This Northeast Pa. congressional district is staying with the Democratic incumbent.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) defeated GOP challenger Jim Bognet, a former Trump administration appointee, to secure another two years in Congress representing the 8th Congressional District. Cartwright leads Bognet by 3.4 points with 93% estimated to be in. The AP called the race at 12:05 P.M. on Friday.
Although the 8th District is the most GOP friendly seat held by a Democrat in Pennsylvania, most national outlets rated Cartwright as the favorite for the seat throughout 2020. In 2016, President Donald Trump carried these boundaries over Sec. Hillary Clinton by nearly 10 points. It is unclear how exactly former Vice President Joe Biden will finish in the district, although the Democratic presidential candidate improved his margin in Lackawanna County, in comparison to Clinton’s performance in 2016.
Cartwright often touted his support for the Affordable Care Act and supporting policies that would bring jobs back from China. When the Lackawanna County Democrat went on the offensive, he blasted Bognet for his opposition to the ACA and criticized him for the years he’s worked for various GOP campaigns outside of the district.
Bognet attempted to paint Cartwright as beholden to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the progressive wing of the party and as a supporter of “defunding the police,” although Politifact deemed that charge to be false. Bognet touted his roots in the district from growing up in Hazleton and promoted Trump’s agenda.
The upcoming session will be Cartwright’s fifth term in Congress.