Victory declared in three-for-one write-in race

While the write-in votes cast in the Republican primary for state representative in the 158th Legislative District won’t be official until mid-May, it appears that Eric Roe has won that race.

Perry Bentley, the other Republican running a write-in campaign, issued the following concession statement:

"While official results are not yet available, early returns indicate that Eric Roe was victorious in his effort yesterday. I congratulate Eric and his supporters on a hard-fought and spirited campaign…As we move forward, I want to make it clear that I pledge my full support to Eric as he works to retain this seat for our Republican Party and continue the record of positive service provided by Rep. Chris Ross….”

The three-for-one write-in campaign was made more interesting because the third person written in for the GOP nomination was Democrat Susan Rzucidlo, who ran unopposed for her own party’s nomination.

A week before the election, Democrats challenged Roe’s eligibility to run, questioning whether or not he met the state’s residency qualifications.

Chester County GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio responded by saying that the challenge was nothing more than a ploy so that Rzucidlo would win on the Republican side.

Following Bentley’s concession, DiGiorgio issued the following statement:

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming vote of confidence that Republican voters gave Eric Roe yesterday. In Eric, we have a bright, hard-working and energetic candidate who will fight for issues that the residents of Chester County care about – holding the line on taxes, strengthening the economy and promoting job growth, funding and improving education, and lowering our property taxes.”

Included in the statement was a comment from Roe, who said he was humbled by the amount of support he received and appreciated the team effort and the positive attitude.

““It was truly a team effort, and despite being attacked by both opponents, my campaign remained positive and focused on the issues,” Roe said. “This is only the first step. I look forward to continuing to meet with voters, and with their support on Nov. 8…”

Disarray in the party’s primary began months earlier when Lenny Rivera, the candidate Republicans endorsed in January, ran into difficulty while getting signatures to get his name on the ballot. State law requires the person who collects the signatures to be holding the clipboard when people sign. Rivera admitted that he wasn’t even in the house with those signing, saying that he was, however, within walking distance.

Rivera then withdrew his name from the ballot, but said he would run a write-in campaign. A week later, Bentley started his own write-in campaign and Rivera quietly pulled out.

Roe also decided to run a write-in campaign, and the party endorsed him.

As of now, Roe and Rzucidlo will face each other in November.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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