Yeager-Masser race set for fall
SUNBURY - The Democratic nomination for the 107th Legislative District was easily won by Ted Yeager in Tuesday's primary election.
His challenge to unseat Republican incumbent Kurt Masser in November's general election will likely prove much more difficult.
Yeager, 61, of Elysburg, was victorious, earning 2,543 votes to 848 votes for Chris Pfaff, 54, of Cooper Township, Montour County.
"I guess you're always surprised to some extent," Yeager said of his 1,670-vote margin of victory.
Yeager was calculating results from his kitchen, keeping an eye on the television and Internet tabulations with family and campaign volunteers.
Turning his focus to Masser, Yeager said in order to defeat the incumbent this fall, "It's going to be a matter of really getting out and meeting the people and keeping the message going."
Yeager netted 2,026 votes in Northumberland County, 106 in Columbia County (which has only a few municipalities in the 107th) and 411 in Montour County.
Pfaff earned 359, 45 and 444, respectively.
Masser, who was unopposed, had 3,002 votes - 1,552, 181 and 1,269 in the three counties.
Write-in attempt failed?
Republican incumbent Lynda Schlegel Culver of the 108th Legislative District was unopposed in the primary.
The Sunbury-area first-term legislator earned 4,678 votes combined in Northumberland and Snyder counties.
Whether or not she's unopposed in November remains to be seen, officially anyhow.
Dan Sweeney was running a write-in campaign to earn the Democratic nomination, needing 300 votes to get on the general election ballot.
However, he earned just 86 in Northumberland County as of Tuesday night. No word on how many he earned in Snyder County.
Gordner gets 13,000
As for the 27th Senatorial District, John Gordner was also unopposed and there are no Democratic candidates on the ballot. He earned more than 13,000 votes the district, which includes all or parts of six counties.
There were 5,631 votes cast for Gordner by Northumberland County Republicans.
A final total figure was still being tallied as of press time.
Yeager and Pfaff each are no stranger to legislative elections.
Pfaff twice lost bids in the 1990s to unseat longtime Democratic legislator, Robert E. Belfanti Jr., when he ran as a Republican.
Yeager ran in, but lost, the Democratic primary in 2010.
The two faced off as Democrats this year after Pfaff switched parties, a strategic move to take advantage of the county's majority Democratic electorate, he said, and not one in which he abandoned his conservative ideals.
While Pfaff identifies himself as a conservative, Yeager holds that his political ideology lies in the "middle of the road."
Both were critical of Masser in the run up to Tuesday's election - Pfaff of the incumbent's "liberal vote" against the Voter ID bill; Yeager saying Masser is in "lockstep" with the administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
Pfaff wished to slash in half the pay of both public school administrators and members of the state House and Senate. He also said he supported Interstate tolls but not on resident commuters traveling on business, and called for tax reform by abolishing the per-capita tax and lowering the state sales tax.
Pfaff criticized Yeager as a "fluff" candidate, saying his campaign lacks substance.
Yeager brushed aside the criticism, specifically that his website lacked thorough information on where he stands on political talking points, attributing that to not being a "techie."
He's cautious of Act 22 and its potential impact on senior citizens and worrisome of cuts to public education. He panned concern expressed by Masser about the state of education funding by saying the incumbent should have raised his concern when he voted in favor of this current year's budget.
Yeager said his defeat two years ago did heighten his profile and had sought to expand efforts this year to rally Democratic voters in the coal region.