Embattled incumbent Aaron Bernstine will likely keep his seat in the state House of Representatives for a third term, according to unofficial vote totals available early Wednesday morning.

"Obviously, it was a difficult race from beginning to end," said Bernstine, a Republican. "(I'm) really appreciative of the people in the 10th Legislative District that rehired me for two years."

The district spans Lawrence, Beaver and Butler counties. Bernstine weathered calls by Democrats and his own caucus to resign last month after leaked Snapchat videos showed the legislator using vulgar language and showing his 5-year-old son how to smoke a cigar. 

Democrat challenger Kolbe Cole, of Beaver Falls, led in Lawrence County early Tuesday evening, but Bernstine held a strong lead in Beaver County. 

Independent challenger Johnathan Peffer, of Ellwood City fell behind in all three counties. Both Cole and Peffer were unable to be reached for comment late Tuesday.

According to unofficial totals:

•Bernstine received 12,618 votes

•Cole received 6,685 votes

•Peffer received 3,660 votes

"Ever since the very beginning, nobody ever gets 100 percent of the vote," Bernstine said. "Regardless of who people vote for, I'm their representative and look forward to serving them in the best way possible."

Bernstine congratulated Cole on a good race. He did not mention Peffer by name.


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Maria Basileo covers the City of New Castle's government, Act 47 and Union and Shenango school boards. Email her at mbasileo@ncnewsonline.com.

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