State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Haas Beats Reese To Win GOP Nomination

on May 19, 2010 6:25 AM

Patton Township Republican Joyce Haas is her party's nominee for the 77th District state House seat.

Voters on Tuesday cast a reported 2,670 ballots for Haas, the vice-chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. Her opponent in the GOP primary contest, Ron Reese, a Worth Township dairy farmer, received 1,983 votes, according to the preliminary count.

Reese called Haas on Tuesday night to offer his congratulations and support. He said the vote count showed a decisive margin.

"I think my message resonated with a lot of people," Reese said. "But where Joyce had me, I think, is a reflection on the hard work she did. There weren't many doors she didn't knock on."

Reese said he balanced his run for office with his full-time work -- and that, he said, limited the time he was able to spend campaigning.

Looking toward the November general election, Haas said economic issues will be key. She is expected to face off against incumbent state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, a two-term state legislator who ran unopposed Tuesday for his party's nomination.

"What's important to everybody is jobs, the economy, the overspending of government," Haas said. She said she will focus her campaign largely on how to strengthen the economy and create jobs.

Haas also expressed gratitude for her campaign supporters, who she said "believe in the need for a change in government."

The 77th House District includes much of State College, Philipsburg and the townships in between.

Conklin, in addition to seeking the 77th District House seat, ran this spring for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. At 6 a.m. Wednesday, a statewide vote count showed him leading that race by one-half of a percentage point, or nearly 5,000 votes.

But 75 of the state's 9,236 precincts had yet to be accounted for in that tally.

Turnout among eligible voters in Centre County was about 26 percent on Tuesday, roughly four percentage points shy of the average primary-election turnout for the area. Elections officials said the cold, dreary weather helped to put a damper on the polls.

Complete preliminary results from the county elections office are available on the county website.

Earlier coverage: GOP Candidates Haas, Reese Aim To Control Spending, Reform Harrisburg

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Conklin Leads, But Lt. Gov. Race Still Too Close To Call
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by Terry Casey
Conklin Leads, But Lt. Gov. Race Still Too Close To Call
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