There's never been a woman representing the Lehigh Valley in Congress...until now. Democrat Susan Wild has won the 7th District race over Republican Marty Nothstein. "It's just such an incredibly exciting moment for me personally and for all of us here in the 7th District," Wild told supporters. Wild defeated the Lehigh County Commissioner by about 26,000 votes. While Wild beat Nothstein in the 7th, it appears Nothstein edged Wild in the current 15th Congressional District and he told supporters he plans on serving, even it's only for about six weeks. "If I am elected to serve in Congress for the remainder of Charlie Dent's term, I will do that just as everybody has elected me to do so and I will do so to the best of my ability," Nothstein said. Wild takes office in January.
Pennsylvania's Senate race didn't feature much drama, with incumbent Democrat Bob Casey easily defeating Republican Congressman and former Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta. Casey told supporters his win is a win for America's healthcare system. "This election was really a victory for people across the 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 families," Casey said. Casey beat Barletta by a 56-43 percent margin or roughly 600,000 votes to earn another term in the U.S. Senate.
It's a second term for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf who easily defeated Republican challenger, former St. Sen. Scott Wagner. Wolf told supporters they and other Democrats across the country made a difference Tuesday. "All across America, people did what you did. You voted. You voted to bring things back to where they were. You voted for better lives. You voted to hold onto our democracy. You voted to make our schools better, to continue to make our schools better," Wolf said. Wolf beat Wagner by about 900,000 votes to win another four years in office by a comfortable 17 point margin.
There were six contested local House races Tuesday and a pair of local state senators facing challenges as well. All eight incumbents appear to have survived, but two did so by narrow margins. Longtime St. Sen. Republican Pat Browne defeated Democrat challenger Mark Pinsley by roughly 2600 votes or just two percent. Republican St. Rep. Justin Simmons held onto his seat in Harrisburg after turning aside the challenge of Andy Lee by about 1800 votes. Other incumbents, all Republicans won by more comfortable margins, including St. Sen. Mario Scavello and representatives Ryan Mackenzie, Gary Day, Joe Emrick, Marcia Hahn and Zach Mako.
Pennsylvania is sending four women to Congress for the first time. The four are all Democrats that won open seats, with three taking districts that had been under Republican control prior to the State Supreme Court's effort to redraw the boundaries. Pennsylvania had never sent more than two women to Congress before.
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has won re-election. The Democrat was in a tight, nasty race with Republican Bob Hugin. Menendez last year was at the center of a corruption case which ended in a mistrial. Hugan, a pharmaceutical executive, spent millions hammering the Democrat over the trial.
Election Day was tinged with tragedy in Northampton County. 83-year-old Marlene Raub of Forks Township was struck and killed by a minivan Tuesday morning outside the polling place at the Forks Township Community Center. The accident happened just after 10:30 Tuesday morning when an unidentified 78-year-old woman hit Raub. Witnesses say Raub was walking out of the center after having voted when she was hit. She died nearly an hour later at St. Luke's University Hospital in Fountain Hill.
A 23-year-old man is charged with a New Year's Day killing in Allentown. Lehigh County DA Jim Martin has filed charges against Vyante Green for the killing of Kenyatta Eutsey and wounding of a New Jersey man on West Turner Street. Green was already in Lehigh County Jail for a May 24th drug arrest.