U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District (Armchair Lehigh Valley).
By Katherine Reinhard and Robert H. Orenstein
ALLENTOWN — The polls showed incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Susan Wild and her Republican challenger Lisa Scheller in a dead-heat race in the 7th Congressional District rematch of their 2020 contest.
Indeed just after 2 a.m. only 4,713 votes separated the two, with Wild at 149,588 and Scheller, chairman and CEO of Silberline Manufacturing in Schuylkill Township, at 144,875, according to unofficial results that may not include all precincts or mail-in votes.
Wild’s lead grew from about 450 around midnight after additional results came in from Carbon and Northampton counties, prompting her to declare victory in a tweet at 2:06 a.m. Wednesday: “Thank you #PA-07, I am honored to have earned another term representing you in Washington.”
The 7th District includes Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon countries and a small part of Monroe County. Wild, among the most vulnerable congressional incumbents was seeking a third term.
In 2020, Wild won by 3.8 percentage points with 51.9 percent to Scheller’s 48.1 percent. The vote difference was 14,068. This year, the difference was much closer, with Wild maintaining a 1.6 percentage point lead.
Other Lehigh Valley races had clearer winners, including two that lacked incumbents because of redistricting and one because of a primary upset.
In the 16th District Senate race, Republican Jarrett Coleman, a Parkland School Board member who stunned the political world when he defeated longtime incumbent Sen. Pat Browne in May, was ahead of his opponent, Democrat Mark Pinsley, Lehigh County’s controller, by 11,889 votes.
In the 14th Senate District race, Democrat Nick Miller, an Allentown School Board member, had a 5,167-vote lead over Republican Dean Browning, a former chairman of Lehigh County’s Board of Commissioners.
In the 22nd House race, Democrat Joshua Siegel, an Allentown City Council member, had a 2,715-vote lead over Republican Robert E. Smith, a former Allentown School Board member.
Incumbents, whatever their party, also appeared headed back to Harrisburg. They include Democratic incumbent Lisa Boscola in the 18th Senate District and House incumbents Democratic Reps. Mike Schlossberg (132) and Peter Schweyer (134) and Republican Rep. Ann Flood (138).
Too close to call was the 131st House race, a rematch where incumbent Republican Rep. Milou Mackenzie was ahead of Democrat Kevin Branco, a Hellertown gym owner, by 375 votes.
Meanwhile, incumbent Republican state Rep. Joe Emrick defeated Democrat Anna B. Thomas, a 26-year-old political newcomer, by 1,145 votes.
Katherine Reinhard and Robert H. Orenstein are reporters for Armchair Lehigh Valley, a political newsletter, where this story first appeared.
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