Close this search box.

HD-161: Krueger-Braneky Wins Seat for Democrats

Leanne-Krueger-BranekyIt was close. In fact, it was so close the independent candidate ended up playing the spoiler.

Democratic nominee Leanne Krueger-Braneky won the special election to fill the 161st legislative district.

Krueger-Braneky took in 4,791 votes or 47.68%.

GOP nominee Paul Mullen received 4,268 votes or 42.48%.

In the end, tea party activist Lisa Esler very likely cost Mullen the contest with her write-in campaign. While we don’t yet know the content of all of the write-in ballots, there were an extraordinary high number of them; 988 or 9.83% of the total vote.

Mullen was the President of the Delaware County AFL-CIO and even won the endorsement of the statewide organization. Possibly as a result, he was portrayed as insufficiently conservative by some.

Last April, Republican incumbent State Rep. Joe Hackett retired.

Hackett defeated Krueger-Braneky 56% to 44% last November.

Krueger-Braneky’s ascension is also a much needed victory for Governor Wolf as he campaigned for her last weekend. This was the first time in his term that the freshman Gov got involved in an election and the contest occurred in the midst of the current budget standoff.

A Mullen victory would’ve been hailed as a loss for Wolf by the GOP. Now the Democrats will attempt to transfer Krueger-Braneky’s victory to the Governor.

“I want to congratulate Leanne Krueger-Braneky on her hard fought victory this evening,” Governor Wolf said in a statement. “Leanne has a proven record helping to create jobs here in Pennsylvania and was successful in her race because she ran a strong, disciplined campaign, but those were not the only reasons.

“This victory sends a very strong and very clear message that the people of Pennsylvania have had enough with the status quo. They want a budget that is truly balanced, fully funds our schools, and provides property tax relief,” he continued.

“Leanne won tonight because she is committed to changing the status quo in Harrisburg by investing in our public schools and finally making the oil and gas companies pay their fair share, and I can’t wait to work with her to rebuild Pennsylvania,” the Governor asserted.

“It is time the Harrisburg politicians hear that message and begin negotiating in good faith.”

“Pennsylvanians who elected Governor Tom Wolf last November are sick and tired of Republicans in Harrisburg who prefer playing politics over doing their jobs and passing a responsible budget,” said Krueger-Braneky. “The people of Delaware County sent a message today that their priorities – strong schools, lower property taxes, and more jobs that can support our families – should be the House’s priorities too.”

26 Responses

  1. LOL David, if you’re echoing Democratic economic expertise, God help us. What an embarrassing joke. You sure it wasn’t Bushes fault too? LOL! LOL!

  2. Unsanctioned R

    Are you aware that the Greeks made the mistake of following (well debunked) conservative economic austerity policy?

  3. I didn’t vote for Lisa I voted against Mullen…I forewarned the republican committee this would happen but stepping on two bit politicians ego doesn’t go anywhere…each one blames the other for the selection…they never stand up and say they screwed up big time…

  4. I wrote the following on three platforms yesterday, in more elaborative fashion:

    There is a desire to transcend “blame” because of what had been touted as a strong union-vote that was to be captured [channeling Toomey, perhaps], and because the write-in candidate will be empowered to run in next year’s primary [having developed a strong base]; in the interim, the GOP will not be injured in the process, as per the analysis by CAP issued overnight.

  5. Josh

    “most Democrats are openly communist, anarchist, and detached from our market-based economy and Constitutionally limited government.”

    You really need to change the channel from Fox News and pick up a history book or talk to an adult.

    The people who use the phrase “to get their nation back” mean back from having a black president (but they spell “black” starting with “n” and ending with “r”).

    Allowing gays to marry doesn’t take away the nation. Neither does providing healthcare, raising the minimum wage, ending wars, fighting discrimination, investing in job training, building roads and bridges, investing in public transportation, etc.

    Unsanctioned R
    The economic system of the 18th century was based on slavery, dirt roads,the gold standard, voting and property rights by white males only, no public health system, etc.

  6. It was the economic system forged in the 18th century that birthed modern civilization. Progressives are so greedy and lazy today they’re now willing to slaughter the golden goose and mortgage their children’s futures.

  7. Ummm, sorry, David Diano, you wouldn’t recognize an American if one fell on your head out of the sky. Why? Because most Democrats are openly communist, anarchist, and detached from our market-based economy and Constitutionally limited government. Your idea of a functional government is in line with how the Castro brothers run Cuba. That’s why you are mystified about the people who work hard to get their nation back. You don’t recognize them because your views are so out of synch with traditional American views.

  8. “over actual conservative”

    Um…these tea party candidates aren’t conservatives. They’re anarchists and fools who haven’t the slightest idea what services government performs. If they were in charge, we’d be driving on dirt roads, dying of preventable childhood diseases, working in indentured servitude, and not have public utilities like sewers

    BECAUSE: people should take care of their own poo, not pay taxes for the government to. First the government takes your poo, then your guns.

    Their slogan should be: bringing 18th century economics to the 21 st.

  9. Way to go, GOP. Back room endorsement of RINO labor leader over actual conservative, spend no time with actual people, spend tons of GOP money on what…, and in the end lose badly. Next time, let the Republican voters decide who they want to represent them. And be forewarned that the Republican base is becoming sufficiently organized almost everywhere, and they can scuttle these bad RINO deals if need be.

  10. Way to go. You just defeated yourselves, teaparty of Delco. Everyone knows how easy it is to unseat an incumbent (sarcasm, in the case you don’t know). And- the victor here is about as far left as you can get for yourselves. You would rather hang everyone, selfishly, than be happy half the time. Really, really smart move.

  11. David, PAGOP ended up getting that last time when they nominated Steve Welch.

  12. The Delco GOP should be embarrassed. They nominated a terrible candidate who ran an awful campaign and wasted big money. The race to fill Pileggi’s seat next year will be interesting.

  13. Wolf wins either way. At least this way the Delco GOP gets what they deserve for betraying the trust of the people. That machine needs to be dismantled.


  15. Good riddance. Should be able to take this back in 2016 if we nominate an actual Republican v

  16. Chet, labor did support the GOP candidate, openly and widely. Tom Wolf was in Swarthmore doing a rally for Leanne. I agree it may have had little to do with the budget, but it had a lot to do with labor and Tom Wolf – and Leanne was a better overall candidate.

  17. Chalk another win over the Building Trades for senator Wagner. this one was doomed from the start. It is the inverse of the special for The NE Philadelphia seat where labor supported the GOP candidate. This was an all,politics is local type election and nothing tondo with wolf and budget.

  18. A few weeks ago I was at Delco Dems picnic and the prediction was that about 10% tea party write in vote would clinch the election for the Dems.

    That made it winnable combined with a lot of hard work by the Dems.

    The district is about 15,000 dems, 20,500 GOP and 4,500 other. So it was an uphill battle, which makes the win even more satisfying.

  19. Ah yes, (liquor privatization opponent) Joe Hackett’s abrupt, inexplicable exit – mere months after being reelected. Yet another matter that bears further examination…

  20. Delco GOP chair should resign for such an embarrassment. HRCC donors should be angry that their dollars went to Mullen.

  21. When the GOP nominates a Democrat like Mullen, they will lose the general election. The TEA Party is pissed and ain’t gonna take it anymore.

  22. Too bad the Delaware Co GOP didn’t get the Democrat they wanted…who would’ve thought a campaign strategy of avoiding debates and dodging the media wouldn’t work…

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen