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

Pennsylvania State Senate 38th District: A guide to the 2022 general election and candidates

90.5 WESA

What's at stake: The race in the new 38th District of the Pennsylvania Senate will be one of the most closely watched in the general election. State Sen. Lindsey Williams, a Democrat, is seeking a second term after narrowly winning her seat in 2018, though her district has become somewhat friendlier to Democrats since then. She’ll face off against state Rep. Lori Mizgorski, a Republican who was drawn out of her House district in the most recent redistricting. The 38th District covers North Hills suburbs, Allegheny River towns and East End neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

Further reading: "North Hills state Senate race reflects stakes in effort to change checks and balances in Harrisburg" (Kiley Koscinski, WESA)

Lindsey Williams

Democrat Pennsylvania state senator Lindsey Williams stands near the flag at the Shaler Municipal buiding where her office is on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Glenshaw, Pa.
Keith Srakocic
Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams was elected to the state Senate in 2018 after working as a communications and political director of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers. The West View resident serves as minority chair of the state Senate Education Committee, where she has supported increased funding for public education. Williams broke with her party earlier this year by backing an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In an effort to encourage legislators to be more transparent, she posts her expenses on her website. Williams has said she opposes any restrictions on abortion.

Party: Democratic
Experience: Pennsylvania Senate — 38th district (2019 – present)
Education: Dickinson College (B.A.); Duquesne University School of Law (J.D.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Candidate surveys: WESA Candidate Survey; League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Allegheny County Democratic Committee; Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates; Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.
Total contributions (2021-2022): $313,186.08
Total expenditures (2021-2022): $136,240.73
Worth reading: Hotly contested state Senate race in Allegheny County could come down to abortion rights (Jon Delano, KDKA)

Lori Mizgorski

Lori Mizgorski
Courtesy the Mizgorski campaign
Lori Mizgorski

Rep. Mizgorski hopes to make the jump from state House to state Senate this fall after she was drawn out of her district. The Shaler resident advocates for infrastructure investment and increased access to renewable solar energy for all Pennsylvanians. Mizgorski supported a GOP-backed investigation into the state’s 2020 election results despite a lack of evidence of any widespread issues or fraud. She broke with her party earlier this year by opposing a state budget amendment that would have stopped tuition funding for the University of Pittsburgh over its medical research that uses fetal tissue.

Party: Republican
Experience: Pennsylvania House of Representatives — 30th district (2019 – present)
Shaler Township Supervisor (2009 – 2019)
Education: Hood College (B.A.)
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Candidate surveys: WESA Candidate Survey; League of Women Voters
Major endorsements: Americans for Prosperity; FOP County of Allegheny Lodge # 91; National Federation of Independent Business; former state Rep. Hal English (R-30); more here.
Total contributions (2021-2022): $19,620
Total expenditures (2021-2022): $34,371.12
Worth reading: "Pa. lawmakers want to improve conditions for women in prison" (Sam Dunklau, WESA)
"Mizgorski takes Senate 38th district, Mihalek wins in House 40th, and more from local districts" (WESA)

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.