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November 7, 2012

Decision 2012: Vogel claims victory in Senate race

NEW CASTLE — State Sen. Elder Vogel is already planning for his second term representing Pennsylvania’s 47th district, after cementing his re-election.

He spent most of Tuesday campaigning at polls in Beaver County, because it is a bigger polling area, he explained. Some precincts there have 2,000 voters.

The 54-year-old Republican defeated his Democratic challenger, Kimberly Villella, in all three counties in his district, which covers significant portions of Beaver and Lawrence counties and a part of Allegheny.

He received 57,298 votes to Villella’s 43,104.

In Lawrence County, Vogel had 13,724 votes, or 53.83 percent to Villella’s 11,747, representing 46.07 percent.

 “I received a lot of good support and people encouraging me about what I’ve done,” Vogel said from his victory party Tuesday night.

Villella used a mail campaign that aligned Vogel with Gov. Tom Corbett, forcing him to send out his own card campaign.

“We did some contrast ads with differences in how we do things, but we ran a pretty positive campaign,” Vogel said, admitting he was a bit worried about the competition.

“You always have to worry,” he said. “It’s a presidential year and you know there’s going to be a huge turnout. You’re always going to have butterflies in your stomach, at least I do, anyway.”

His first stop Tuesday was his polling place at the Unionville Methodist Church in New Sewickley Township.

Vogel, 54, a dairy farmer, is chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

But farming took a back seat to his political career this fall as he traveled between campaigning at home and serving in Harrisburg. His father and other family members tended to the cows in his absence.

“I’m very encouraged,” Vogel said of the results. “I want to thank everyone for their support, trust and faith in me.”

He is eager to continue his work to bring economic development projects to his district, namely, a harness racing track and casino for Lawrence County and Shell’s petrochemical plant for Beaver County.

“It was a good race,” an upbeat Villella said, conceding Tuesday night. “Of course it’s disappointing. I was the only targeted race to go against an incumbent, which is very hard to do. I’m proud of the support that I’ve had.

“My main goal when I set out was to make a difference in our district and I believe I’ve done that,” she said. “I’ve met so many amazing people and visited nooks and crannies of Beaver and Lawrence counties that I didn’t know existed.”

Villella spent Tuesday morning campaigning in New Castle and Union Township.

A Baden Borough councilwoman, Villella plans to continue serving the remaining three years of her second term. She said she also will divert her attention back to running her businesses — an industrial fastener manufacturing company in Ambridge, a beauty products company and a property management company.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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