Mike Tony firstname.lastname@example.org Updated 6 hrs ago
Incumbent Republican state Rep. Ryan Warner, R-Perryopolis, appears to have secured a second term serving the 52nd Legislative District in the state House of Representatives.
The unofficial tally from Tuesday’s general election showed Warner with a comfortable victory over Democratic challenger James Mari, a North Union Township tax collector.
With 61 of Fayette County’s 80 precincts reporting and 277 out of 306 districts in Westmoreland County reporting, Warner had 11,772 votes to Mari’s6,446 votes, giving Warner approximately 64.62 percent of the vote.
Mari said Tuesday night that he had conceded to Warner’s campaign.
“When I was elected last time, I promised the constituents of the 52nd District I wouldn’t take the perks of the job,” Warner said. “I declined a state car, a state pension and per diems.”
Mari attributed his unofficial loss to what he characterized as Trump’s popularity in Fayette County.
“The Trump supporters, that’s all it was,” Mari said.
The 52nd District includes the city of Connellsville, Bullskin, Dunbar, Lower Tyrone, Menallen, North Union, Perry, Saltlick and Upper Tyrone townships and Dawson, Dunbar, Everson, Perryopolis, South Connellsville and Vanderbilt boroughs, as well as the Fayette County portion of Seven Springsborough. It also includes Scottdale borough and part of East Huntingdon Township in Westmoreland County.
At a forum hosted by the HeraldStandard, Greene County Messenger and the Mon Valley HeraldStandard in conjunction with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 14, Warner said he supported a bill to require monitoring when people try to get refills of certain pain killers to curb the supply of drugs on the streets. Warner also said property taxes should be reduced or eliminated and that pension reform would help with education funding.
Tuesday night, Warner attributed his unofficial win to his bluecollar background and the fact that he was not a politician prior to taking the state representative’s office.
At the Oct. 14 forum, Mari said House Bill 76 would eventually eliminate property taxes and that raising the sales tax is fair because everyone would pay it.
Warner was first elected as state representative in 2014, succeeding Deberah Kula, a Democrat