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Kavulich, Naylor battle for Wansacz seat

Democrat Sid Michaels Kavulich pulled out a win Tuesday over Republican Dan Naylor in the 114th Legislative District in a race that got tighter as more precincts were counted.

According to unofficial election results in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wayne counties Tuesday night, Mr. Kavulich received 11,683 votes to Mr. Naylor’s 9,093.

It was a relatively close race in a district where about 59 percent of voters are registered Democrats and about 34 percent are registered Republicans. The 114th Legislative District encompasses about 24 municipalities in four counties.

Both Mr. Kavulich, a former communications specialist for the state Senate Democratic Caucus, and Mr. Naylor, a commercial auctioneer from Benton Twp., spent the months leading up to Election Day knocking on doors and talking to voters about issues ranging from the economy to the environment.

The two candidates were vying for a seat occupied by state Rep. Jim Wansacz, who lost his bid for a spot on the ballot for the 22nd Senatorial District.

State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $78,315 a year.

Mr. Kavulich acknowledged that the race was close, saying he believed Mr. Naylor might have had more name recognition because the Republican challenged Mr. Wansacz in 2002 and has served on the Lackawanna Trail School Board for 17 years.

The close race also “may have been part of the national trend that people are upset with the Democrats,” Mr. Kavulich said.

When he takes office in January, Mr. Kavulich said his top priority will be finding ways to run the Legislature “more efficiently.”

“I’d like to see some cost-cutting in our government,” he said. “I also want to make sure the budget … is passed on time.”

During the campaign, both he and Mr. Naylor vowed that they would not take per diems. Mr. Kavulich will submit receipts for expenses incurred on the job.

Mr. Kavulich also has said he will focus on Marcellus Shale drilling issues. He supports a natural gas severance tax and wants performance bonds posted on active wells.

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-Sid Michaels Kavulich(D)…11,683

-Dan Naylor (R)…………………9,093

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