ATHENS, Pa. (WETM/AP) – Athens native Stacy Garrity has won the Pennsylvania State Treasurer race after receiving a call from incumbent treasurer Joe Torsella, according to Garrity’s campaign.
Garrity, a 30-year military veteran who was awarded two Bronze Stars, is the first Republican to win the office since 2000.
According to the Associated Press, Garrity received 3,236,499 votes (48.9%) to Torsella’s 3,159,894 (47.7%). Two third-party candidates received 3.4% combined.
“I’m truly honored by the faith Pennsylvanians have placed in me, and I promise not to let them down,” Stacy Garrity said. “In the Army, we lived by the most fundamental American values – honesty, integrity and selfless service – and I think Harrisburg can use some of those values. As treasurer, I will focus on holding government accountable for all taxpayers and making sure the treasurer’s office works for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of party.
“We were outspent 10 to 1,” Garrity said Tuesday in a phone interview with the Associated Press. “I have to give credit first to God, but also to the thousands of amazing and hardworking Pennsylvanians who spread the word about our campaign and our message.”
She said Torsella was “extremely gracious and helpful” in a phone call to concede.
Garrity repeated her campaign message that a major goal was to use the Treasury Department’s leverage to push lawmakers and the governor to limit state government spending to money that has been formally appropriated by the Legislature.
That would end what has been a regular practice of the executive branch spending money outside the pre-approval process.
Garrity, 56, who lives in Athens, a town of about 3,000 people that is 2 miles from the New York line, has a lead of about 3.24 million votes to Torsella’s 3.16 million, or a margin of 48.9% to 47.7%. Green and Libertarian candidates took the remaining vote.
“Like anyone who runs for elected office, I really wanted to win my race,” Torsella said in a video posted to Twitter. “And I’m really disappointed that I didn’t. It’s hard to lose. It’s especially heartbreaking when it looks like it’s going to be by such a tiny margin.”
Torsella, 57, of Flourtown, has been considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination in two years for governor or U.S. Senate. Garrity referred to his political ambition during the campaign when she promised to finish the office’s four-year term.
“Finally, I am grateful to God for the opportunity and honor of serving the people of Pennsylvania.”