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DePasquale wins, AP says, but Brier isn't conceding yet

Marc Levy
The Associated Press
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale holds his first campaign event in York at Crispus Attucks, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. DePasquale is running as a democratic challenger to Congressman Scott Perry.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania’s outgoing state auditor general, looks to have won the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry.

But despite DePasquale acknowledging his victory Friday afternoon, his opponent declined to concede, saying there were still potentially thousands of votes left to be counted.  

"Our team is ready to take on government dysfunction and ensure Washington actually works for all families, particularly when it comes to affordable health care, reviving and growing our economy, and tackling climate change, and I am confident that together we will be victorious in November,” DePasquale said.

A DePasquale victory would have him challenge Perry, R-Carroll Township, in the 10th District, where Democrats believe they can unseat the four-term congressman, who won the district by fewer than 3 percentage point in 2018. The district includes northern York County and parts of Dauphin and Cumberland counties.

DePasquale has been leading political newcomer Tom Brier, of Hershey. DePasquale is constitutionally barred from seeking another term as Pennsylvania’s independently elected fiscal watchdog. He also served three terms in the state House of Representatives, with Perry, and in former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration.

On Sunday, DePasquale had 29,088 votes to Brier's 20,552, with mail-in ballots from 59 precincts still to be counted in Dauphin County. York County's mail-in ballots have all been recorded, according to the elections office, and Cumberland County's vote counts remain the same as they were Wednesday.

More:Winner of DePasquale vs. Brier might not be known for days

Brier, however, said Friday that he believes his campaign still has a shot. Cumberland and Dauphin counties have roughly 33,000 mail-in ballots that had yet to be reported, he said.

On Sunday, he reaffirmed his intent to wait for every vote to be accounted for before conceding. 

“We’re going to let every vote be counted," Brier said.

An official from the Cumberland County Bureau of Elections said they have not released any updated vote counts since election night, but she did not have a specific number that remained uncounted.

The Dauphin County Election Bureau also did not have numbers on hand.

Meanwhile, many primary contests across Pennsylvania remained without a clear victor for a fourth straight day on Friday, as counties continued to tabulate an avalanche of mailed ballots under the debut of the state’s new vote-by-mail law.

In Philadelphia alone, election workers had processed roughly 14,000 ballots and still had about 140,000 to go, a city elections board spokesman said.

The Associated Press has not yet called a number of races where the contest was close or had a large number of votes yet to be counted, or both.

Those races include several where incumbent state lawmakers trail and the only competitive primary among the statewide races, a six-way Democratic primary contest for auditor general.

More than 1.8 million voters applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot, smashing expectations by state officials and drawing warnings that many contest results would take days to produce. Voters returned about 1.4 million of them, or more than 75%, according to information from the state’s elections office.

Turnout passed 1.9 million, or more than 22% of Pennsylvania’s 8.6 million registered voters. Meanwhile, deadlines to accept mailed ballots were extended until Tuesday in Philadelphia and five other counties, including Dauphin.

York Dispatch reporters Logan Hullinger and Tina Locurto contributed to this story.