Casorio victim of GOP sweep; Doyle avoids upset

By PATRICK CLOONAN Daily News Staff Writer

All results reflect complete but unofficial returns from area county election offices.

The state U.S. House delegation flipped from Democratic to Republican control, despite wins for two area Democrats.

Democratic Reps. Mike Doyle of Forest Hills and Mark S. Critz of Johnstown were returned to Washington Tuesday along with Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Upper St. Clair.

Meanwhile, the state House flipped from Democratic to Republican control, thanks in part to the upset of a veteran area lawmaker.

Rep. James E. Casorio Jr., D-North Huntingdon Township, lost his 56th District seat to former Westmoreland County GOP chairman George Dunbar.

“We knew that it was a Herculean task to beat a 14-year incumbent, especially one who was popular among his constituents,” said Dunbar, who is Second Ward commissioner in Penn Township.

“We were capitalizing on the fact that people are ready for some change in Harrisburg,” Dunbar said. “The voters are tired of the outof-control spending. They are spending money we do not have. (Voters) are tired of spending on pet projects.” Dunbar and Casorio spent much of Tuesday together. Both stationed themselves at the Penns Woods development in North Huntingdon.

“I had a wonderful volunteer base; we had all the bases covered,” Dunbar said, also acknowledging the help he received from the state GOP.

While Dunbar knocked on 8,000 doors and his volunteers went to thousands of doors, the Harrison City-area representative-elect said “the hard work begins now” in Harrisburg.

According to the Westmoreland County Elections Bureau, Dunbar received 11,363, Casorio 10,572. Dunbar said he plans to resign as a commissioner



at this month’s Penn board meeting.

Also in Westmoreland County, Rep. R. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen, turned back Republican nominee Rob Ferguson, 10,695-8,349, in the 58th Legislative District.

In the 25th Legislative District straddling the Allegheny-Westmoreland line, Rep. Joseph Markosek, D-Monroeville, was a narrow winner over Republican Mike Doyle.

Markosek won by 1,600 votes, winning by 9,798-7,846 in Allegheny County. Doyle won Westmoreland, 2,190-1,865, but lost overall 11,663-10,036.

Four area House Democrats were unopposed: 34th District Rep. Paul Costa of Wilkins Township, 35th District Rep. Marc Gergely of White Oak, 36th District Rep. Harry Readshaw of Carrick and 38th District Rep. Bill Kortz of Dravosburg.

Republicans maintained control of the state Senate, but Democrats held on to the 46th District which extends from Elizabeth to Greene County.

Replacing retiring Sen. J. Barry Stout, D-Somerset Township, will be state Rep. Timothy Solobay, D-Canonsburg, who defeated Bentleyville attorney and farmer Kris Vanderman, 39,322-34,369.

In U.S. House races: • Doyle won a ninth term from the 14th District, including the cities of Pittsburgh, McKeesport, Clairton and Duquesne, turning back Coraopolis paralegal and Republican nominee Melissa Haluszczak, 121,081-49,692.

Green Party candidate Ed Bortz netted 5,328 votes.

• Murphy won a fifth term from the 18th District, covering suburban areas in four counties between Pittsburgh International and Arnold Palmer Regional airports, 158,224-77,212 over Democratic nominee Dan Connolly.

• Critz narrowly won a rematch in the ninecounty 12th District against Washington County businessman and Republican nominee Tim Burns, 91,690-88,670. Locally, that district includes one precinct in Forward Township.

In his bid for a full term in the seat formerly held by the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, Critz carried majorities in Allegheny, Cambria, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties.


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