Kerry Benninghoff cleaned up Tuesday night.
He spent part of it taking down his campaign signs, driving around neighborhoods he knows well after nearly 20 years as a representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The rest was spent doing what others were up to on Election Day: eying polls as results trickled in.
The incumbent, a Republican, was elected to his 11th term in the state legislature Tuesday night, winning the 171st Legislative District comfortably over challenger Melody Fleck, based on preliminary poll data.
“My goal is to serve people,” he said. “We’ve got a great community, and we’ve had some great successes.”
Unofficial returns showed Benninghoff had taken most of the district, which encompasses areas of Centre and Mifflin counties.
In the 2014 election for the Pennsylvania House seat, Benninghoff ran unopposed.
Two years later, Fleck, an attorney, made her case, staking her platform on jobs, education and the environment. But two decades of political experience proved too difficult to overcome.
Fleck’s campaign could not be reached for comment.
“As one of the senior members now, I try to be a good mentor to our colleagues,” Benninghoff said. “And hopefully I can be a good liaison to our citizenry but also organizations like fire, EMS, police and schools.”