Republican Keith Rothfus of Sewickley defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Critz of Johnstown by a margin of 52 to 48 percent to win election to the newly re-drawn Pennsylvania 12th congressional district.
Rothfus said his number one priority is the economy.
"We got get the economy rolling again," he said after delivering a victory speech at the Holiday Inn on McKnight Road in Ross Township Tuesday night. "I'm concerned about tax policy, about the possibility of another tax increase on our small businesses on January first. The president said a couple of years ago; you don't want to raise taxes in a slow economy. And so we have to convince the president of the wisdom of his argument from a couple of years ago."
Rothfus was asked about the challenges of working a democratic president who just won re-election.
"We gotta take a look at what the people of our district want, he said. "Frankly people in this part of the state are very concerned about the war on coal, concerned about stifling energy development. Cheap energy is the key to jobs and we got to this country moving again and we have to work to educate the president on those messages."
Critz conceded defeat from a hotel in Johnstown, and said his supporters and campaign staff had "nothing to be ashamed about."
He attributed the loss to the remapping of the district, which added many traditional republican voters, and to what he called an "enormous" amount of money spent by Rothfus and his supporters.