59th House District: Reese holds off challenger

December 3, 2018

Five-term Republican incumbent Mike Reese held off Democratic challenger Clare Dooley Tuesday, maintaining a decades-long GOP lock on the 59th District House seat.

Reese received about 70 percent of the vote to about 30 percent for Dooley, with all precincts reporting in Westmoreland and Somerset counties.

Dooley, 51, lives in Unity and is a registered nurse who also has earned a law degree. During her campaign, she expressed support for raising the state’s minimum wage and for establishing a single-payer health care system to cover medical, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits.

She spoke in favor of providing free higher education to students and working on a funding formula that would increase dollars for public schools without hiking property taxes.

Reese, 40, of Mt. Pleasant Township, holds degrees in business administration and education. He said tax reform is long overdue in the state, noting he favors replacing real estate taxes with a consumer-based tax system.

He suggested that limiting standardized testing mandates could help more students move into job fields that are in high demand.

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