The so-called ‘blue wave’ that saw the Democrats take control of 28 of the Republican Seats in the House (223-201) almost took control of the area’s 16th Congressional District as well. But, it ended up going to the Republicans like the Senate, taking two seats from the Democrats (51-43).
Four-term Republican Incumbent Mike Kelly used a late-charge in the southern part of the district to overcome an early lead from Democrat Ron DiNicola. It was after 11pm when it became apparent that Kelly would retain the seat and DiNicola called to concede.
In his victory speech, Kelly credited both staff and supporters, “Without you, without all of you, we don’t get here, we do not get here. It’s that total commitment that you made to us”.
Kelly later telling JET 24 that he feels he can work with the new Democratic leadership taking over the House.
16th Congressional Democratic Candidate Ron DiNicola thankful for the community’s support throughout the campaign. “I’m grateful to my fellow Erie County citizens for having supported my candidacy with such vigor. We’re humbled by the support we had from Erie County; very grateful for it.”
In the race for the new 15th District Congressional Seat, Republican Incumbent Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson faced Democratic challenger Susan Boser. Thompson seeking and gaining his sixth term in Congress; Boser was a first-time candidate.
The spirited race for Pennsylvania’s Governor saw Democratic Incumbent Governor Tom Wolf seeking his second term. He faced Republican Challenger Scott Wagner. Also on the ticket were Green Party Candidate Paul Glover and Libertarian Candidate Kenneth Krawchuk. Governor Tom Wolf defeated Wagner for a second term in office.
In the race for US Senator, four candidates were on the ballot; Democratic Incumbent Bob Casey, Jr.; seeking his fourth term. His opponents; Republican Candidate Lou Barletta, Green Party Candidate Neal Gale, and Libertarian Dale Kerns. Senator Bob Casey will take a seat for his fourth term in office saying this victory is for the Commonwealth. “[This] election really was a victory for people across our Commonwealth who want a new direction in Washington. It was also a triumph for people who are really concerned about their healthcare and what will happen to them and their family.”
Another state race of local importance is the Pennsylvania 2nd Legislative District, which includes Erie’s west side, Summit Township, and the Belle Valley area of Millcreek Township. The seat became available with the passing of Democratic Representative Flo Fabrizio in July of this year from pancreatic cancer. Running to replace Fabrizio were Democratic Candidate Bob Merski and Republican Candidate Tim Kuzma. Bob Merski pulls away with the victory against Republican Tim Kuzma.
Merski says, “I care about the community, I want to make a difference and I have a servant’s heart. I just want to do the best job that I can for the constituents and the same job that I’ve done on council I want to bring to the state office so that we can bridge the gap between Erie and Harrisburg and really make a difference for this community.”
Other races we’re keeping track of on the state level include a number of state representatives who ran unopposed. In the first district, State Representative Pat Harkins was re-elected to his seventh term; State Representative Ryan Bizzarro was re-elected to his fourth term, State Representative Curt Sonney was re-elected to his eighth term, State Representative Brad Roae will also return to Harrisburg after he was re-elected to his 7th term, 17th District Representative Park Wentling will return for his third term, and 65th District Representative Kathy Rapp will return for her eighth term.
The total voter turnout in Erie County was 53.2%.