This Pennsylvania Congressional Candidate Lost. Yet Marty Nothstein May Still Get a Cup of Coffee in Washington

Marty Nothstein, a Republican from Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, lost to Democrat Susan Wild in a congressional race. Yet he may also have beat Wild in another simultaneous race for a partial term.

What to Know

  • Marty Nothstein lost in his bid on Tuesday for Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District seat to Susan Wild.
  • But his quest for Congress didn't end there.
  • Nothstein is a Lehigh County Commissioner and Olympic cycling gold medalist. Wild is former Allentown city solicitor.

Marty Nothstein lost in his bid on Tuesday for Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District seat.

Yet in an unusual set of circumstances, Nothstein could end up serving in Congress.

The Republican chairman of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners and former Olympic gold medal cyclist was beat by Democrat Susan Wild by about 10 percent for a full term that starts next year. Wild is former city solicitor of Allentown.

But as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, he had the slimmest of leads — 58 votes to be exact — over Wild in an alternate race to fill out the remaining term of former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent in the now-defunct 15th Congressional District.

Dent quit his long-held House seat earlier in the year, which meant a special election would be held Nov. 6. Nothstein and Wild ran simultaneously for the Seventh and 15th districts.

The double race between the two needed more than just Dent's early resignation to become reality. The state Supreme Court's redistricting of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts also helped cause the situation.

And it wasn't the only special election to fill a two-month vacancy in a soon-extinct seat. Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon and Republican Pearl Kim also ran against each other in two separate congressional races: the new Fifth District representing Delaware County and some of Philadelphia, and the Seventh District formerly represented by Rep. Pat Meehan.

Meehan also resigned earlier in the year.

Scanlon, a civil rights attorney, beat Kim, a former prosecutor, by enough in both races that there is no question about an abbreviated term.

If Nothstein officially wins in the special election, he told supporters that he would serve out Dent's term until the new Congress is sworn in in January, according to the Morning Call.

Election officials had better hurry with the counting: There are only 19 days left on the legislative calendar before the end of the year.

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