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November 7, 2012

Decision 2012: Sainato wins 10th term in House

NEW CASTLE — As he anticipates his 10th term in office, state Rep. Chris Sainato looks forward to big things for Lawrence County.

With vote totals still unofficial, Democrat Sainato easily defeated his Republican opponent Jason Murtha. The incumbent had 13,412 votes, or 58.85 percent. Murtha’s count was 9,348 for 41.01.

“We’re very happy with the results and happy that the campaign is over,” the 53-year-old Sainato said. He survived what he called a long, expensive and negative campaign.

“I’m happy with the numbers. I think we’re on the verge of seeing good things happen in Lawrence County.”

In addition to the city of New Castle, the 9th District covers Hickory, Little Beaver, Mahoning, Neshannock, North Beaver, Pulaski and Union townships; and Bessemer and SNPJ boroughs.

Within the month, Sainato said, he believes residents will see progress on the long-anticipated racetrack/casino planned for Mahoning Township. He also believes the county is poised to experience an economic boom from Marcellus Shale drilling.

“We’re going to see good things happening.”

Murtha, 35, conceded this was not to be his year.

“We’re not going to pull it out tonight,” he said, noting that with most precincts counted, his numbers were still short.

“We did well in the outlying areas but we just couldn’t win the city,” he said.

“But we’re still here. We want to be part of the solution.”

Murtha said this year’s campaign was his first run at a public office.

“We won’t stop. We’re just getting started.”

Murtha said he still wants to see change for the area.

“Lawrence County needs help. We can’t continue down the same path. At what point do we decide that a new direction is needed?”

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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