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Kauffman holds strong leads in 89th

November 03, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - After 22 years as a Democratic seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, a Republican was leading in the 89th District, according to incomplete, unofficial results.

With 19 of the 32 precincts in the 89th District reporting Tuesday, Republican Rob Kauffman held a 7,679-to-5,295 edge over Democrat Doug Harbach, according to figures from Cumberland and Franklin counties.

In Franklin County with 65 of 75 precincts reporting, Kauffman had 11,369, while Harbach had 7,457. In Cumberland County with 61 of 97 precincts reporting, Kauffman had 735 to Harbach's 619.

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"Things are looking good. Over half the precincts are in and we're ahead by approximately 2,400 votes," Kauffman said at about 11:30 p.m. "Things are moving in our direction."

Shortly after that, Harbach conceded the race to Kauffman.

"I think the electorate wanted to return a Republican to a seat held by a Democrat for 22 years," Harbach said. The disparity between Republican and Democratic registration, he said, was more of a factor because of the large turnout, he said.

"I approached this all along, win or lose, as a positive life experience," Harbach said.

Kauffman, 30, a Greene Township supervisor, and Harbach, 43, a Chambersburg businessman, were vying for the seat vacated in September by former state representative Jeff Coy.

Coy, who served 11 terms in the House representing a majority Republican District, resigned to take a position with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. He announced in February that he would not run for re-election.

In the campaign, Harbach said his experience as a businessman made him the better-qualified candidate.

Kauffman touted his experience as an elected official and pledged not to vote to increase taxes if elected.

Both men had House experience as legislative aides. Harbach worked for Coy before entering the private sector and Kauffman served state Rep. Patrick Fleagle, R-90th.

There are 18,343 Republicans and 10,316 Democrats in the Franklin County portion of the district, along with 3,906 voters registered as independents or with different parties.

The 89th includes the boroughs of Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Orrstown, the Cumberland County townships of Shippensburg and Southampton and Greene, Lurgan, Letterkenny, Southampton Townships in Franklin County, along with a portion of Guilford Township.

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