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Friedenberg Claims Narrow Victory in 12th District Democratic Primary

by on May 16, 2018 4:26 PM

Ferguson Township's Marc Friedenberg has declared victory in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's new 12th Congressional District.

Results were too close to call throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday, but with 100 percent of precincts now reporting, Friedenberg narrowly edged Susquehanna County's Judy Herschel by a margin of 12,738 votes to 12,515.

Vote totals are unofficial until certified.

"We did it," Friedenberg said in a statement. "Thank you to the voters who believed in me, and took the time out of their busy lives to go cast their vote for me. It would be the honor of a lifetime to serve you in Washington."

Friedenberg will face four-term Republican incumbent Tom Marino, of Lycoming County, in the general election. Marino defeated challenger Doug McLinko in Tuesday's primary.

In the first election under the new Pennsylvania congressional map issued by the state Supreme Court in February, Centre County was split into two districts after previously being entirely within the old 5th District. State College and the Centre Region municipalities -- with the exception of Patton Township and half of Halfmoon Township -- and Penns Valley moved to the new 12th, with the rest of the county in the 15th, where Glenn Thompson is now the incumbent.

Susan Boser, of Indiana County, won the Democratic primary in the 15th and will face Thompson in the fall.

A Penn State information sciences and technology instructor and attorney, Friedenberg initially planned to challenge Thompson in the old 5th before redistricting.

Friedenberg won Centre County by a large margin in the primary for the new 12th, with 4,878 votes to Herschel's 975.

In his statement declaring victory in the new 12th, Friedenberg thanked his primary opponent.

"Thank you to Judy Herschel for running a positive campaign that allowed us to focus on the issues and engage with voters about the things that really matter," he said. "You and your team worked incredibly hard, and it was an honor to compete with you for this nomination. You deserve a lot of credit for the rebirth of Democratic politics in our district, and I know you will continue to fight hard for the most vulnerable members of our communities."

In addition to a portion of Centre County the 12th district includes parts or all of Clinton, Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Snyder, Northumberland, Union, Lycoming, Sullivan, Bradford, Susquehanna, Tioga and Potter counties.

Watch editor Geoff Rushton's C-NET candidate interview with Friedenberg below.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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