Obama wins Pa.; Casey re-elected to Senate

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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Candidates for Congress ran in 18 districts newly drawn by Republicans who control the Legislature. The GOP holds 12 of the state's 19 seats in the U.S. House, but the state lost one seat as a result of the 2010 census.

Republicans hoped to build on that majority by taking the rejiggered 12th District in western Pennsylvania, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Critz faced a tough challenge from conservative Republican Keith Rothfus. Few of the other congressional races were expected to be competitive this year.

The open seat for attorney general attracted the most attention of three statewide offices up for grabs as Kathleen Kane, a former prosecutor from Lackawanna County, became the first woman elected to the office — and the first Democrat — since its creation in 1980. She beat Republican David Freed, the Cumberland County District Attorney.

Democratic State Treasurer Rob McCord won re-election to a second four-year term, downing Republican Diana Irey Vaughan, a longtime Washington County commissioner.

In the race for auditor general, the state's independent fiscal watchdog, Democrat Eugene DePasquale of York County downed Republican John Maher of Allegheny County. Incumbent Jack Wagner is stepping down after serving the maximum two consecutive terms.

Republicans were expected to hang on to their healthy majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature.

Tuesday's election brought familiar claims of voting irregularities. Scattered problems were reported at polling places across Pennsylvania, including an electronic voting machine that switched a vote from Obama to Romney, concerns over a mural of Obama painted on the wall of a school being used as a polling location, and a court battle over dozens of Republican election workers improperly barred from polling places in Philadelphia.

Though a state judge temporarily blocked a new law that requires voters to show photo identification in order for their ballots to count, Philadelphia-based election watchdog group Committee of Seventy said some election workers still demanded ID from voters.

Superstorm Sandy, meanwhile, forced the relocation of a single Pennsylvania polling place. Voters in the Philadelphia suburb of Riegelsville, Bucks County — some of them still lacking electricity more than a week after the storm — went to the fire station to cast ballots on machines powered by generators, according to phillyburbs.com.

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Associated Press writers Patrick Walters in Philadelphia and Genaro C. Armas in Lamar contributed to this report.