Wolf wins; local Dems pack it in

By on November 5, 2014

Local Democratic candidates correctly sensed a voter backlash on Gov. Tom Corbett. Sanguinito-Zimerman together

The party perceived a vulnerability in the state House and Senate and possibly even an opportunity to derail Congressman Joe Pitts’ bid to return to Washington as a 10-term, 6th Congressional District representative.

The scenario went well: Democrat Tom Wolf took 54 percent of the vote statewide and easily won the Pennsylvania governor’s race Tuesday.

But while Wolf’s message on a promise to refund education to local school districts resonated elsewhere, Democrats — who touted the same message — got smoked in Eastern Lancaster County, Ephrata, Cocalico, Manheim, Lititz and Warwick.ceckresge02082014

In fact, so did Wolf, who took only 41 percent of the vote among Ephrata School District voters and only 32 percent of the vote in the Cocalico School District.

Falling in Tuesday’s election were Democrats Gary “Schreck” Schreckengost, Tom Houghton, Bryan Sanguinito, Charles Hample, and Brian Kresge.

The winners were familiar Republican faces as Ryan Aument handily took the 36th District State Senate; David H. Zimmerman moves into State Representative seat in the 99th District; Steve Mentzer returns as State Representative, 97th District; ditto Mindy Fee State Rep. in the 37th District.Mindy Fee

The problem of course for local Dems is that nobody told Lancaster County voters about a Corbett backlash. Voters in all the surrounding school districts overwhelmingly voted for Corbett.

Voters in the Ephrata School District, which had a 45 percent voter turnout, voted 59 percent in favor of Corbett.Schreck Aument twin

It was a similar refrain in the Cocalico School District where Corbett took 68 percent of the vote. Voter turnout in Cocalico was almost identical to Ephrata at 46 percent.

Randall Wenger, Lancaster Board of Elections was not far off in his prediction “that we’re going to see somewhere in the low 40s voter turnout in Lancaster County.”

The race looked close for a while where Joe Pitts’ 6th Congressional District seat was challenged by former State Rep. Tom Houghton.

But again, local voters wanted no part of a change in leadership. Pitts took 69 percent of the vote in the Ephrata School District.

Pitts was even stronger in Cocalico School District where he took 73 percent of the vote – led by a whopping 82 percent of votes cast in Schoeneck for Pitts.cecCharlieHampleN19zzz

Republican Ryan Aument took 73 percent of the vote for 36th District State Senate over Democrat Gary “Schreck” Schreckengost among votes cast in the Ephrata School District.

Aument took 76 percent of the vote in Cocalico School District.

Ephrata voters welcomed David Zimmerman, an East Earl Supervisor, who beat Sanguinito for Gordon Denlinger’s seat in the 99th District. Zimmerman took 63 percent of the vote in the Ephrata School District

Mindy Fee reclaimed her seat in the 37th District defeating Kresge by taking the most votes in both Cocalico and Ephrata school districts. Fee claimed 81 percent of the vote among Clay Township voters and 82 percent of votes in Cocalico Township.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

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