PITTSTON ‚?? Luzerne County voters helped Mike Carroll cruise into his fourth term in office over Monroe County challenger Terrence O‚??Connor on Tuesday.
Carroll, D-Avoca, won 65.7 percent of the votes in the 118th District, which straddles the border of eastern Luzerne County and western Monroe County.
With most districts reporting, Carroll won with 16,031 votes to O‚??Connor‚??s 8,384 votes, according to unofficial state results.
‚??I‚??m thrilled with the endorsement that the voters have given me,‚?Ě Carroll said during his victory party at the Red Mill in Pittston. ‚??I think they endorsed the legislative record that I have and the partnerships that I have forged in the 118th, across the two counties.‚?Ě
In his next term, Carroll said, he looks forward to continuing his work on the House Transportation Committee, where he serves as Democratic chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways, as well as joining the House Appropriations Committee.
Carroll also serves on the Education and Environmental Resources and Energy committees, and said he will continue to be an advocate for public education.
Without knowing how statewide races would affect the makeup of the state House, Carroll said he would continue to work with Republicans as well as other Democrats, and that legislators must move past the partisanship that has divided Harrisburg in the past two years.
‚??We need to govern,‚?Ě Carroll said. ‚??The people don‚??t want partisanship and bickering; they want us to govern. I pride myself on that.‚?Ě
O‚??Connor, founder of the Stroudsburg Tea Party Patriots, ran a campaign centered on national issues and said Pennsylvania‚??s government should directly challenge Congress, including on health care reform, gun control and environmental regulations placed on industry.
It was the second consecutive election in which he challenged Carroll. In 2010 he lost with 2,593 votes versus 6,593 for Carroll. In both elections Carroll ran a write-in campaign to appear on the Republican ballot after no other challenger emerged.
O‚??Connor congratulated Carroll on his victory, and thanked him for running a clean race.
‚??It was a clean race, I wish people would take notice of that,‚?Ě O‚??Connor said. ‚??There was no dirt slung. This is twice now we‚??ve had a political campaign, and I think ours was exemplary. There was none of this negative conduct that keeps people away from politics. There are good people in politics; Mike Carroll is one of them.‚?Ě