Incumbent Rep. Metcalfe Moves on to General Election With No Challenger
Write-in candidate Steve Smith says he will not pursue representing the 12th District in the House of Representatives.
The votes are in, and incumbent state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, will seek his eighth term representing the 12th Legislative District in the fall general election.
Barring a write-in campaign, he will not face a challenger in November.
After launching a last-minute write-in campaign to take on Metcalfe in the primary election, Steve Smith, principal of Haine Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District, said he is pulling himself out of the race.
No candidate had filed to run on the Democratic ballot, and Metcalfe had been unopposed on the Republican ballot before Smith announced his write-in campaign earlier this month.
To appear on the ballot in the November general election, Smith, a Republican, needed to win 300 write-in votes on the Democratic ticket or more votes than any other candidate. To win a spot on the Republican ballot, he needed to win more votes than Metcalfe on the Republican ticket.
With 100 percent of the Butler County precincts reporting in the primary Tuesday, Butler County Elections Bureau officials said 305 Democratic write-in votes were cast in the 12th District.
The candidate or candidates who won those votes, however, may not be determined for at least another week, according to the Elections Bureau. The County Return Board is scheduled to meet Friday to begin computing and canvassing the returns of the primary.
Until then, all results are unofficial. Metcalfe could not be reached for comment.
Even if he alone received all 305 write-in votes, Smith said that amount is not enough to warrant running against Metcalfe, who received 5,599 Republican votes—or 92.27 percent of the vote. There also were 469 votes cast for a Republican write-in candidate or candidates.
Smith said he would have continued in the race if his polling numbers were closer to the majority of votes Metcalfe received from residents.
“That shows you have enough support, and if they believed in this I would work to represent them,” he said. “With those numbers, they just didn’t have that belief.”
Calling it a learning experience, Smith said he does not regret staging his write-in campaign. In the last two weeks, Smith said he has met and talked with more people about issues in the area than he ever has before. For that, he was thankful.
“The time they gave me, and the support, it was huge,” he said of meeting with constituents.
Smith said he decided to run for the House of Representatives after hearing a number of people gripe about the current representation, the condition of roads, the economy, education, taxes and other issues. Despite the complaints, Smith said Tuesday’s numbers showed most voters are happy with the way things are.
“We kind of get what we ask for,” he said. “Instead of complaining, I’m the one who stood up and said I care enough to do it. I took that chance. I told my wife, when I look back on it, I’m happy. I think I started a conversation.”
His brief experience in the political world also reaffirmed his love for working with children and educators. Smith said he did not take time away from his duties at Haine Middle School Tuesday to visit the polling locations. He plans to report to work as usual Wednesday.
“Tomorrow, I can walk in and hold my head up high and say I tried,” he said. “When things happen down the road, when people are still complaining about taxes and everything else, I can say I did step up for it.”
The 12th District covers Cranberry, Adams, Clinton, Forward, Jefferson, Middlesex and Penn townships and the boroughs of Callery, Connoquenessing, Evans City, Mars, Saxonburg, Seven Fields and Valencia.
Check back with Cranberry Patch for more election results.