Democrat Bryan Barbin won a third term in office Tuesday night.
In a race that matched the incumbent 71st Legislative District representative against a well-known former television reporter, Barbin topped Sherry Stalley by a nearly 12 percent margin to earn another two years in Harrisburg.
“We ran a positive campaign – and we were happy to see people here responded to that,” said Barbin, before reaching out to hug a supporter at Ace’s Lounge in Cambria City.
He said support from both parties made his win possible “and we’re proud of that.”
The race ended up with plenty of 11th hour spending, political mailings and a few TV ads leading up to Election Day for a district that covers most of Greater Johnstown, including Richland, Conemaugh and Stonycreek townships.
“We gave it a heck of a shot,” Stalley said, saying she has no regrets and could give it another run in 2014.
An unofficial tally of the district’s 67 precincts showed Barbin polled nearly 56 percent of the vote to Stalley’s 44 percent, a 2,645 vote margin.
Barbin stressed his record on the campaign trail.
He cited bills he crafted, including one extending the state’s CHIP insurance program for children, as proof he could get the job done in the state capital.
He also pointed to $27 million in state infrastructure projects he helped secure to correct local sewer and water issues, while creating jobs.
Stalley contended Barbin
didn’t do enough for the area, particularly in job development.
“Apparently the voters are OK with things as they are right now,” she said.
She called her first foray into politics “an eye-opener” – and said she saw the best and worst in people and politics this year.
Both Barbin and Stalley said they ha, but said they wished each other the best.
“I plan to congratulate him. We’re all in this for the same reason,” Stalley said. “Hopefully he does what he’s promised to, because this area deserves its fair share.”
Barbin said he’s eager to get back to work.
He said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to push a tax credit plan through the Senate early next year that would provide incentive to small businesses to hire unemployed veterans returning from war.