Democrats Take Top Spots in Pennsylvania
Democrats swept Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. was re-elected to another term and Democrats took all three row offices — Kathleen Kane as attorney general, Eugene DePasquale as auditor general and Rob McCord as treasurer.
Casey, who had been challenged by Western Pennsylvania businessman Tom Smith, won by a margin of 8.9 percent, with Casey taking 53.6 percent of Pennsylvania’s vote. He had a landslide win in Philadelphia, with more than 86 percent of the vote.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Casey, who previously served as auditor general and treasurer, thanked Pennsylvania voters.
“I am grateful for that support,” he said. “I am grateful for all the volunteer hours that people put in, knocking on doors, making phone calls, telling their friends and neighbors and families to get out and vote — so important to our victory tonight.”
Casey said he received a phone call from Smith 40 minutes before he delivered his victory speech. Both wished each other well, after months of vigorous campaign-ad attacks.
Casey noted the importance of bipartisanship during his address.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for our country. We’ve just lived through a very tough election year. After this is over, after all the votes are counted in all these races, we have to come together as one.”
Casey was endorsed by Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club but not by Equality Pennsylvania.
Equality PA executive director Ted Martin said the organization did not back Casey because of his stance against marriage equality; however, he acknowledged that Casey has come a long way on other LGBT issues.
“My hope is that the senator will continue to evolve. I think if he can look around and see that marriage equality did not hurt the president, he will evolve,” Martin said.
Political newcomers Kane and DePasquale, who both support marriage equality, also saw success.
Kane went up against Republican David Freed, and eventually took 56.1 percent of the votes. Her election makes her the first woman to ever hold the position of attorney general in Pennsylvania.
The race for auditor general was a closer one, with DePasquale capturing 49.7 percent of votes and challenger John Maher garnering 46.5 percent.
McCord, also a supporter of same-sex marriage, defeated Republican challenger Diana Vaughan 52-44 percent. McCord has been treasurer since 2009.
All three were endorsed by Equality Pennsylvania.
Martin said they are strong on LGBT issues.
“All three of them are in support of nondiscrimination in the workplace, better hate-crimes legislation and same-sex marriage. That is a pretty remarkable thing,” he said. “When you talked to all three of them, you knew where they were on their positions. These were candidates that attended our events, spoke directly about our issues and understood our issues.”
Martin noted that all three are committed to including LGBT individuals in their offices and on their teams.
That support will be unprecedented, he said.
“Having an LGBT perspective I think will be remarkable for Pennsylvania. It will change the complexion of the state.”
The trio of victories was not unexpected, however.
“These were three really strong candidates,” Martin said. “All three ran tremendous campaigns. We felt confident where they were going. They are three really strong, smart and direct candidates.”
Elsewhere, incumbent Democrats came out strong.
Congressman Bob Brady (1st Dist.) soundly defeated Republican challenger John Featherman (R) with 86.2 percent of the vote, and Congressman Chaka Fattah (2nd Dist.) will once again return to Congress after sweeping 92.2 percent of votes. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (13th Dist.) also won, with 73.5 percent of the votes in her race.
However, Democratic newcomers were not as successful.
Congressional hopefuls Manan Trivedi, George Badey and Kathy Boockvar lost to their Republican incumbents.
Trivedi fell to Congresssman Jim Gerlach (6th Dist.) by 54-45 percent, Boockvar to Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (8th Dist.) 56-44 percent and Badey to Congressman Patrick Meehan (7th Dist.) 56-43 percent.
At the state level, incumbent Sens. Larry Farnese (D-1st Dist.) and Daylin Leach (D-17th Dist.) defeated Republican challengers. Incumbent state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd Dist.) retained his seat, as did Rep. James Roebuck (D-188th Dist.). Democrat William Dunbar was unable to unseat Rep. John Taylor (R-177th Dist.).
From our media partners ta PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News.