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Incumbents prevail in Western Pennsylvania races for U.S. House

Tom Fontaine
| Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, 12:16 a.m.
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus and his wife Elsie celebrate his victory over democratic challenger Erin McClelland on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus and his wife Elsie celebrate his victory over democratic challenger Erin McClelland on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
Erin McClelland, 39, of Harrison calls incumbent Keith Rothfus to concede the 12th District congressional race from her campaign party at Sieb's Pub in Ross on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. McClelland told supporters she will run again in 2016.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
Erin McClelland, 39, of Harrison calls incumbent Keith Rothfus to concede the 12th District congressional race from her campaign party at Sieb's Pub in Ross on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. McClelland told supporters she will run again in 2016.

Western Pennsylvania's five congressmen easily won re-election Tuesday, with three incumbents trouncing challengers and the others facing no opposition.

Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, held a commanding lead over Natrona Heights Democrat Erin McClelland, 60 percent to 40 percent, according to unofficial tallies just after 10:30 p.m.

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, had a similar 59 percent-to-41 percent lead over Democrat Dan LaVallee of Cranberry, while Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, led Franklin County Democrat Alanna Hartzok, 63 percent to 37 percent, unofficial tallies showed.

U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, and Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, were unopposed in bids for their 11th and seventh terms, respectively.

“The bosses just gave me a performance review on these last two years. I'm happy to report that I will be your employee for another two years,” Rothfus, 52, said during a victory party that drew more than 100 people to the Rochester Inn in Ross.

Rothfus, an attorney, is completing his first term in Washington representing Beaver County and parts of Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Somerset and Westmoreland counties. He serves on the Financial Services and Republican Policy committees.

Kelly, 66, a car dealership owner, is finishing his second term representing Butler, Crawford and Mercer counties and parts of Armstrong, Clarion, Erie and Lawrence counties. He sits on the Ways and Means and the Education and Workforce committees. Shuster, 53, chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The partisan makeup of Pennsylvania's 18-member congressional delegation will remain the same, with 13 Republicans and five Democrats. Sixteen incumbents won re-election. Republican Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello will replace retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Chester, and state Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia, replaces Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Montgomery County, who is retiring.

In Virginia, Republican David Brat defeated Democrat Jack Trammell, a Grove City College graduate who, like Brat, is a professor at Randolph-Macon College near Richmond. Brat replaces former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost in a stunning primary upset.

Republicans entered Tuesday with a 233-to-199 advantage over Democrats in the House.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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