By Tuesday afternoon, Democratic staffers were downplaying their odds in historically blue Westmoreland County. Perhaps the capital of so-called Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania, the County has trended more and more red over the past few years.
On election day, GOP candidates won every county-wide office and took the majority of the Board of Commissioners for the first time in 55 years.
After a heated campaign in October, Republicans Chuck Anderson and Tyler Courtney outperformed Democrats Ted Kopas (3rd) and Gerald Lucia (4th).
The GOP overcame longstanding Democratic control of county row offices including Controlled, Treasurer, Sheriff, Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills.
All of the races were within 10 points, several of them closer. Three of the races were within 1,000 votes of about 62,000 cast.
Democrats sought to minimize the swing, saying, accurately, that demographic trends were working against them and that the switch was a long time coming.
Nonetheless, it’s a big win for a county whose GOP organization is on the rise – and a good counter-weight to the rise of Democrats in Montgomery County.