The Lead

Given the chance to make a choice, voters turned out in Butler County’s special House election

By: - May 23, 2019 12:46 pm
Special election candidates Sam Doctor and Marci Mustello. (Courtesy campaign Facebook pages)

Special election candidates Sam Doctor and Marci Mustello. (Courtesy campaign Facebook pages)

Turnout was up nearly seven percentage points in the Butler County state House seat up for a special election Tuesday.

Republican Marci Mustello, a local committeewoman, and veteran staffer for U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, bested Democrat Sam Doctor 57-42 percent in the race to fill former GOP Rep. Brian Ellis seat.

Ellis resigned in March following a sexual assault accusation. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week that a grand jury is looking into the allegation.

Twenty-nine percent of districts came out to vote, according to a Capital-Star analysis of Butler County’s unofficial returns. Countywide, turnout was 22.4 percent.

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Republican turnout was slightly better than Democratic turnout, at just less than 33 percent of GOP voters voting versus 31 percent of Democratic voters. Just 8 percent of independents turned out.

Still, Doctor overperformed with Republicans based on registration. Mustello received 365 fewer votes than Republicans who went to the polls.

Running as an independent in last year’s general election, Doctor won just 22 percent of the vote against Ellis.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.