CRANBERRY TWP — Incumbent state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe won the Republican nomination for the 12th District Tuesday night and will face Democratic challenger Lisa Zucco in November’s general election.
Metcalfe beat Republican challenger Gordon Marburger, a farmer and Mars School Board member who waged a write-in campaign after being booted from the ballot last month.
The state’s Supreme Court ruled in that case that Marburger failed to file financial interest statements in time. However, Marburger continued his campaign but came up short Tuesday night.
Metcalfe won 3,271 votes compared to 2,731 write-in votes. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday night how many of those write-in votes went to Marburger, and all results are still unofficial. However, Metcalfe won 54 percent of the vote compared to the 45 percent that went to write-in candidates.
Shari Brewer, director of the county’s election bureau, said Tuesday night that her office isn’t planning on counting the write-in votes by hand and that she’s not sure just how many votes Marburger received.
“Being that it’s not an issue we won’t count those votes,” she said. “Our practice is, unless he would have beaten Metcalfe, we normally wouldn’t count those write-in votes because there isn’t a reason to.”
However, Brewer added that anyone wishing to dig deeper may do so by going to the election bureau and counting the votes themselves.
The race was closest in Cranberry Township, where at least three polling locations favored the write-in votes. In the township’s West 3 polling location, voters cast 168 write-in votes compared to the 128 votes won by Metcalfe.
In the East 1 polling location, voters cast 166 write-in votes to the 155 won by Metcalfe, and in the township’s East 3 precinct, voters cast 127 write-in votes to Metcalfe’s 105 votes.
The race was also close in Mars, where Metcalfe won 82 votes compared to 79 write-in votes. It was the same story in Middlesex Township, where Metcalfe only received 33 more votes than write-ins.
However, Metcalfe made up those losses in places like Adams Township, where Metcalfe won 631 votes to 475 votes for write-in candidates.
For his part, Metcalfe on Tuesday night said “the unions pulled out all the stops” and “threw everything at me they possibly could” in terms of supporting Marburger’s candidacy and rallying people against Metcalfe.
He also called Marburger “a man too incompetent to get on the ballot” and also railed against local Cranberry Township officials who actively supported and campaigned for Marburger.
However, Metcalfe also said he was “blessed with a victory” and thanked his volunteers for securing him another Republican nomination.
“I’m very thankful for all of my volunteers and supporters who helped me,” he said. “I didn’t have paid people like Marburger. We had a volunteer force like we always do.”
Metcalfe went on to say that he’ll continue fighting for the same issues he champions, and that he’s turning his attention to the election in November.
“I’m going to keep fighting for the taxpayer’s in my district,” he said.
Metcalfe, who’s served in Harrisburg since 1999, will face Zucco, a Cranberry Township resident and a newcomer to politics.
Zucco ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The 12th District covers Adams, Clinton, Cranberry, Forward, Middlesex and Penn townships as well as Callery, Mars, Seven Fields and Valencia.