It was good night for Republicans in Elk County Tuesday.
Residents turned out to cast their ballots in the midterm election, doing their part to decide races for governor and lieutenant governor, U.S. senator, U.S. representative and representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Turnout was high, matching election officials’ expectations based on absentee ballot numbers. The county issued 410 absentee ballots and 342 were returned.
“It was a huge turnout,” Elk County Elections & Voter Registration Director Kim Frey said prior to receiving returns. “Probably over 50 percent.”
In a year in which voter registration stayed roughly steady — 19,346 people were registered in the county, as compared to 19,172 at the time of the primary — numbers provided at the end of the night proved her estimate correct. Turnout reached more than 57 percent. Turnout for the last midterm election in 2014 reached just under 46 percent.
The majority of Elk County voters cast ballots against incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf in his contest against former state Sen. Scott Wagner. Wagner’s ticket garnered 6,800 votes, while Wolf’s garnered 4,066.
His running mate for lieutenant governor, Jeff Bartos, had faced a contest with no incumbent. Current Lt. Gov. Mike Stack failed to secure his party’s nomination in the May primary election following allegations of staff abuse.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey failed to secure the majority of the county vote for re-election. His opponent, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, garnered 6,487 votes, while only 4,363 votes were cast for Casey.
In the race for the newly created 15th District of Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives, incumbent Glenn “G.T.” Thompson had a good night in the county, taking 7,550 votes. His opponent Susan Boser garnered only 3,482 votes.
Pennsylvania’s congressional districts were changed following a drawn out legal battle over gerrymandering following Republican redistricting after the 2010 census. The new 15th District is roughly equivalent to the former 5th District, which Thompson has represented for five terms. The new district encompasses all of Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk counties as well as Forest, Venango, Warren, McKean, Cameron, Clarion, Armstrong, and parts of Centre, Indiana, Cambria and Butler counties.
In the Pennsylvania General Assembly, incumbent state Rep. Matt Gabler ran unopposed for a sixth term representing the 75th District. He garnered 10,478 votes. There were 214 write-ins. The district encompasses Elk and part of Clearfield County.
Frey reported no significant issues on election day.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary,” she said. “Most people calling in, they just wanted to know if they were registered to vote and where to vote. For as big a turnout as it was, it was a good night.”