Pennsylvania Democratic Incumbent Governor Wins Second Term in Landslide
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Voter interest was low in Pennsylvania, but those who did turn out favored Democratic incumbent Gov. Robert P. Casey by a landslide.
He piled up the largest victory margin ever in a Pennsylvania gubernatorial race to claim a second term in Tuesday’s voting.
Casey garnered 2,045,464 votes, or 68 percent, compared to Republican challenger Barbara Hafer’s 975,583, or 32 percent.
He captured 66 of the state’s 67 counties, winning in staunch Republican areas that hadn’t supported a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in this century.
″This is a great night,″ Casey told supporters in Scranton, his hometown. ″A night that defies description.″
Casey, 58, ran on his record of avoiding new taxes while pushing education, environmental and economic programs.
Hafer, 47, the state’s auditor general, lagged far behind Casey in fund raising, and her abortion rights stand hurt her chances of massing the GOP vote against him.
With Casey running way ahead throughout the campaign, just 53 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the gubernatorial race.
Meanwhile, one incumbent congressman, Democrat Doug Walgren of Pittsburgh, was ousted, the first time in six years a Pennsylvania congressman was denied a re-election bid.
At the state Capitol, Democrats tightened their hold on the House, boosting their 103-99 margin to 108-95. Republicans’ margin in the Senate dropped from 27-23 to 26-24. A wave of anti-incumbent sentiment helped unseat 13 state House members.
Two ballot questions also were approved Tuesday: a $25 million expansion of loans for volunteer fire and rescue companies and $200 million in state loans for county prison renovations and expansions.