Democrats easily hold on to suburban Scranton state House district in special election

By: - March 12, 2019 9:46 pm

Bridget Malloy Kosierowski and Frank Scavo. (Courtesy campaign Facebook pages)

Democrats easily held on to a state House district in suburban Scranton Tuesday as Bridget Malloy Kosierowski bested Republican Frank Scavo in a special election.

The final margin was a blowout, as Kosierowski won 62-38, according to unofficial results. Turnout was a little less than 25 percent.

The race made headlines after the Scranton Times-Tribune and Capital-Star uncovered anti-Muslim posts Scavo made on Facebook and Twitter. He apologized, but was soon after stripped him of his school board presidency.

The 114th District has been held by Democrats for the last 20 years, most recently by the late Sid Michaels Kavulich. Top of the ballot Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf, swept the district in 2018.

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But northeast Pennsylvania, like the southwest, has seen a slow erosion of Democratic strength over the years, with Republican Donald Trump carrying the district by seven percentage points in 2016.

Kosierowski, a registered nurse, ran on fighting sexual assault and abuse, raising the minimum wage, and expanding affordable health care.

Scavo, a local school board member, ran on restricting access to abortion and reducing regulations. Both back reducing property taxes, with Scavo pushing for full elimination.

READ MORE: What other special elections are scheduled for the coming months?

The 114th special was held on the same day as another in Philadelphia to replace former Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown. Democrat Movita Johnson-Harrell won that race, as expected.

“Pennsylvania House Democrats saw historic gains in 2018 and this is our first step to get ready to fight for the majority in 2020,” House Democratic Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, said in a statement. “I look forward to working with both of our new representatives to show the working families of the Commonwealth that we stand with them, not the powerful and connected.”

With Kosierowski’s and Johnson-Harrell’s win, Democrats will control 93 House seats to Republicans’ 110.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.