PHILADELPHIA -- Rep. Don Sherwood, who become embroiled last year in a sex scandal, said voters spoke and he got the message.

The four-term congressman survived a surprisingly strong challenge in yesterday's Republican primary from Kathy Scott, a political newcomer. He was helped by President Bush and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who both recorded automated phone calls on his behalf.

Scott, a former guidance counselor, said she relied on old-fashioned shoe leather because, "I had no staff to delegate to." She said she visited 3,000 district homes in her low-budget campaign in the northeastern Pennsylvanian district.

"I just hope it's an inspiration to make the government accountable to the people instead of ... special interest groups," she said. "I love this country and I'm saddened by the ways Congress is doing business. I think we need change. A whole lot of change."

Sherwood said he was hurt by a broader anti-incumbency movement in Pennsylvania and last year's disclosure that he had a five-year extramarital affair. He was forced to acknowledge the affair after his mistress sued him, accusing him of choking her at his Capitol Hill apartment. The two later settled.

"I think they both hurt, and I've apologized to my family and my constituents for that," Sherwood said.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting in the northeastern Pennsylvania district, Sherwood had 30,883 votes, or 56 percent.


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Sherwood will face opposition this fall from Chris Carney, a former Pentagon intelligence analyst who teaches at Penn State University's Worthington Scranton campus. Carney was unopposed on the Democratic side.

Only one other Pennsylvania congressman had an opponent in the primary, Democrat Mike Doyle in the Pittsburgh area's 14th District. Doyle defeated Mike Isaac, a Cuban immigrant and high school teacher.


One of the state's most closely watched primary races was in the 8th District's Democratic primary where Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy defeated Andy Warren, a former Bucks County commissioner and a former Republican. The winner faces Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a freshman Republican, in a key swing district in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Murphy, who has called for troops to be brought home from Iraq, predicted that Democrats in November would gain the 15 seats the party needs to gain control of the House of Representatives.

"This is the beginning of a tidal wave that you're going to see across the country," Murphy said.

In another contest expected to set the stage for a close race this fall, attorney Lois Murphy defeated businessman Mike Leibowitz in the Democratic primary in the 6th District, also in the Philadelphia suburbs.

She nearly beat the incumbent, Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach, in 2004, and the rematch in November is considered one of the nation's most competitive House races.

In western Pennsylvania:

---Jason Altmire, a former congressional staff member and health care executive, defeated Georgia Berner, CEO of Berner International Corp., in the 4th District Democratic primary. He will face Republican Rep. Melissa Hart this fall.

---Chad Kluko, a former telecommunications executive, defeated Thomas Kovach, a risk control engineer for an insurance company, in the Democratic primary in the 18th District. The winner faces Republican Rep. Tim Murphy.