Wednesday, September 18, 2019


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Republicans Dominate in Area Elections
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

        As expected, Democratic businessman Tom Wolf from York easily bested Republican Governor Tom Corbett to take over the reins of Pennsylvania for the next four years.  What wasn't expected, but provided a pleasant backdrop, was the high voter turnout; ranging from 40 percent to 60 percent in most areas of southeast Pennsylvania.

        Corbett carried 43 of the state's counties to Wolf's 24 but the Democrat dominated in the counties of Philadelphia (324,966–44,159), Allegheny (205,311–146-989), Erie (42,091 –30,371) Lackawanna (41,569–18,029) and Lehigh (44,590–36,870); home to the Commonwealth's large cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton and Allentown.

        In addition to Philadelphia coming out strong for Wolf, the other four counties of southeastern Pennsylvania backed him as well.  Wolf took Montgomery (104,459), Bucks (103,787), Delaware (108,307) and Chester (80,507 – 74,922), making it a clean sweep in the voter-heavy southeast.

        It is the first time since 1968, when Pennsylvania law was changed to allow a governor to serve two consecutive terms, that an incumbent lost.                                

        With the election of Tom Wolf as governor and Mike Stack as lieutenant governor, the Democrats have taken over the executive branch but the Republicans strengthened their numbers in the House.  This session of the State House of Representative will have 119 Republican members and 84 Democrats.  Republicans still hold the majority in the State Senate.

        While neither of the U.S. Senate seats from Pennsylvania were up for election, the national race had the Republicans capturing six contested seats.  They now hold the majority of both the Senate and House of Representatives. 

        The race for the U.S. Congressional 8th District had Republican Mike Fitzpatrick retain his seat with a victory of Democratic challenger Kevin Strouse, 137,676–84,705.  In addition to Bucks County, the 8th District includes the boroughs of Green Lane, Telford, Souderton and Hatfield along with parts of Upper Hanover Township and Marlborough, Salford, Upper Salford, Lower Salford, Upper Frederick, Lower Frederick, Franconia and Hatfield Townships in Montgomery County.

        The race to replace retiring Representative Jim Gerlach for the U.S. Congressional 6th District saw Republican Ryan Costello besting Democrat Manan Trivedi, 26,146– 21,360.  The district includes the boroughs of East Greenville, Pennsburg, Red Hill, Schwenksville, Collegeville, Trappe, Royersford and Pottstown.  It also includes parts of Upper Hanover Township and West Norriton Township as well as the townships of Douglass, New Hanover, Limerick, Perkiomen, Lower Providence, Upper Pottsgrove, Lower Pottsgrove and West Pottsgrove.

        Locally, Republican incumbent Bob Mensch easily won another term by topping Democratic challenger Jack Hansen in the 24th District.  Mensch had a strong showing in the district which encompasses areas of Montgomery, Berks and Bucks counties, winning the seat by a 41,783–27,964 margin.  

        In the newly redrawn 131st State Representative District, Republican incumbent Justin Simmons retained his seat by defeating Democratic challenger Michael Beyers by 12,062–7,675.  In addition to municipalities in southeast Lehigh County, the 131st District now includes the Montgomery County boroughs of East Greenville, Pennsburg and Red Hill along with Upper Hanover Township.  Previously those municipalities were part of the 147th District where incumbent Republican Marcy Toepel was running unopposed.

        In the race to replace retiring GOP State Representative Paul Clymer in the 145th District, it was Republican Richland Township Supervisor Craig Staats over Democrat Karen D. Chellew, 11,266–7,913.  The 145th District includes the boroughs of Quakertown, Trumbauersville, Richlandtown, Sellersville, and Perkasie as well as Milford, Springfield, Haycock, Richland, West Rockhill and East Rockhill townships.





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