Essential Pittsburgh
5:47 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Examining Mike Fleck's Plans To Run Despite Losing The Republican Primary

Current State Representative of District 81, Mike Fleck failed to win the Republican primary this year, but he still plans on running for re-election.
Current State Representative of District 81, Mike Fleck failed to win the Republican primary this year, but he still plans on running for re-election.
Credit Pennsylvania House of Representatives / http://www.house.state.pa.us/

Pennsylvania's first openly gay Republican legislator, State Rep. Mike Fleck, says he still will appear on the ballot in November's general election, even though he lost the Republican nomination in the primary.

John Micek, long-time Capitol reporter and now editor of the editorial and opinion pages for the Patriot-News and PennLive, explained that this is situation for Fleck is very unusual. When asked to rank it on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, Micek ranked it a 12. 

"This is one of the great stories to come out of Election Day 2014, Primary Day 2014," he said. "Ironically, the same day that, you know, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, here in Harrisburg, struck down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Law. It was not an irony that went unobserved by a lot of people."

Some people did not even realize that someone could be on the Republican ballot and win the primary for the Democratic party as a write-in.

"He got the Democratic write-in. That actually has happened, where people will cross vote," Micek said. "And they might have even voted for Mr. Fleck in this instance knowing that he would face this challenge."

But the situation gets even more bizarre when you show how Richard Irwin won the Republican primary, Micek said.

"The guy who bumped him off on the Republican side, this is the Huntingdon County Treasurer Richard Irvin, had in fact been removed from the ballot and ran as a write-in candidate himself to win the Republican nomination," he said. "And that was only settled after a week long hand count in Huntingdon County."

Despite winning the Democratic nomination, Micek said that Fleck will not be changing parties and will remain a Republican.

The future of this race is still very unclear according to Micek, but the voice of the voters will be heard during this election.

"The process will go as the process is supposed to go out there," he said. "You know, I personally hope he survives this. But that doesn't really matter. It's up to the voters of that district."