Republican Glenn Thompson, of Centre County, will succeed Congressman John Peterson for the 5th Congressional District, winning with 53 percent of the vote, according to the Centre County Elections Web site as of press time.
He defeated Democrat Mark McCracken, of Clearfield County, and Libertarian Jim Fryman, of Venango County.
Thompson received the news at a Republican victory party at the Ramada Inn, 1450 S. Atherton St., with his long-time friend, Republican Kerry Benninghoff, who won the 171st Legislative District, and Republican Tom Martin, who lost the 77th Legislative District.
"We're celebrating away," Thompson said at about 12:45 a.m. today. "I'm really, really humbled and honored. I think I wound up winning by a 17, 18 percent margin, and I won 16 of the 17 counties."
He said he is looking forward to getting back on the road today to thank his supporters.
"I want to personally thank all 17 counties and voters," Thompson said, adding that he is planning to hold an event at Penn State in the next few weeks.
McCracken said he watched the results from his house in Clearfield and called Thompson to congratulate him when the results tipped in Thompson's favor.
"I certainly wish it could have been better, but it didn't happen this year," McCracken said. "I'm slightly disappointed. We worked on it for 11 months and just didn't turn out how we wanted them to."
McCracken said he plans to settle back into his Clearfield County Commissioner duties.
He said the 5th District has historically been a difficult district for Democrats to win, but he hoped the national Democratic movement would have trickled down to the local elections.
"[Thompson] ran a mistake-free campaign, so there was nothing I could have capitalized on. He stuck to his message, and it's one that would appeal to a conservative district," McCracken said.
Thompson is a 1981 graduate of Penn State and said he was happy to spend the day meeting students while he campaigned at the HUB-Robeson Center.
He said most of the students who he talked were voting for the presidential race.
"It was really nice to be there to give them somebody else to vote for," Thompson said. "I got the sense that they really appreciated the fact that I was willing to stand there for 12 hours and introduce myself."
Maggie Geist, a freshman at Clarion University, attended Thompson's victory party after working at the Penn State polls on Tuesday.
"I'm all for Glenn Thompson," Geist said. "I think he will do a great job. I've been pulling for him since the beginning."