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Rep. Tim Murphy holds congressional seat

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
U.S. representative Tim Murphy gets a congratulatory hug from longtime friend and campaign volunteer Ron Arnoni of Bethel Park after it was announced that Murphy won his race against Democrat and Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi at the Crown Plaza Pittsburgh South hotel, Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

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Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 10:52 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy won big Tuesday, as he has every election night since joining Congress in 2003.

Murphy, 60, an Upper St. Clair Republican, captured 63 percent of the vote over Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi, 62, a Democrat from Buffalo Township, who received 37 percent, with 73 percent of precincts reporting.

Maggi wasn't able to trip up Murphy's well-honed re-election bid in the relatively quiet campaign between two socially conservative candidates who sparred lightly over Obama's health care overhaul and the merits of federal earmarks for the 18th Congressional District.

“We know the district and the people here,” said Murphy, a child psychologist and former state House member. “People appreciate the work that my team does in Western Pennsylvania and, over the years, we've had literally thousands of town hall meetings and that means a lot to constituents.”

Some critics contended Murphy's voting record caters to liberal and labor interests. That wasn't enough to persuade voters to make a change.

“Although we did not get the results we wanted, I am incredibly proud of the campaign I ran,” said Maggi, a former state trooper and Washington County sheriff who lost a 2002 congressional primary election. “We stuck to the issues, offered a contrast and educated voters on what Congress is doing on the issues that matter most to Southwest Pennsylvania families.”

Maggi attacked Murphy for the incumbent's support for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which would restructure Medicare by eventually providing subsidies to Americans so they could pay for health insurance plans. Maggi repeatedly said the plan would spike health care costs for senior citizens, a contention that Murphy called the “big whopper” of the campaign in the candidates' lone debate.

Murphy told voters he earned another term because of his efforts to keep open the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon; a bill he wrote in 2011, dubbed the Social Security and Medicare Protection Act; and his work as chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

The 18th District contains southern Allegheny County and much of Washington, Greene and Westmoreland counties. Voter registration in the district favors Democrats (51 percent) over Republicans (38 percent) and Independents (11 percent).

Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or

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