Republicans, incumbents make big gains in Lancaster elections

BY STEVEN VIERA ’16
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In addition to the highly publicized presidential contest on Election Day, Nov. 6, 15 elections were held for a number of local offices in Lancaster County. Many incumbents were re-elected to positions in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and Pennsylvania General Assembly. Republicans also had a strong finish.

Pennsylvania’s open seat in the U.S. Senate went to incumbent Bob Casey, Jr. Democratic senator Casey was first elected to the Senate in 2006, defeating then-incumbent Rick Santorum, Republican senator. According to his website, Casey is an advocate of immigration reform, gay rights, and children’s issues. Like his father, Bob Casey, Sr., former governor of Pennsylvania, he is pro-life.

During the election, Casey was opposed by Republican candidate Tom Smith. Smith was a lifelong conservative Democrat but changed his party affiliation to Republican in 2011, according to an article that appeared in The Morning Call on Aug. 4. According to Lancaster County’s website, Smith won the county, taking 127,129 votes to Casey’s 88,771 and 4,516 for other candidates, but went on to lose the election.

In elections to the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Republicans held their offices. According to Lancaster County’s website, Patrick L. Meehan, Congressman, handily defeated George Badey, the Democratic challenger, in Pennsylvania’s 7th District; Congressman Joseph R. Pitts, the Republican representative from Pennsylvania’s 16th District, won against Democrat Aryanna C. Strader.

In Lancaster County, a number of elections were also held for offices within Pennsylvania’s state government. According to Lancaster County’s website, Lloyd K. Smucker, incumbent state senator of the Republican Party was re-elected in the 13th District over Democratic challenger Tom G. O’Brien. Eight districts (37, 41, 43, 96-100) held elections for Representatives to the General Assembly. In five districts (41, 96, 98-100) incumbents were re-elected to office; no incumbent was ousted from office in any of the Lancaster County elections.

Candidates ran unopposed in four of the districts listed above (97-100).

All of the officials elected or reelected to positions in the State Senate or General Assembly were Republicans with the exception of the re-election of Mike Sturla, Democratic congressman, from the 96th district, who has been in office since 1991.

In other elections, Republican David J. Freed was elected Attorney General, Republican John Maher was elected Auditor General, and Diana Irey Vaughan was elected State Treasurer according to Lancaster County’s website.

Questions? Email Steven at sviera@fandm.edu.

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