Pennsylvania witnessed a decisive victory for the Democrats in state elections yesterday.
After a close race, the incumbent Bob Casey clinched a second term for U.S. Senator against Republican challenger Tom Smith.
As of 2 a.m., Casey held a lead of nearly nine percentage points over Smith, a prominent coal mine owner who self-funded nearly $17 million for his campaign. In Philadelphia County, Casey captured 86 percent of the vote to Smith’s 12 percent, with 91 percent precinct reporting.
During his first term, Casey — son of former Pennsylvania governor and pro-life advocate Robert Casey — bolstered his campaign with a record of supporting health care reform and experience in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In the race for state attorney general, Democrat Kathleen Kane secured a 15 percentage point lead over Republican and current Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed. Kane, a lawyer based in Scranton, Pa., is both the first woman and first Democrat to be elected to this post since it became an elected position in 1980.
Incumbent state treasurer Robert McCord, a Democrat, defeated challenger Diana Vaughan, securing 53 percent of the vote.
In response to the results, McCord said in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian, “I’m grateful and honored to have received the support of so many Pennsylvania voters.”
He added, “We’re going to build on our record of success, generate more profit for Pennsylvania and deliver more positive results for Pennsylvania’s seniors, middle-class families, students and all who seek good, effective government.”
Democrat Eugene DePasquale also defeated his Republican opponent — current state representative John Maher — in the race for state auditor general. As of 2 a.m., DePasquale was leading by three percentage points.
Nine-term U.S. Representative and a graduate of the Fels Institute of Government Chaka Fattah beat out Republican challenger Robert Mansfield with 89 percent of the vote to Mansfield’s nine percent.
Mansfield, a Tea Party supporter who ran in the 2010 gubernatorial race, reacted with concern for his constituents.
“It’s a sad day for Philadelphia,” his campaign statement said. “We’d like to wish people of the 2nd District good luck.”
Jim Roebuck, a seven-term incumbent in the Pennsylvania General Assembly also won by a landslide, defeating challenger Ernest Adkins with more than 94 percent of the vote.
“I am personally very pleased to have won my place for reelection,” he said. Roebuck also rejoiced over the high voter turnout in his district. “Students were a very substantial part of the margin of victory.”
Philadelphia County also voted on a ballot measure yesterday.
The measure dealt with certain amendments to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, including a provision that would establish an independent commission to fix and regulate city water rates.
Another question on the ballot measure sought approval to borrow more than $123 million for city transit, parks and sanitation.