Mark Critz, the aide to the late Congressman John Murtha, won a special election Tuesday to fill the remainder of his term which ends Jan. 3.
Critz, a Democrat, easily beat Republican Tim Burns, who state GOP Chairman Rob Gleason had tapped over Bill Russell, the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who ran against Murtha in 2008.
Critz got 53 percent of the vote to Burns’ 45 percent with Libertarian Demo Agoris getting the rest.
There will be a rematch in November for a fresh term since Burns beat Russell in the GOP congressional primary race while Critz defeated two novice primary challengers.
In other races extreme liberal Congressman Joe Sestak ended turncoat Arlen Specter’s career beating the party-endorsed incumbent in the Democrat U.S. Senate primary. He will face Republican Pat Toomey this fall who easily beat activist Peg Luksik.
Attorney General Tom Corbett won the Republican gubernatorial primary over tenacious Sam Rohrer, the representative for the 128th District in the State House. His likely opponent in the general election will be Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato who won the four-man Democrat race.
What might complicate the race a bit is Robert Allen Mansfield , a sergeant in the National Guard with service in Iraq, who has announced that he will run as a independent candidate. Mansfield is an African-American conservative from Philadelphia who had been a Republican and who has a fascinating life story.
In the Democrat lieutenant governor race, it appears rather shockingly that Scott Conklin who represents the 77th District in the State House has beaten endorsed candidate Jonathan Saidel, the former Philadelphia city controller, and Doris Smith-Ribner, a retired Commonwealth Court judge.
In the GOP lieutenant governor race, the winner of a field of nine is very unshockingly Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, who was strongly pushed by Tom Corbett.