ShareThis Page

Nelson nails landslide victory in race for 57th House seat

| Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 9:45 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Fred Francese of Hempfield Twp., a campaign volunteer for Republican Eric Nelson, greets Lois Weyandt, of Hempfield Twp. as she arrives at the polling place at Maplewood United Presbyterian Church on March 15, 2016 for a special election for state representative in the 57th District. Democrat Linda Iezzi and Republican Eric Nelson are vying to fill the remaining nine months in the term of retired Rep. Tim Krieger.

Republican Eric Nelson, in a landslide victory, won a special election Tuesday for the state House seat left open by the departure of Tim Krieger, keeping the seat under GOP control.

With all 51 precincts reporting, Nelson received 66 percent of the vote. Democrat Linda Iezzi got 34 percent.

Nelson, 50, a businessman and college instructor, is expected to take office once the results are verified by the county's election bureau. He will serve through Dec. 31 to complete the two-year term that was vacated when Krieger, a Delmont Republican, was elected a Westmoreland County judge.

Nelson and Iezzi, a businesswoman and former South Greensburg councilwoman, are unopposed in their party's April 26 primaries. They are expected to face off in the November general election for a full term to represent residents in the district that includes Greensburg, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg, Delmont, New Stanton, Hunker, Youngwood, and parts of Hempfield and Salem townships.

“I think the results showed it wasn't about Republicans and Democrats; it was about working together and cooperation and taking a common-sense approach. I look to continue that level of cooperation,” Nelson said Tuesday night. “The next step is to go out to Harrisburg and move forward.”

Election officials expected a low turnout. According to the final results, nearly 17 percent of the district's 42,351 eligible voters cast ballots.

Nelson, a retired Marine, campaigned against proposals by Gov. Tom Wolf to increase taxes and state spending. He favored a plan to sell off the state's liquor stores and advocated for pension reform.

A faculty member at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Nelson had been registered as an independent until late last year when he changed to Republican. County GOP officials, who nominated Nelson to run in the special election, said they were satisfied with his conservative credentials.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.