Mike Tony email@example.com Updated 8 hrs ago
Republican challenger Matthew Dowling of Uniontown appears to have unseated the incumbent serving the 51st Legislative District in the state House of Representatives.
The unofficial tally from Tuesday’s general election showed Dowling with a relatively narrow victory over incumbent Democrat state Rep. Tim Mahoney,D/South Union Township, who was seeking a sixth term.
With 61 of Fayette County’s 80 precincts and 66 of Somerset County’s 68 districts reporting, Dowling had 8,096 votes to Mahoney’s 6,825 votes, giving Dowling approximately 54.26 percent of the vote.
Mahoney held a narrow 5,598 to 5,349 lead in Fayette County votes but Dowling held a more than 2 to1 margin over Mahoney in Somerset County votes. The number one issue we heard about was the drug epidemic in this area,” Dowling said, citing the apparent success of his campaign to listening to the needs of voters.
Mahoney said he was not conceding shortly before 11 p.m., but said he anticipated losing.
“I liked helping people,” Mahoney said, saying he saw his tenure as 10 years of community service and noted he will be turning 60 years old soon.
“What I’m trying to say is I’m not sorry I lost, but I’m not happy.”
The 51st District includes the city of Uniontown; Georges, German, Henry Clay, Nicholson, South Union, Springfield, Springhill, Stewart and Whartontownships; and Fairchance, Markleysburg, Ohiopyle, Point Marion and Smithfield boroughs in Fayette County.
It also includes Addison, Elk Lick, Lower Turkeyfoot, Summit and Upper Turkeyfoot townships and the boroughs of Addison, Confluence, Garrett, Meyersdale, Salisbury and Ursina, in Somerset County.
At a forum hosted by the Herald-Standard, Greene County Messenger and the Mon Valley HeraldStandard in conjunction with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 14, Dowling questioned Mahoney’s focus on school district administration consolidation, arguing that consolidationwould only work for parts of the 51st Legislative District.
Dowling called for pension reform at the same forum and said Mahoney had been part of the issue of not allowing the state to come to a bipartisan solution on the budget last year.
Mahoney repeatedly advocated for school district administration consolidation, which he has pitched locally and statewide for much of his time as state representative.
“I’m just sorry I didn’t get the school consolidation done,” Mahoney said Tuesday night.
Mahoney advocated for more funding for education about drugs and recovery programs at the forum and made several attempts todistance himself from Gov. Tom Wolf, noting that he was one of 13 House Democrats that voted for the Republicanbacked $6.6 billion supplemental
201516 budget which Wolf allowed to become law without his signature in March, ending a ninemonth long budget impasse which hampered social services and schools.
Mahoney was first elected as state representative in 2006, succeeding Larry Roberts, also a Democrat.