Levdansky concedes 39th race
In an open letter to former 39th Legislative District constituents, David Levdansky conceded defeat in his rematch against Rep. Rick Saccone.
“I want to thank the voters who supported me in this long, grueling campaign and throughout all of my elections over 26 years,” said Elizabeth Democrat Levdansky, who has lost twice to Elizabeth Township Republican Saccone.
“It's been gratifying to be given the opportunity to serve the people's interests,” Levdansky wrote. “There is a legal challenge to 35 absentee and six provisional ballots cast in Allegheny County (but) if they were to be counted they would not materially affect the outcome of my race.”
Allegheny's board of elections meets today to consider disputed votes and will meet Nov. 26 to certify the Nov. 6 results.
Complete but unofficial results show Saccone at 14,486, and Levdansky at 14,372.
“I will continue with a positive message of reform and growth,” Saccone said, again thanking “the many churches (and) more than 1,000 individuals who said they were praying for me.”
Levdansky was ahead in 48 Allegheny County precincts by 310 tallies but Saccone was 424 ahead in 13 Washington County precincts.
“While it appears I have come up short in this campaign, I haven't lost my sense of social justice, my friends, family and supporters,” Levdansky wrote. “I have felt the outpouring of affection and support of the people of this district and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.”
Levdansky reiterated comments made to The Daily News, that he “always believed that every vote counts and that every vote should be counted.” He expressed gratitude “for the tremendous support I received (from) the labor movement, the education community, environmental groups and advocates for women and consumer protection.”
Levdansky said he regretted not being able to move campaign finance reforms through the legislature, “especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision,” and said he “endured political attack ads cumulatively over two elections funded by more than $1 million in special-interest money.”
“He exaggerates the amount of money spent against him while omitting the vast amount spent by him, and his supporting groups such as unions and Planned Parenthood,” Saccone responded.
Levdansky criticized “my opponent's unwillingness to appear with me before voters and debate the issues,” charging that Saccone “chose one-sided mailers funded by special-interest money to attack and misrepresent my record.”
“He continues to fabricate the tale of refusal to debate when we debated in the primary in front of nearly 100 people and he fared very poorly,” Saccone said.
That was a reference to a League of Women Voters forum held April 18 at Central Volunteer Fire Department in Elizabeth Township. All four candidates running for Saccone's seat in the spring primary took part.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.