:In an mid-term election characterized by incumbent Republicans surrendering their seats to Democratic challengers, Joseph Pitts, R-16, of East Marlborough held onto his office in the U.S. House of Representatives with a substantial victory over Democrat Lois Herr of Elizabethtown. Pitts, who on Tuesday won his fifth term in Congress, represents Southern Chester County, all of Lancaster County and parts of Berks County. It is his second contest with Herr.
Pitts garnered 112,300 votes to Herr's 78,342 overall with 310 of 316 precincts reporting early Wednesday morning. In Chester County, where the margin was slimmer, Pitts got 20,488 or 49.93 percent of the vote, and Herr received 45.42 percent, with Independent John Murphy getting the balance.
All results are unofficial until verified by the county boards of election.
Even in the face of defeat, Herr was upbeat.
"This [campaign] has changed the scenery of the 16th District significantly. It's shown that there is a groundswell of support for a Democrat," she said.
In a campaign message last week, Herr said people are looking for a change in Congress because of their dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, scandals and uneasiness about the economy.
Pitts acknowledged recently that the Republican Party was in trouble but he said that Democrats were "not going to give you the kind of change you're looking for."
In an virtual landslide, Chris Ross, R-158, of East Marlborough scored a stunning victory over perennial challenger Democrat Mario Calvarese of Toughkenamon with 14,900 votes to Calvarese's 8,241.
Contacted early in the evening when he appeared to be on an easy road to victory, he said, "I'm very pleased with the results and I look forward to doing my best for the people of the 158th District."
In Delaware County, which includes Chadds Ford, Democrat Joe Sestak beat out incumbent Republican Curt Weldon for U.S. House of Representatives by 60 votes in the township and 30,000 votes in the 7th District overall.
In the race for the 160th House of Representatives seat incumbent Republican Rep. Stephen Barrar who beat Democratic challenger Shawn Diggory.