The longtime Democrat who has represented the state’s 73rd Legislative District since 1995 handily outpaced his Republican challenger by a voter edge of nearly two-to-one, according to unofficial results.
With 65 of 66 precincts reporting, incumbent Gary Haluska of Patton walked away with his 10th term in office, receiving 13,027 votes, or 62.8 percent.
His challenger, Randall Wilson, came in at 7,708, or 37.2 percent.
Haluska, 62, said he ran on his record of watching out for all of the residents in his district, which runs from Portage to the Clearfield County line.
He said he was pleased with the high precentage of votes he received.
“That shows that people are happy with you,” Haluska said from his Patton home.
“That’s a good percentage, and we’ll just keep working away as we always do.”
Wilson, 41, of Glasgow, Reade Township, is a newcomer to the political arena. He said prior to the election that he ran at the urging of others seeking change in representation and philosophy.
He is director of information technology at Altoona-based television station WTAJ who ran on a promise to fight for tax reform, easing the burden of property taxes and reducing Pennsylvania’s gasoline tax.
His platform also promised that he would be a champion for small business which, Wilson said, is being strangled by overzealous regulations.
When reached Tuesday night at his home Wilson refused to provide comment to The Tribune-Democrat.
Haluska said he will fight for small business and the economy in general by continuing to push for increased infrastructure including water and wastewater systems and highways.
The campaign was low-key, limited primarily to yard signs. Wilson spent the past three or more months knocking on the doors of what he estimated to be more than 10,000 homes in the district.