Republican Tim Murphy faced his first challenge from within his own party since taking office in 2003. Murphy handily defeated Tea Party-backed opponent Evan Feinberg, winning 63% of the vote. The Congressman thanked supporters at a gathering in Greentree, and said it's now time to move forward.
"Our country grows stronger by addition and multiplication, not division," he said. "We have got to work together. We have huge problems in front of us that we are confronted with freedom and democracy and our constitution. Locally, we have huge issues we are dealing with when it comes to jobs, when it comes to energy, when it comes to working together. There are so many things we need to do along the way."
The 18th Congressional District has been reconfigured, and now includes Greene and Washington Counties as well as parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. Murphy said he recognizes the added challenge in a district where Democrats now outnumber Republicans. 53% are registered Democrats, 37% are registered Republicans. But, he said he's represented 80% of the district, and feels confident he will reach the new 20%.
"The newer areas are areas that I've visited many times over the years. I know the folks there," said Murphy, "from the farmers and miners down in Greene County, the small towns and small businesses in places like Mt. Pleasant and Scottdale over in Westmoreland County. I'm going to work closely with those folks and it'll be an honor to represent them."
The focus now turns to November, when Murphy will face Democratic challenger Lawrence Maggi, who is currently a Washington County Commissioner.