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Perry wins fifth term, fends off DePasquale

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Incumbent congressman Scott Perry talks to the media while before voting at the polls at Monaghan Presbyterian Church in Dillsburg Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Perry is defending his seat against Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Bill Kalina photo

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry on Thursday evening won the state's 10th Congressional race against state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

With 89% of districts reporting as of 7 p.m., the four-term Republican incumbent from Carroll Township garnered 204,802 votes, or 53.4%, of the tallied votes, as mail-in ballots continued to be counted. DePasquale had received 178,634 votes.

That's a difference of 26,168 votes, enough for The Associated Press to call the race.

"This has been a hard-fought campaign and I‘m humbled by the support our positive message received at the ballot box," Perry said in a statement.

In Dauphin County in particular, where DePasquale admitted prior to the election he had to stockpile votes, the Democrat didn't perform as well as his campaign had hoped.

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Earlier Thursday, officials with both campaigns declined to offer much insight about the state of the race, instead waiting for more results to trickle in from Cumberland County. 

Cumberland was one of seven counties statewide that waited until Wednesday to begin processing ballots.

"I congratulate Congressman Perry on his hard-earned victory," DePasquale said Thursday night in a statement. "Clearly our country is divided, and it is more important than ever that we all do what we can to bridge that divide, and in that respect I wish Congressman Perry the best."

As of Thursday evening, Perry led in Cumberland County with 63,967 votes, or 55% of the vote total. About 40% of the 53,165 mail-in ballots had been counted, according to the Department of State.

Perry also led in York County, garnering 73,138 votes, or 58%. DePasquale had received 53,311.

Democratic congressional candidate Eugene DePasquale, of North York borough, tours businesses in York City, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

About 98% of the York County's 77,104 mail-in ballots had been counted.

Dauphin County was the only area where DePasquale held a lead. He had received 73,756 votes, or 52%, compared with Perry's 67,697.

Like York, 98% of the county's 55,087 mail-in ballots had been counted.

Still, the Dauphin County results fell short of DePasquale's initial hopes.

During a meeting with The York Dispatch editorial board in September, the Democrat said his campaign had been banking on that county, where Democrats have seen growth among their ranks in recent years.  

The campaign had hoped to reach a double-digit lead in Dauphin County to offset likely losses elsewhere. 

The 10th District includes the northern part of York County, a portion of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County. 

The district was among those Democrats targeted in an effort to increase their House majority. Instead, Republicans appear to have clawed back some of their losses from 2018. 

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.