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Politics & Government

Kelly Defeats LaVallee For 3rd Congressional District Seat

Republican Mike Kelly will represent Pennsylvania’s third congressional district for a third two-year term after defeating Democratic challenger Dan LaVallee with about 60 percent of the vote.

Kelly, a Butler resident, spoke with LaVallee following the returns, and said both were happy to have run clean campaigns.

“I think that what we’re both very pleased with is the fact that we kept it above the belt,” he said. “We didn’t throw dirt on each other. We didn’t do a lot of things that you see on some other campaigns.”

The third congressional district stretches across Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence and Mercer counties. Kelly won them all except for Erie, home to the largest city in the district.

Now that he’s been re-elected, Kelly said he’s ready to finish what he started, in particular, lowering taxes.

“We’re going to look at things that just make sense for the American people from a standpoint where lower taxes matter, not the loopholes and the carve outs for special interests,” he said.

LaVallee criticized Kelly’s tax policies throughout his campaign.

“Mr. Kelly has voted to give him and his buddies a tax break for over $200,000 while raising our taxes by $1,400 a year. That’s not the way you grow our economy. While Youngstown and Pittsburgh are starting to recover, the rest of northwest Pennsylvania is still falling behind,” he told WTAE.com.

Kelly also wants to put more of an emphasis on vocational education in the district. He said jobs are available, but some Pennsylvanians aren’t properly trained to fill the positions.

“We don’t have our folks ready for those jobs,” he said. “They’re not able to step out of the classroom, onto the field and actually work. We’ve got to take a long look at the vocational opportunities and we have to treat those people the same way we treat other people in education.”

De-regulation and health care reform are also at the top of Kelly’s to-do list.

“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to hurt our environment or make it for more difficult for people in the future,” he said, “but I also say we should not be keeping our economy from growing because of all of the regulations that just don’t make sense to a lot of people.”

Following the returns, LaValle tweeted, “I’d like to thank all of our supporters for standing with me on this journey for #NewLeadership.”