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Thompson wins by 2-1 margin in 15th Congressional District

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, 9:48 p.m.
U.S. Rep. Glenn 'G.T.' Thompson, R-Centre County
U.S. Rep. Glenn 'G.T.' Thompson, R-Centre County

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson Jr. apparently swept to victory Tuesday night in his bid for a sixth term in Congress, this time representing the new, sprawling 15th Congressional District that includes much of Western Pennsylvania.

Thompson posted 160,930 votes compared to about 75,679 for Susan Boser in unofficial results. The more than 2-to-1 margin started early and continued through the night.

According to state elections reports, Thompson collected 68 percent of the votes cast in the new 15th Congressional District compared with Democrat Susan Boser’s 32 percent with almost 97 percent of precincts reporting.

The largely rural district includes Armstrong and Indiana counties, part of Butler County and all or part of 11 other counties. Pennsylvania’s congressional district map was redrawn early this year after the state Supreme Court ruled that the former map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.

“I am humbled by the vote,” said Thompson. It’s a reflection of our defense of the great America comeback” by the GOP.

He commended Boser for running a campaign that focused only on the issues.

Thompson, 59, of Centre County, raised about 10 times as much campaign money as Boser, a Indiana University of Pennsylvania sociology professor who had never run for public office before. She said her dismay with President Trump spurred her to run for Congress.

Federal campaign finance reports show Thompson raised more than $1.2 million from the start of 2017 through Oct. 17, and his campaign had $210,160 in the bank. Boser’s campaign raised and borrowed $112,546, and had $8,788 in the bank.

Thompson, who was unopposed in the May primary, took office in 2009 and currently serves on the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Education and Workforce committees.

Thompson, who visited Clinton, Jefferson and Gilpin on Tuesday morning, said the economy is promising, but many companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere can’t find enough qualified employees. He said he tried to address that by sponsoring a bill to provide $1.2 billion to strengthen vocational and technical education and training. Trump signed it into law in August.

In addition to teaching at IUP, Boser, 61, of Indiana, has served on the Indiana County Sustainable Economic Development Task Force, the board of the Community Guidance Center and the steering committee for Indiana’s Food Co-Op.

In a statement, Boser congratulated Thompson and thanked voters and campaign volunteers. Boser said she was honored to make the run, gain experience and get to better know voters.

“Our dedicated campaign staff and volunteers have started the work and organization to move toward the vision they have of Pennsylvania and we couldn’t be more proud of the infrastructure our campaign helped to create,” Boser wrote. “We are also extremely gratified about today’s extraordinary voter turnout on a local, state, and national level and the revitalization that will breathe into our democracy.”

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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