Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has earned a third term in the House of Representatives to represent PA-01. The Associated Press called his victory in the race Wednesday afternoon.
At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Election workers have counted about 38,000 mail-in ballots since the same morning. Of these ballots, more than 13,000 went to Fitzpatrick, while 24,000 went to Democratic challenger Christina Finello.
“I love our community so much and I’m honored and humbled to represent Pennsylvania’s First District for the next two years,” said Fitzpatrick. “I am ranked the #1 most independent Congressman in the entire nation, and that is exactly what our community deserves. Our community is not far-left or far-right, we are centrist and pragmatic.”
The Associated Press called the race for Fitzpatrick at 3:23 p.m. Wednesday given his sizable lead.
At least another 38,000 mail-in ballots remain to be counted, not counting any potential ballots that arrived after Wednesday morning.
Fitzpatrick has a 74,000 vote advantage over Finello Wednesday night for a nearly 20 point lead. This will likely shrink as more ballots are counted, but it will also likely not be enough.
Still, Finello has not conceded. She posted an update on Facebook shortly after 5 p.m.
“There are still tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that need to be tabulated by county officials here. I urge patience. We must trust the democratic process and count every vote.”
In an extended victory statement, Fitzpatrick called for unity.
“I’m asking you to join us in leading our People’s Movement of bipartisanship and center-forward problem solving, and fighting against the bigotry of hyper-partisanship and extremist ideological purity that is destroying our nation. Our People’s Movement is about building bridges at a time when too many are trying to burn them. We must start listening more than lecturing, viewing diversity of thought as a strength to be harnessed, not a weakness to be criticized. Our People’s Movement is about building consensus in the center and moving forward to save our nation. We need to be one community, now more than ever and I am excited to continue this fight in Congress.“
The race appears less tight than Fitzpatrick’s contest against Scott Wallace in 2018. Fitzpatrick won by less than 9,000 votes, or just 2.6 points. Wallace spent nearly $9 million of his own money in the defeat.