Smucker tops King and takes 11th Congressional race

By on November 7, 2018

 

Democrat Jess King’s year-long Congressional campaign received universal praise as tightly organized and focused along the way.

While her failed bid to unseat GOP Lloyd Smucker played out Tuesday in a nearly 25,000 vote loss (among Lancaster County voters) in the 11th Congressional District, King’s performance in the heavily lopsided GOP district was striking.

So was voter turnout.

Not unlike the electorate across the country, voters here were unusually inspired for the inevitably disregarded midterms. The Lancaster County voter turnout Tuesday was an incredible 61 percent.

Not surprisingly, King did well in Democratic stronghold areas such as Lancaster City and Columbia Borough.

However, it became apparent early on after polls closed Tuesday that something was different compared to yearly GOP blowouts in Lancaster County elections.

Though few precincts were tallied by 8:30 Tuesday, GOP-dominant Manheim Township poll results showed King doing well.

For instance, in Manheim Township’s 2nd Precinct which holds a greater than 2-1 GOP advantage in registered voters versus Democrats, King took 46 percent of the vote.

At the end of the night, Smucker pulled 56 percent (113,442 votes) compared to King’s 44 percent (88,560) among votes cast for Republicans and Democrats in Lancaster County.

When votes are added from York voters in the 11th Congressional District, Smucker secured 159,727 votes, or 59 percent, according to the unofficial results, with nearly 100 percent of precincts reporting.

King ended up winning 41 percent of total voters.

Smucker captured all of Ephrata Borough’s four wards while garnering 60 percent of votes cast.

He fared even better in Ephrata Township, taking 66 percent; in East Cocalico, 71 percent; and 76 percent in West Cocalico.

Smucker dominated in other local areas, including Adamstown, which mirrored Ephrata Borough at 60 percent; Akron, 61 percent; and in Denver Borough where 64 percent of voters chose the GOP candidate.

Voter turnout Tuesday in Lancaster County where voters cast 202,002 ballots was high but fell well short of the 2016 race when Smucker defeated Democrat Christina Hartman.

In that race, to replace U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, who retired after 20 years representing most of Lancaster County in the 16th Congressional District, there were 238,008 votes cast.

In that race, where Libertarian candidate Patrick House garnered 7,870 votes, Smucker’s took 61 percent versus Hartman among democrat and GOP voters. In 2016, Hartman took 85,707 votes compared to King’s total of 88,560 in 2018.

Smucker credited the win to his record and the promises he made in his first race two years ago, and that he kept — tax reform and regulatory relief being at the forefront.

“It’s a great record to run on,” he said.

Smucker said he thought the race would be closer, referring to King’s $1.6 million in fundraising and her “good grassroots organization.”

In other local races, incumbent Republicans dominated, including Ryan Aument winning his first reelection campaign for state Senator in the 36th District.

Other winners were Mindy Fee, who has represented the 37th District in the State Assembly since 2013; Dan Zimmerman who won reelection in the 99th District; Steve Mentzer in the 97th District.

Patrick Burns is news editor 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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