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Daley emerges victorious, earns date with an Angell

| Wednesday, May 17, 2006

State Rep. Peter J. Daley expected a voter revolt.

The California Democrat admitted that he was concerned that his re-election might be a victim of that revolt because he voted for a controversial, late-night legislative pay hike.

"I was forced by the leadership to vote for this thing," Daley said.

"We tried to explain to them the public backlash would be cataclysmic."

Daley, with 3,960 votes won the Democratic nomination in the 49th Legislative District over James Rohaley (1,988 votes) and Randy Barli (1,379 votes), according to unofficial vote totals released Tuesday night.

Despite the relatively large victory, Daley said he is taking nothing for granted.

"I'm going to campaign harder than I've ever campaigned before," Daley said.

Daley said he will campaign on his record, claiming he has delivered $117 million in economic development projects to his district.

The long-time lawmaker wants to continue his crusade to reduce the size of the state Legislature by half.

That campaign will be aimed at his apparent Republican challenger in the November general election.

In a race that was a nail-biter all evening, Edward Angell, 38, of Carroll Township, narrowly defeated Nate Nevala, 22, of West Pike Run Township, by 872 to 801, to win the GOP nomination.

Daley said he was not surprised by Angell's apparent victory, saying he thought GOP voters resented that Nevala was seeking state office just six months after being elected to the California Area School Board.

Nevala and Barli did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Angell said he and Nevala ran on separate issues, and applauded his opponent's effort.

"I hope he and I can work together to bring change," Angell said.

A newcomer to the political arena, Angell - a nurse from Carroll Township - said he is "very excited" about winning his party's nomination and is looking forward to the battle against Daley.

The 49th District spreads through Washington and Fayette counties.

Angell said his campaign was a family affair that included his wife, Deborah, and their children, Elizabeth, 12, Jessica, 10, and Ben, 9.

"We set our focus down for this election, and now we are going to turn our attention to the fall," Angell said.

Angell said the controversial pay raise legislators gave themselves - then repealed - was the determining factor in his desire to run for public office.

Daley accepted the pay raise, but donated the money to a scholarship fund and food vouchers for senior citizens.

Rohaley said he would consider campaigning for the GOP winner because he believes the 12-term legislator is not fit to serve. He Nevala's great-uncle.

Rohaley said he knew his fate when he saw the large returns for state Rep. H. William DeWeese, one of the architects of the pay raise.

"I did not expect to win, but I believe I had a respectable vote total," Rohaley said.

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