Lancaster County Republican incumbents all won another term in Tuesday’s election, even after Democrats spent record sums on a handful of state legislative races.
Rep. Lloyd Smucker, of West Lampeter, will serve a third term representing the 11th District in Congress. He won with 63% of the vote, or with nearly 100,000 more votes than Democratic challenger Sarah Hammond.
Smucker cast Hammond as a member of the “radical left” -- a strategy that played out for him in the safe Republican district, and allowed him to spend a significant amount of time stumping for President Donald Trump around Pennsylvania.
“Together, we once again defeated the radical left, with a 26% (~100,000 votes) margin of victory,” Smucker wrote in a Facebook post to his supporters. “I was fortunate to receive just shy of 237,000 votes. Thank you for another commanding victory.”
Scott Martin, of Martic Township, will serve a second term in the state Senate representing the southern half of Lancaster County. He’ll continue to work alongside Lancaster’s other Republican senator, Sen. Ryan Aument, who is up for reelection in 2022.
Martin was able to hold onto his seat with nearly 56% of the vote, despite Democratic challenger Janet Diaz’s massive $1.5 million in fundraising since the June primary.
Martin declared victory over Diaz in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, as more mail ballots were tabulated across the county. He thanked Diaz for running, those who volunteered on his campaign and his family.
“2020 has presented our nation and our state with unprecedented challenges - challenges that will continue in the new year,” Martin wrote. “I know that we can meet these challenges as we always have: by coming together as a community to find common ground and commonsense solutions. I am committed to doing just that and ask everyone in the 13th Senate District - whether you voted for or against me - to please join me.”
Diaz said in a statement Tuesday evening she intended to wait until all ballots are counted before making a statement on her standings in the race. She has not returned messages since Tuesday night.
Two Republicans in the Lancaster city suburbs fended off Democratic challengers who ran against them for a second time.
State Rep. Brett Miller, of East Hempfield, won a fourth term to represent the 41st House District. His challenger Michele Wherley, a Lancaster Township human resources manager, had hoped to flip the seat after receiving a historic 44% of the vote in 2018. Instead, Wherley saw her margin drop, with Miller collecting 58% of the more than 39,000 ballots cast.
State Rep. Steve Mentzer, of Lititz, will hold the 97th House District seat for a fifth term. He was challenged for a second time by Dana Hamp Gulick, a Manheim Township advertising account supervisor. Gulick has boasted that she out-campaigned Mentzer, raising more than $180,000 toward her campaign. But Mentzer still collected nearly 57% of the almost 42,000 votes cast.
Gulick said her campaign made more than 80,000 phone calls, sent over 15,000 texts, mailed 25,000 handwritten postcards, in addition to her fundraising efforts.
“I haven't been elected to the state house, but we held our opponent accountable, we joined hands (figuratively and with social distancing) with so many of you with our shared values at the fore, and we took another step forward,” Gulick wrote on her campaign Facebook. “Keep those values close at heart because the work isn't done and we'll keep doing it-- together.”
Lancaster County voters also elected the following representatives to serve another term in office:
Rep. Dave Hickernell, 98th House District (Elizabethtown) over Democratic challenger Bill Troutman
Rep. Dave Zimmerman, 99th House District (East Earl Twp.) over Democrat Rick Hodge
Rep. Mindy Fee, 37th House District (Manheim) over Democrat John Padora
Rep. Jim Cox, 129th House District (Adamstown) over Democrat Kelly McDonough
Rep. John Lawrence, 13th House District (Christiana Borough) over Democrat Richard Ruggieri
Several representatives ran unopposed, including House Speaker Bryan Cutler, Reps. Mark Gillen and Keith Greiner, as well as Lancaster’s lone Democratic state representative, Mike Sturla.
While Pennsylvania is still tallying its presidential election results, Lancaster County is reporting nearly 100% of its votes received before 8 p.m. on Election Day, with the exception of provisional ballots and mail-in votes that were returned without the secrecy envelope or were otherwise damaged.
The county will count ballots received by mail after 8 p.m. on Election Day (and before 5 p.m. Friday) next week, county Commissioner Josh Parsons said this week, but only if a GOP-filed court challenge fails to disqualify them.