Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey will serve a second term, having beaten his Republican challenger by about ten points.
In his victory speech, Casey said Congress’s priority must be relieving the pressures on middle-class families as the economy continues its slow recovery, “and making sure that even as we’re giving them a measure of peace of mind as we go forward that we’re focused on bringing Democrats and Republicans together to avoid this fiscal cliff that’s coming.” All signs point to bipartisanship being an ongoing struggle. The election didn’t change the party control in Congress. Democrats still control the Senate, and Republicans will hang onto the U.S. House.
Casey’s GOP opponent, Tom Smith, conceded the race, thanking his supporters, who made up roughly 44 percent of the statewide vote.
“Tonight, they spoke loudly and clearly that they are ready to change course and tonight’s outcome does nothing to change that,” said Smith. He promised to continue fighting the Affordable Care Act and what he calls the war on coal. He also decried partisan gridlock and political rhetoric.
In the month before the election, Smith closed a wide gap in the race, putting Casey on the defensive and forcing him back on the campaign trail and the state’s airwaves.
“The job of putting this country back to work is not yet done, and as a member of the United States Senate, who was just reelected, I know that’s still going to be my number one obligation,” said Casey from his victory party in Scranton, Lackawanna County. “We have a lot of work to do when we go back.”
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