U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly, of Butler, won a fifth term in what-ended-up-being the tightest local race of this year’s Midterm Election.
Kelly beat Democrat Ron DiNicola on Tuesday to represent the newly-redrawn 16th Congressional District.
The congressman said it was a hard-fought win because the recent redistricting made this campaign unique.
“It was a completely different ballgame,” Rep. Kelly said in an interview. “This was 180 degrees different from anything else we have ever run before. First of all, midterms are historically difficult for the party in power and secondly, the redistricting hit the biggest part of our base. It was very carefully calculated and put together in order to take me out of the House by taking a large chunk of Butler County away from me.”
Now that the absentee ballots have been counted and factored in, it was about 10,500 votes that separated the two candidates, according to unofficial results.
Kelly is from Butler and Butler County voters turned out big for him on Tuesday. He secured 63 percent of the vote (about 35,000 votes) to DiNicola’s 36 percent (20,000 votes).
Kelly says he is now turning his attention to the future and hopes to work with his Democratic colleagues on important issues.
“Infrastructure is an incredible opportunity for us, and I think that is something that is bipartisan,” he said. “We’re in the top 20 percent of legislators that do bipartisan work in Congress. We already have relationships built. My relationships are built on pro-growth policies that serve the American people, not necessarily a political party.”