Parties Trade State House Special Election Wins
In the 48th, Republican Tim O’Neal defeated Democrat Clark Mitchell. The seat was formerly held by Democratic state Rep. Brandon Neuman who vacated the seat when he was sworn in as a Judge for Washington County. The final tally was 55% to 44%.
In the 178th, Democrat Helen Tai defeated Republican Wendi Thomas in Bucks County. Former GOP State Rep. Scott Petri was named to lead the Philadelphia Parking Authority. She won 51% to 49%.
Meanwhile in Republican Clint Owlett cruised in the 68th district seat, beating Democrat Carrie Health 3-to-1 in the conservative Northern Tier district. The seat was vacated when Rep. Matt Baker took a position with the Department of Health and Human Services
State and National Democrats trumpeted Tai’s win and didn’t mention Mitchell.
“Pennsylvania voters made their voices heard – they are ready to send a representative to Harrisburg who will stand up for them and advocate for government and redistricting reform, smarter investments in our public schools, and fight the opioid crisis,” DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post said.
For national pundits, the takeaways from the special elections come with a grain of salt. Independent and third party voters can’t vote in PA primaries, so typically they do not show up as strongly as they normally would in a general election.