Fleck replaces Sather

Some local political pundits, both Republicans and Democrats, speculated prior to Tuesday’s election the race to replace Larry Sather as representative from the 81st District likely would be a close call. It was not as political newcomer, Republican Mike Fleck of Springfield Township, handily defeated Democratic challenger Roy Thomas, Saltillo, a retired school teacher and current Huntingdon County Commissioner.
“We worked our tails off,” Fleck told The Daily News (The Daily Herald’s sister paper) Tuesday night.
The winner also said he did much door-to-door campaigning from prior to the primary right up to the day of the general election.
“Roy worked hard, and that inspired me,” said Fleck.
Fleck said he soon would be attending “school” for newly elected officials.
Tuesday night, Fleck and supporters gathered at Huntingdon’s Comfort Inn while Thomas supporters were around the corner at the Days Inn.
When it became apparent Fleck was going to be the winner, Thomas paid Fleck a visit to offer congratulations.
“That gesture was magnanimous,” said Karl Lang, Fleck’s campaign manager and a former county GOP chair. “I am not sure I can remember something like that happening before.”
Thomas said this morning, “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle because of the registration number. We knew the odds were against us, but we were willing to take on those odds. The odds won, and we lost.”
“I felt the race would have been tighter,” Greg Kough, the chair of the county’s Democratic Committee, told The Daily News. “The people in the 81st District have spoken, and both candidates ran positive races.”
He said Fleck’s challenge would be to unite the district and bring the parties together to work hard for the region.