Todd Platts will answer to representative, congressman, dad, Boy Scout, and his personal assessment of himself: "kid from East York."

But the former Republican lawmaker secured a new title Tuesday after soundly defeating Judge Michael Flannelly in the race for a seat as judge in Common Pleas Court.

Judge-elect Platts is expected to take seat in York County's family court in January, continuing two decades of elected service and intending to double that time with his stay on the bench.

With all of York County's 159 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Platts took 28,872 votes, or 58.1 percent, to Flannelly's 20,698 votes, for 41.6 percent.

Lots of campaigning: Platts has been campaigning since his 1992 run for state Legislature, knocking on doors every election even when running unopposed.

The judge race marked Platts' 21st year of campaigning, and it will be, he said, his last.

At the end of his 10-year term, the 51-year-old will seek retention. But his days of campaigning against an opponent ended Tuesday, he said outside the York Township pizza buffet where he has long held his election-night gatherings, which he calls "Thank-You Parties."

His speech, which is never a victory speech but always a "thank you" message, included mention of everyone from his family and volunteers to veterans.

What voters said: Platts captured votes from Democrats and Republicans, including the vote of a Spring Garden Township Democrat who was participating in his first election as a U.S. citizen.

Peru native José Delgado, 47, said he never met Platts, but he thinks he's a "good man."

"When we were going through the process to become citizens, we went to his office and the people were kind and helpful," Delgado said. "I believe they were reflecting what he believed and what he practiced."

Some voters said Platts' name recognition gave his campaign an edge. But his reputation as a legislator actually lost him at least one vote for judge.

"This is the only time I ever didn't vote for Todd Platts," said 48-year-old Peggy Baker of York Township as she left her polling place. "It's just because I'd rather see him get back into the Legislature and, if I vote for him for this, I know he won't be representing me for at least (the 10-year term of the judge seat)."

Appointment: After a string of unsuccessful runs for the bench, Flannelly's longtime dream was realized when he was appointed to the bench. He filled a vacancy left by the death of his friend, Judge Chuck Patterson, in 2011. It appeared Flannelly had the position locked until Platts - with his name recognition and huge grassroots network of supporters - entered the race.

Both men ran as crossfiled Republicans and Democrats in the May primary, during which Platts won the locally favored Republican spot on the ballot despite the Flannelly camp's having outspent and out-raised "People for Platts."

In a concession statement issued to the media Tuesday night, Flannelly wrote that very few people are given a chance to work at their dream job.

"I have been blessed by my opportunity to work for the people of York County as a judge for the past 15 months," he said.

He thanked his volunteers and wished Platts the best.

Closer to home: Despite Platts' having made a pledge to limit his Congressional tenure to 12 years, York voters were shocked when he upheld it and announced his retirement from the securely held seat a couple years ago.

Platts said he wants to serve on the bench so he could continue his legacy of giving back to the community - doing it a little closer to home.

After 12 years of making a 200-mile round-trip commute to work in Washington, D.C., Platts estimated he's looking at a 6-mile round trip from his Spring Garden Township home. He might leave the Prius at home and take his truck, he said.

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.