Kelly fends off challengers
Butler Eagle
Written by:
November 12, 2012
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Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3rd, celebrates his re-election to the House of Representatives on Tuesday night at Greystone Commons in Butler. Kelly defeated Democrat Missa Eaton and Independent Steven Porter.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly is headed for a second term representing the 3rd District in Congress.

Kelly of Butler, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Missa Eaton on Tuesday getting 54.7 percent of the vote.

He said he is excited to continue working for the people in the district.

“I'm just thankful for the chance to go back and work really hard for the people I represent,” he said.

Kelly won with 159,630 votes. Eaton got 119,905 votes, 41.1 percent. Independent candidate Steven Porter of Wattsburg, Erie County, got 12,308 votes, 4.2 percent.

In Butler County, Kelly won with 58,994 votes, nearly 68 percent of the voters. Kelly also won Armstrong, Clarion, Crawford and Lawrence counties. Eaton won in her home county of Mercer and in Erie County.

Kelly said he has one big goal for his second term: to increase the number of people with good jobs.

“We want to get people back to work,” Kelly said.

Although many people told him the race would be an easy win for him, Kelly said he did not consider the race to be a quick win. All challengers should be taken seriously, he said.

“This was not an easy race,” he said.

Kelly celebrated his win at Butler's Greystone Commons Tuesday with friends, family and supporters.

“I'm so proud and so privileged to represent you,” Kelly told his supporters.

He said he is confident that everyone can work together to improve the United States.

“It's all about loving this country and being worried about this country,” he said.

Eaton of Sharon said she was disappointed with the loss, but was happy with the work she and her campaign staff did.

“But, I think we did very well,” Eaton said. “It was old-fashioned campaigning.”

She congratulated Kelly, but noted that 40,000 votes separated them. She said she hopes Kelly listens to the people in the district who voted against him.

She said she will not return as a psychology professor at Penn State Shenango because the university filled her former position. She said she wants to do something that will help the people of the district, but she is not sure what that will be.

She did not rule out running for the seat again.

“I'm not going to rule out anything,” Eaton said.

In 2010, Kelly won his first term with 107,175 votes or 55 percent while incumbent Democratic Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper had 85,082 votes, 45 percent.

The 3rd District covers all of Armstrong, Butler and Mercer counties, all of Crawford County except Titusville, and parts of Clarion, Erie and Lawrence counties.