Scott Wagner's presumed win a historic first
Update: Politicos and election officials are confirming Republican Scott Wagner's apparent victory in the 28th Senate as the first time a write-in candidate has won an election for state Senate in Pennsylvania.
Only about 22,300 voters cast ballots in Tuesday's special election, for a turnout of 13.6 percent, according to unofficial numbers from the county's elections office.
Here's The York Dispatch's coverage of the historic win:
In what appears to be an unexpected victory for a conservative businessman who has made a point of bucking his own party, Republican Scott Wagner is presumed to have won a write-in campaign to defeat party nominee Ron Miller for an open seat in the state Senate.
Ron Miller talks to reporters after conceding the Special 28th Senate race to Scott Wagner Tuesday night.
Ron Miller talks to reporters after conceding the Special 28th Senate race to Scott Wagner Tuesday night. (Bil Bowden)
The closely watched, hotly contested face-off ended in disappointment for the Republican mainstay and a first major victory for the tea party in York County.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, write-in votes totaled 10,595, or 47.7 percent, to Miller's 5,920, or 26.6 percent. Democrat Linda Small of New Freedom nearly edged out Miller with 5,704 votes, for 25.7 percent.
If all or most of the write-in votes are, as expected, for Wagner, he will have won the race by a healthy margin. County elections director Nikki Suchanic said officials will start poring over the results Thursday, counting write-in votes and confirming their intended recipients. Preliminary election certification is expected for Monday, she said.
Strategy in motion: Miller conceded the race before 9:30 p.m., calling Wagner and congratulating him, he told a crowd of media gathered outside county Republican headquarters.
He said a lot of effort and support had been poured into the race, but his efforts fell short.
Wagner's camp gathered around him in a skybox at Santander Stadium, chanting "Senator Wagner" at one point during his victory speech.
Linda small thanks the crowd at Democratic Headquarters for their help.
Linda small thanks the crowd at Democratic Headquarters for their help. (Greg Gross)
Wagner said he and his supporters were told they couldn't run a successful write-in campaign, but he developed an in-depth strategy to respond to the "bombs" the "political hit-squad," the state GOP mainstay, would send his way.
Since announcing his candidacy in September, Wagner drafted hundreds of volunteers and planned ahead so much that all he had to do was pull a plan "off the shelf" and execute it when the time was right, he said.
More at link: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_25365621/york-county-polling-sites-report-low-turnout-28th