State Rep. Keith Gillespie said his election victory could be beneficial for all York County residents.

Gillespie, R-Springettsbury Township, retained his 47th House District seat, receiving 19,757 votes, compared to 12,847 for Democrat challenger Sarah Speed.

This will be the sixth term for Gillespie, 60.

"This is a win that, I believe, will help York County," he said. "I'm next in line to be a chairman of a standing committee. That would give York a more powerful voice in the Legislature and in the legislation process."

The incumbent said the election results show that people are paying close attention to his work within the district and believe there is more he can do in Harrisburg.

"I have a proven track record of working, even across the aisle, to do the best for my district," he said. "I've heard from voters that they like the letters I send out, giving them information on road closings or a new piece of legislation, helping constituents keep track of what's going on."

His opponent: Speed, 29, of Springettsbury Township, snagged close to 40 percent of the vote. She said her portion of votes shows there are people within the district ready for a different and better way to deal with property tax issues and education costs.

"The funding formula is broken," Speed said. "People are very frustrated. We have to solve these problems one step at a time."

Speed, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said she is proud of her campaign, which was a first for her.

"It was an absolutely wonderful experience, and I'm thrilled with the reception I received from voters," said Speed, also a licensed attorney. "They will be hearing from me again. I'm 29, and I've got plenty of time."

Voter input: Vondetta Longus, a 39-year-old Democrat, said she voted for Speed so that the (district) could move forward in resolving educational issues.

"She has family values and education, and that is important to me," Longus said. "I have little ones at home and (Speed) understands what we need for education in the future."

However, Howard Gleaves, 48, a Democrat and Springettsbury Township resident, said he's impressed with the work Gillespie continues to do for the district.

Gleaves also said he appreciates Gillespie's letters and efforts to stay connected with his constituents.

"He's a Republican, but I voted for him anyway," Gleaves said. "He's working hard (in Harrisburg) across both parties for us. He's keeping us informed and he's doing a lot to serve the people in his district no matter what party they're in."

The 47th District includes Conewago, East Manchester, Hellam, Manchester and Springettsbury townships and the boroughs of Hallam, Manchester, Mount Wolf, Wrightsville and York Haven.

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.