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An initiative to provide nonpartisan, independent elections journalism for southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State House 58th District: A guide to the 2022 general election and candidates

90.5 WESA

What’s at stake: Republican state Rep. Eric Davanzo is running for a second term representing Pennsylvania’s 58th District against Democrat Ken Bach. Bach, past president of the Yough School Board, has run for the 58th district before. Since then, voter registration has actually shifted in favor of the GOP due to district boundaries changing when state lawmakers redrew Pennsylvania's legislative maps. Now, 48% of voters there are registered Republicans versus 46% in the old district.

Ken Bach

After more than a decade on the Yough School Board, Bach says he saw how state laws limit local officials’ ability to affect positive change — and that was a big factor in the U.S. Navy veteran and auto shop owner’s first run for state office a few years ago. With the pandemic only compounding the public education crisis, Bach revived his campaign. “Republicans have weaponized education to win elections by saying it’s terrible,” Bach says. “They’re not trying to fix it, they’re trying to destroy it.” Bach says his priority remains public education funding because relying on property taxes merely exacerbates the inequities among communities, which already affect children’s lives outside school. Instead, he’s calling for using existing taxes to pay for public education.

Party: Democratic
Experience: Yough School Board (2007-2021)
Owner, Bach Auto
Education: California University of Pennsylvania (Penn West)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
Candidate surveys: WESA Candidate Survey; League of Women Voters
Total contributions (2021-2022): $1,838
Total expenditures (2021-2022): $107.18

Eric Davanzo

Like Bach, the 46-year-old Davanzo has deep roots in southwestern Pennsylvania. The freshman representative had been a construction manager before getting into politics. He won his seat by special election in 2020 and held onto it through another regular election later that year. Davanzo, who did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him to participate in this voting guide, co-hosts a Harrisburg-focused political talk show/roundtable with state Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland.

Party: Republican 
Pennsylvania House of Representatives – 58th District (2020 – present)
Education: Yough High School
Links: Facebook
Candidate surveys: WESA Candidate Survey; League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Firearm Owners Against Crime, NRA, LifePac, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
Fundraising Total:
Total contributions (2021-2022): $65,136.62
Total expenditures (2021-2022): $39,427.75

Corrected: October 10, 2022 at 8:13 AM EDT
Rep. Eric Davanzo's age has been corrected.
Emily Previti is a podcast producer and data journalist, and executive editor and co-creator of Obscured from Kouvenda Media.