Republican Scott Perry's campaign described him as a businessman,
soldier and leader.
And now, according to The Associated Press, he'll be a U.S. congressman. The 50-year-old state representative from Carroll Township led his nearest challenger, Democrat Harry Perkinson, 57 percent to 37 percent, with more than three-quarters of precincts reporting, and the AP called Perry the winner of the 4th District seat.
"I can't tell you, literally, how humbling this is," Perry told supporters Tuesday night.
Libertarian Mike Koffenberger and Independent Wayne Wolff also were in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County.
Platts, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, supported term limits, and he announced in January that he would step down after 12 years in office. Perry will represent the newly designed 4th Congressional District, which includes all of York and Adams counties, nearly all of Harrisburg and part of Susquehanna Township in Dauphin County and parts of Cumberland County.
Perry thanked Platts, saying, "He has been a great example to all of us." Looking ahead to his term in Congress, Perry said, "We can get things done if we are working together."
During the campaign, Perry advocated for repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, supported U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan, and called President Barack Obama's foreign policy "woefully misguided and inept."
He's also said the country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. And he's described the national debt and federal spending as hampering economic growth.
Perry, who spoke before the outcome of the presidential election was called for President Obama by multiple news organizations, referenced the possibility that the Democratic president would be re-elected.
Perry said that no matter what happens, he's always willing to "listen and discuss," but added that he wouldn't compromise his principles.
"Either way, I plan on working with the president to do great things for our country and our economy," Perry said.
Perkinson was the only candidate who supported the health care reform law, and he said leaders needed to focus on improving the economy and strengthening the middle class.
During the campaign, the York Township resident described himself as an engineer, "not a career politician." This was the first time he ran for public office, and he frequently criticized the current Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, saying they've accomplished less than the group that former President Harry Truman called the "do-nothing Congress."
Both Koffenberger and Wolff criticized the two major parties in Washington, D.C. and each said he could be truly independent if elected. Koffenberger, a Baltimore County police officer from Hopewell Township, advocated for a smaller government and wanted to see Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid gradually phased out.
In a statement posted on his campaign website early Wednesday morning, Koffenberger said he knew he faced many obstacles in the race, and he thanked people who did vote for him.
"You voted your conscience and you voted your principles," he said. "I, and every other minor party candidate appreciates it."
Wolff, a North Hopewell Township resident and senior key account representative for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., described himself as "a small government, pro-business conservative."
In both the primary and general election, Perry highlighted his background.
He's the part owner and co-founder of a mechanical contracting firm; a colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, who, during his military career, has served in Bosnia and Iraq; and a state representative for the 92nd district. Perry, who was first elected to the state House in 2006, did not run for re-election to that office this year.
In the April primary, Perry beat six candidates to win the GOP nomination, winning 53.5 percent of the vote .
During that campaign, Platts praised Perry and three other Republicans. But Perry and Platts do have differences.
Platts made a point of refusing money from political action committees, but Perry has said it's OK to accept money from groups that support his positions.
And during the primary campaign, Perry said that, unlike Platts, he would not have supported repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on openly gay service members.
In the general election, Perry had a solid voter registration advantage in the district, and he raised more money than his opponents.
His campaign received $394,906 in contributions as of Oct. 17, compared to $57,817 in contributions for Perkinson's campaign and $4,458 for Koffenberger's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission data. Wolff didn't raise or spend more than $5,000.
Staff writer Tim Stonesifer contributed to this report.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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