Gillespie wins ninth term in 47th House District

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
State Rep. Keith Gillespie says legislation past several years ago would protect Talen Energy from liability in response to Talen Energy closing access to a popular fishing area on Brunner Island, Saturday, January 13, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

Republican incumbent Rep. Keith Gillespie won his ninth term as the 47th House District representative on Tuesday, beating first-time candidate Democrat Michael Wascovich 16,196 votes to 8,984 votes, according to unofficial results from York County. 

After 16 years in office, Gillespie serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal and State Relations and the Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment.

The 66-year-old Gillespie, who could not be reached for comment after the election, has said his record gave him the upper hand.

The district is made up of Conewago, East Manchester, Hellam and Manchester townships; Hallam, Manchester, Mount Wolf, North York, Wrightsville and York Haven boroughs; and parts of Springettsbury Township.

Despite his defeat, Wascovich, 35, said he was feeling pretty good about the results. 

"Obviously it didn't pan out the way I wanted it to, but we put up a good fight," he said. 

Democratic 47th District state House candidate Michael Wascovich, left, greets Lisa Smeltzer, right, and her daughter Jade Collier, both of Manchester Township, prior to the duo casting their votes in the midterm election at Zion Lutheran Church in Manchester Township Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Wascovich serves as a member of the Hallam Borough Council and previously studied political science at Millersville University before taking a break to run for the state House.

Wascovich is already planning a 2020 run for the same House seat, he said. 

Even with the effort put into the election, he said, he wasn't able to reach every voter. 

"This is going to give me the opportunity to talk to every single voter and make bigger plans," Wascovich said. "So I really think this was a learning experience, and it's really going to be able to catapult me into bigger and better things."