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Chester County Press

Houlahan, Comitta, Lawrence, Sappey and Williams win elections

11/11/2020 10:25AM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

After navigating through a campaign season that was impacted by a global pandemic and overshadowed by a contentious national election that saw a Pennsylvania native emerge as the next President of the United States, several key seats were determined in Chester County that will send one elected official back to Washington, D.C. and two incumbents back to Harrisburg.

For the past several months, pollsters and prognosticators forecasted that Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral college votes would ultimately decide the 2020 presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. After a tortuous three days of political back biting and protests for and against counting the mail-in votes, Biden received 49.8 percent of the 6.8 million votes cast in the commonwealth, while Trump gathered 49.1 percent.

County helps form blue wall in eastern Pa.

Chester County joined with neighboring Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery and several other counties to form a blue wall in the eastern portion of Pennsylvania that all tilted in favor of Biden. In an election that saw 81 percent of the county’s registered voters cast their ballot – 161,935 at in-person voting locations and 149,521 by mail-in ballots – Biden defeated Trump by a vote of 179,065 to 126,844 in Chester County, a difference of nearly 16 percentage points.

It was the second defeat in Chester County for Trump in four years. While Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, he lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the county by a margin of 52.6 percent to 43.3 percent. 

In local results, Democrat Chrissy Houlahan will be heading back to Washington, D.C. for another two-year term as Pennsylvania’s representative in the 6th District, after defeating Republican challenger John Emmons by a vote of 221,302 to 174,095 (56 percent to 44 percent).

In the 158th Legislative District, current State Rep. Christina Sappey won reelection to the Pa. House of Representatives by defeating former State Rep. Eric Roe by the slim margin of 19,064 (50.6 percent) to 18,579 (49.4 percent).

In the 160th Legislative District, Republican Craig Williams, a former Marine Corps colonel, federal prosecutor and first-time candidate, will soon occupy the seat left vacant by long-time State Rep. Stephen Barrar. Williams narrowly defeated attorney and environmentalist Anton Andrew, 20,051 (50.8 percent) to 19,455 (49.2 percent). For Andrew, who defeated opponent Catherine Spahr in the Democratic Primary in June, it was his second attempt to gain the seat. In 2018, he lost to Barrar by a slim margin of 15,880 votes to 15,052.

Lawrence, Comitta return to Harrisburg

In the 13th District, Republican John Lawrence will go back to the State Capitol for his sixth term as state representative. He earned 59 percent of the vote (20,009 votes) to defeat Democrat Richard Ruggieri, who gathered 40.9 percent of the tally (13,854 votes). In the 19th Legislative District, which includes a portion of Chester County, Democrat Carolyn Comitta, currently the state representative for the 156th Legislative District, earned 57 percent of the vote in defeating Republican Kevin Runey, 87,550 to 64,829.

The voting data provided in this article is based on information supplied by several on-line polling data resources. In most cases, the calculations are based on 100 percent of all votes counted, while in some, the results are based on percentages of total votes counted at or more than 95 percent.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].