Reactions: Schmotzer Beats Cratsley in 22nd District's Special Election
The former Baldwin-Whitehall School Board member will represent the 22nd for the rest of the year.
Schmotzer failed in his bid to earn the Democratic Party's nomination for Pennsylvania's 22nd House District seat, losing to Erin Molchany, but he did win Tuesday's special election over Republican Chris Cratsley to fill the remainder of former Rep. Chelsa Wagner's 22nd District term, which expires on Dec. 31.
As such, Schmotzer will represent the 22nd, which includes all of Baldwin Township and parts of Whitehall Borough, for the next eight months, but he will be left off of November's general election ballot for the 22nd in favor of Molchany.
With more than 99 percent of the primary vote reported, Molchany earned 52 percent, compared to 38 percent for Schmotzer.
Molchany, of Pittsburgh's Mount Washington neighborhood, will face Cratsley, of the Overbrook neighborhood, in November for the right to represent the 22nd District for the two years following Schmotzer.
Cratsley earned his spot in November by running unopposed in his party's primary election on Tuesday.
Said Schmotzer following his convincing win over Cratsley—55 percent to 38 percent—and his disappointing loss to Molchany, "It's difficult for people to vote for somebody twice. We tried to get that message out.
"I've run a three-month campaign. To take nothing away from anybody, some of my opponents have been out there for a year-and-a-half campaigning for state representative.
"I've been treated very, very good in this campaign by people, but the fact of the matter is I would have preferred a May primary. And I would have preferred more people voting today. We wanted 30 percent to show up today. That's what we needed. I've never seen an election so slow in voters showing up. I've never witnessed it in my entire life."
Schmotzer reiterated his campaign promise for the next eight months: focusing on assessments, education, health care, jobs, seniors and transportation.
"Whether I'm up there (as a state representative) eight days, eight weeks, eight months or eight years, I will fight like hell on behalf of the working men and women of my district."
Earlier in the night, Cratsley gathered with friends and family at the Castle Tavern on Route 88 in Castle Shannon Borough to wait for his races' results.
Despite recognizing the likelihood at around 8 p.m. that he had lost to Schmotzer, Cratsley said, "I had a good feeling going into (the election). A lot of people, whether they voted for me or not, they showed up, and they were doing their research on who they wanted to get to know.
"I think (Tuesday's results) will be fair. People had a lot of information come at them, especially with the special election."
View the video included with this article for a longer reaction from Cratsley. For Molchany's reaction to defeating Schmotzer in the Democratic primary, click here (includes video).
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