Wolf, Casey keep seats in mid-term elections

Pa. legislature remains in GOP hands

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, cruised to a second term in office after a double-digit victory over Republican Scott Wagner, a former state senator.

But as he did during his first term, Wolf will face a state legislature that is expected to remain under Republican control.

Wolf and GOP legislators worked together on changing public pensions and liquor laws, as well as expanding gambling and legalizing medical marijuana. But Wolf has faced resistance in his efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage, impose a severance tax on natural gas and expand eligibility for overtime pay.

Wolf also has opposed federal efforts to advance lower-cost health plans that do not meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Wolf won nearly 2.8 million votes, or 57.7 percent, compared to just under 2 million, or 40.8 percent, for Wagner, who ran as an outsider looking to shake up Harrisburg. Both men are from York County.

A Green Party candidate, Paul Glover, and a Libertarian Party candidate, Kenneth Krawchuk, each finished with less than 1 percent of the vote, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

In thanking his supporters, Wolf said Pennsylvania had voted for better lives, affordable quality health care and a stronger economy with family-sustaining jobs.

Another Democrat, Bob Casey, held onto a seat in the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican Lou Barletta of Hazleton. Casey won nearly 2.7 million votes, or 55.6 percent of the total, compared to nearly 2.1 million, or 42.8 percent, for Barletta.

While Barletta had been an early supporter of President Donald Trump, Casey has been staunchly opposed to many of Trump’s policies.

Republicans, however, held onto seats in Central Pennsylvania’s redrawn congressional districts.

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R) eked out a win against Democratic challenger George Scott in the 10th district, which includes portions of Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties.

And U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker won over Democrat Jess King in the 11th district, which includes Lancaster County and portions of York County.

In the newly created 7th congressional district, which encompasses the Greater Lehigh Valley, Democrat Susan Wild, an attorney, defeated Republican Marty Nothstein, a former Olympic gold medalist.

The 7th district replaces the former 15th, which Republican Charlie Dent held for many years before stepping down earlier this year to take a job as a political commentator.

Wild is the first woman the Lehigh Valley has sent to Congress.

In Upper Bucks Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, known as a moderate, defeated Democratic challenger Scott Wallace in the 1st congressional district.

While Democrats took control of the U.S. House, Republicans kept control of the Senate.

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