Bill O’Boyle and Jerry Lynot
Mr. Barletta is going to Congress. Mr. Kanjorski is going home. Hoping that his seniority would be an asset, U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s his bid for a 14th term ended Tuesday when Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta beat the 13-term Nanticoke Democrat.
Barletta had a buffer of more than 16,000 votes, according to unofficial results.
To cheers and applause, Kanjorski appeared around 10:30 p.m. with his wife, Nancy, at an election night party held by his supporters at Bo Brothers bar and restaurant in Moosic, where he conceded the loss.
“We knew it would end. When it would end, we weren’t certain,” said Kanjorski. He described the victory as one of “incredible proportions” and promised to work with Barletta in his transition to office.
Barletta, 54, addressed his supporters at 10:30 p.m. flanked by his family, including his wife, his four daughters and his grandson Gabriel Louis at Mea’s Restaurant in Hazleton.
“A wise man once said, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” Barletta said as the crowd cheered. “This was our campaign, and this is our victory.”
Barletta said he traveled throughout the five county districts, holding town hall meetings in each and listening to what voters had to say. He said voters didn’t want the government-run health care, and he listened; when they told him they wanted out-of-control spending in Washington to stop, he listened; when they said they wanted family-sustaining jobs, he listened.
Barletta received 100,108 votes and Kanjorski received 83,422. There were still several precincts left to report at press time on Tuesday.