After eight terms in office, state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, will return to his Harrisburg office after winning Tuesday’s election.
Winning 65.2 percent of the vote with 98.64 percent of precincts reporting, Benninghoff will continue to serve the Centre County region for a ninth straight term.
“It’s an honor and it’s humbling,” he said. “Winning the first time was a great reward. I look at re-election as more rewarding because it’s kind of an affirmation of your work.”
As of press time Tuesday evening, Democratic opponent Christopher Lee could not be reached for comment.
Lee currently serves on the Government Affairs and Infrastructure committees of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, according to his website.
Lee ran on a platform focused on strong education, environment and against gerrymandering of districts.
Tuesday morning, Lee spent time in the HUB-Robeson Center, handing out flyers to student voters.
Benninghoff said he believes as hard as a candidate works while campaigning is as hard as he is going to serve in office.
He recently introduced Pennsylvania House bill Promoting Employment Across America, which helps to further job promotion in the state, and was sent to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk to be signed.
Benninghoff said that he hopes to accomplish the big issues Centre County is facing, such as infrastructure, transportation funding, property taxes and the pension issue.
“As we continue to struggle to reduce property taxes, we have to balance that with trying to properly fund education,” he said.
Centre County Commission Chair Steve Dershem said that Benninghoff did a “fantastic” job with his campaign over the past few months.
“Benninghoff has been a long-established leader in the community and has been great with public relations in his campaign,” he said.
Benninghoff is a native of State College and is a Penn State graduate.
Collegian staff writer Sarah Peters also contributed to this report.