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Politics & Government

Republican U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus Elected to Another Term

Although Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District leans Democratic, voters delivered another two-year term to Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus Tuesday with 59 percent of the vote.

Supporters, family and friends gathered at a victory party at Rochester Inn Hardwood Grill in Westview. Though this election was starkly different from 2012’s, constituents appeared just as passionate. Bill Strait from Wexford said he supported Rothfus because Strait is fearful for the future of the country.

“I’m just worried about everything that’s happening in this country with this administration and this Democrat Congress," he said. "We just have to turn it around or the country is doomed.”

Gloria Duffy of Hampton Township said she agrees with everything that Rothfus stands for.

“Veterans, Obamacare needs repealed, taxes, energy," Duffy said. "Keith is for all this and we stand behind him 100 percent.”

In 2012, under newly redrawn district boundaries, Rothfus eked out a victory over Democrat Mark Critz. That race drew lots of attention and money.

But 2014’s run up has not been as competitive. Democratic challenger and political newcomer Erin McClelland attacked Rothfus’ initiatives, while Rothfus spent much of his campaign touting his stances rather than responding to criticism.

Rothfus said he will continue to push for what he feels is right and issued a reminder to lawmakers.

“That all elected officials will come to understand that it is the hard-working taxpayers that pay their salaries, and that it is them for whom they work," he said. "That we will honor the republic as a government of the people, by the people and by the people. And not of the government, by the government and for the government."

In conceding, McClelland said she knew she had an uphill battle.

“I was a younger, first-time candidate going into a federal race, and that’s a really big uphill battle in a district that had a little bit of a gerrymander to it, had a really rough election in 2012 so people were pretty exhausted from that,” she said.

McClelland also said she had no regrets.

“I’ve built something over the past two years that I’m unbelievably proud of, people worked really hard for this so I’m hoping to bring them all back on board and add to that," she said.

Rothfus made constituent services a cornerstone of his time in Congress by holding office hours across his district. More than 100,000 people have participated in his town halls, and Rothfus said he’s sent out more than 200,000 responses to constituent inquires.

Going forward, Rothfus said he’ll continue to push for the voters of his district.

“There may be policy differences between us, and that is what elections are about," Rothfus said. "But do not hesitate to reach out to me if we can be of service.”

The 12th District includes all of Beaver County and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.