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Metcalfe coasts to 7th term in 12th District

Looking ahead after an overwhelming election victory, Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is eyeing a committee chairmanship.

“If we (Republicans) are in the majority, then I will be in line for a chairmanship,” Metcalfe said Tuesday night. “Chairmanships are based on seniority so we’ll have to see, based on my seniority, what chairmanships are left.”

Riding a wave of straight-party voting in his Butler County district, Metcalfe, 47, of Cranberry, coasted to his seventh straight term in the 12th Legislative District. He received about 76 percent of the vote to 24 percent for Democrat Zack Byrnes, 25, of Evans City, who chose the district for his first run at an elected office.

“The results were pretty discouraging and the Republican turnout was pretty high,” Byrnes said. “I think the straight-party voting really did me in.”

According to the Butler County elections website, over 18,000 voters cast straight party ballots for Republicans compared to 6,400 for Democrats.

Byrnes said he was not offered support from the state party and did not seek it, trying to make the race about the man and not the party. He said he would not change that.

“Certainly not, because … that is a pretty deeply held personal belief,” Byrnes said. “There is a job to do and party shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, that job is not being done very well. And that is because party matters.”

As he returns to Harrisburg, Metcalfe said the state budget battle and a $5 billion deficit will set the agenda.

Metcalfe said his goal is to ensure the taxpayers don’t get stuck making that up.

He reaffirmed that he would be zeroing in on the state Department of Public Welfare.

“It is going to be one of the primary targets for my colleagues and myself,” Metcalfe said. “It has to be. It was one of the primary areas of growth under the Rendell administration. I think you have to go after the Welfare Department, that is where the majority of the fat is.”

He also said he will revisit two bills introduced last year aimed at eliminating teachers strikes.

Meanwhile, Byrnes did not rule out another stab at politics.

“If I see the opportunity to do something in the future that is good for my community and good for myself and it happens to be in politics, I will certainly take that shot,” he said.

Photo Galleries

Election Day 2010

Election Day 2010

Election day scenes from polling places around the Pittsburgh area, Tuesday, November 2, 2010.


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