HARRISBURG – Tuesday was a significant day for state House Republicans, as their candidates won two of the three special elections, bringing the majority back to its historic high of 121 members, House Republican leaders said.
Even though Democrats called it a “must win” race, for the first time since the 1968 Constitution created the 203-member House of Representatives, a Republican will represent Washington County’s 48th Legislative District with the resounding victory of Tim O'Neal, a human resources director for a Pittsburgh construction company and decorated Army war veteran. The seat was vacated upon the resignation of former Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington).
In the 68th Legislative District, Clint Owlett, a small businessman and community leader, won the special election to replace former Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter).
Awaiting a final vote tally in a hotly contested special election in Bucks County’s 178th Legislative District, Republican Wendi Thomas, a business woman and former president of the Council Rock School Board, is down by only 96 votes.
These candidates campaigned in support of the Republican vision of a more competitive, job-friendly and customer-driven Pennsylvania, in contrast to the vision of Gov. Tom Wolf and his Democrat colleagues who believe in big government, big entitlements and big tax increases.
“Our Republican team emphasized fiscal responsibility and private sector job creation,” Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said. “Each and every Pennsylvania citizen should have the opportunity for a productive and meaningful life with dignity.”
“Overall, the voters showed confidence in our job-focused policies and ideas to reform Harrisburg,” Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said. “By rejecting the Democratic tax-and-spend policies, Republicans once again showed pocketbook issues matter.”
Representative Dave Reed
Pennsylvania House of Representatives