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Republicans On Top In 111th And 139th State House Races

November 7, 2018

Two Republican incumbents running for re-election in a pair of contested state House races in rural districts in Northeast Pennsylvania easily defeated their Democratic challengers, according to unofficial results.

In the 111th state House district comprising parts of Susquehanna and Wayne counties, Republican incumbent Rep. Jonathan Fritz, 41, Honesdale, Wayne County, received 11,448 votes, while Democrat Rebecca Kinney, 59, an administrative assistant for Integrative Counseling Services PC from New Milford, Susquehanna County, trailed with 4,471 votes.

Those vote totals came from all Wayne County precincts in the 111th District reporting, and 58 percent of Susquehanna County precincts reporting.

“I’m thankful for the people to turn out in challenging weather. It shows the level of commitment to get out and vote,” Fritz said in a phone interview.

The 111th District includes Ararat, Bridgewater, Brooklyn, Choconut, Clifford, Forest City, Forest Lake, Franklin, Gibson, Great Bend borough, Great Bend Twp., Hallstead, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Jessup Twp., Lanesboro, Lenox, Liberty, Montrose, New Milford borough, New Milford Twp., Oakland borough, Oakland Twp., Silver Lake, Susquehanna Depot, Thompson borough, Thompson Twp. and Union Dale, all in Susquehanna County. In Wayne County, it includes Bethany, Honesdale, Prompton, Starrucca and Waymart boroughs and Buckingham, Canaan, Clinton, Dyberry, Lake, Lebanon, Manchester, Mount Pleasant, Preston, Scott, South Canaan and Texas townships.

139th race

In the 139th state House district comprising parts of Wayne and Pike counties — and with all precincts reporting in both counties — Republican incumbent Rep. Michael Peifer, 50, Greene Twp., Pike County, garnered 16,138 votes, while Democrat Orlando Marrero, 50, a locksmith from Hawley, Wayne County, lost with 8,624 votes.

Efforts to contact Peifer on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

The 139th District includes Hawley borough and Berlin, Cherry Ridge, Damascus, Dreher, Lehigh, Oregon, Palmyra, Paupack, Salem and Sterling townships, all in Wayne County, and Matamoras and Milford boroughs and Blooming Grove, Dingman, Greene, Lackawaxen, Milford, Palmyra, Shohola and Westfall townships, all in Pike County.

During the campaign, the candidates differed along party lines on many issues, including a shale gas severance tax.

Both Fritz, in his first term, and Peifer, first elected in 2006, favor the current impact fee, noting most of its revenue raised goes back to the communities where natural-gas drilling occurs. Both Kinney and Marrero support a severance tax.

Regarding school property tax reform, Fritz said change is “a heavy lift” that would have to be done in steps and the state must cap property taxes on senior citizens. Kinney supports a “fair share tax” on the top 1 percent of taxpayers, and raising other revenue that could go toward reducing school property taxes.

Peifer said there’s no magic wand to eliminate property taxes without shifting the burden to income or sales taxes. Marrero opposes the idea of reducing property taxes by increasing sales taxes because it unfairly shifts the school tax burden to businesses and consumers.

Legislators’ base annual salary is $87,180 this year. A House term runs two years.

111th Congressional District (all Wayne County precincts reporting; 58 percent of Susquehanna County precincts reporting)

Rep. Jonathan A. Fritz (R) 11,448

Rebecca L. Kinney (D) 4,471

 

 

139th Congressional District

Rep. Michael T. Peifer (R) 16,138

Orlando D. Marrero (D) 8,624

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