Republican Rep. Mike Kelly will serve a fifth term in Congress, fending off a Democratic challenger Tuesday in his bid to retain his seat representing northwestern Pennsylvania.
Kelly scored a narrow victory over Democrat Ron DiNicola in the race for the state’s 16th congressional district. The district covers Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence and Butler counties.
Kelly has held this seat since winning his first election to Congress in 2010. He was one of President Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, and the president visited Erie in October to campaign for him.
Trump won the district by 20 points in the 2016 presidential election in part by carrying Erie County, a longtime Democratic stronghold.
Since the state Supreme Court redrew Pennsylvania’s congressional map this year, political watchers said the district would become more friendly to Democrats. But Democrats failed to make up enough ground Tuesday to flip the seat.
Kelly, a car dealer from Butler, supported the GOP tax cuts passed by Congress last year and has advocated for a broader deregulatory agenda.
DiNicola is Marine veteran and former Erie County solicitor. The Erie resident criticized Kelly for supporting Republican tax cuts, saying they primarily benefited the wealthy while doing little for the middle class.