace—a just and lasting peace—has to start with centering all of the folks who are impacted.”

Laurie MacDonald (R) filed to run in the Democratic primary but withdrew and is running as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary.