The seat will stay red.
Republican David Rowe, the vice chair of the East Buffalo Township board of supervisors and local businessman, wins the three-way race for the open seat in the Susquehanna River Valley.
Rowe captured 62% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Department of State, besting Democrat, Dr. Jennifer Rager-Kay, who received 37% of the vote, and write-in candidate Clair Moyer, a registered Republican.
Rowe will fill the seat vacated by former state Rep. Fred Keller (R-Snyder), who was elected to Congress in May in a special election succeeding former Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming).
When Rowe was awarded the nomination by the party for the seat in June, he thanked Keller’s service to the district and said fighting for lower taxes, supporting the second amendment, and being pro-life were priorities for his campaign.
“I will fight for stronger economic growth and more family-sustaining jobs, lower taxes, a robust farming community, and less burdensome regulation on small businesses,” Rowe said according to WKOK. “I will stand up for our conservative values against the liberal Democrats who push for bigger, more intrusive, and more expensive government. I am Pro-Life, support the Second Amendment, and will work to protect religious liberty.”
This was Rager-Kay’s second bid for the seat in as many years. She lost to Keller in 2018 by 35 points, while losing this special election bid to Rowe by 25 points in the GOP friendly district.
Despite the Democrats coming up short once again for this seat, there is a silver lining for them when comparing 2019 to 2018. Bucknell and Susquehanna Universities are out of session this week, and Rager-Kay still made improvements to her previous bid, while the students were on campus in 2018.
Rowe’s victory means the GOP once again has 110-93 lead over Democrats in the state House.
This story was updated to add that the students of Buckness and Susquehanna