The Associated Press has projected that Guy Ciarrocchi will win the four-way race for the Republican nomination in the 6th Congressional District.
The former president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce is in line to be the Republican nominee and earn a chance to square off with U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan this fall in the general election.
The news organization made the call Thursday afternoon.
According to incomplete and unofficial vote totals, as of Thursday afternoon Ciarrocchi lead the race with 23,174 votes. Businessman Steve Fanelli followed in second place with 20,945 votes, real estate agent Ron Vogel was in third place with 15,418 votes and businesswoman Regina Mauro trailed in fourth place with 10,367 votes.
Vote totals may not include all mail ballots, provisional ballots or military ballots. Totals will be updated as election officials complete those counts and update their data. The election is official when the results are certified.
The 6th Congressional District includes all of Chester County and parts of southern Berks County.
“I’m happy and I’m overwhelmed with the results,” Ciarrocchi said, explaining that when the Associated Press made the call Thursday afternoon his cellphone began to ring off the hook with calls from supporters wanting to congratulate him on the victory. “I was always hopeful that around the district the voters would see through everything and make a decision about the future and about who they wanted to face Chrissy.”
Ciarrocchi is now turning to his race against the incumbent Houlahan, D-6th, of Easttown who was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary. Houlahan, seeking a third term, received 69,475 votes for her party’s nomination.
Ciarrocchi said he feels the choice between himself and Houlahan is clear.
He said that Houlahan has shown voters who she is during her time in office: $5 per gallon gas prices, empty store fronts, paying more for groceries, open borders and being mandated to and dictated to by the “people in Washington.”
Ciarrocchi said he represents the opposite of all of that.
“For the citizens of the 6th District it’s a pretty clear decision they have to make,” he said. “I offer that choice. I offer that option to embrace common sense and bring things back. That’s what this race is about.”
On the Democrat’s side, the push-back against Ciarrocchi was swift.
“Houlahan has spent her time in Congress working with both parties to lower health care costs and deliver essential aid to small businesses and schools in Pennsylvania,” said U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a statement issued Thursday. Maloney said Houlahan “has fought to improve supply chains to fight inflation, passed aid for small business and middle class tax cuts for families, secured essential aid to schools, and delivered infrastructure investments to repair roads, bridges, and high speed internet.
“By contrast Guy Ciarrocchi is a right-wing extremist, MAGA Republican far out of the mainstream,” he said. “He’s spent his career on a crusade against rights for women and the LGBTQ community and worked hard to force his far-right beliefs on others. Make no mistake, Pennsylvania’s 6th cannot afford Guy Ciarrocchi as their congressman.”
U.S. representatives serve a two-year term and receive an annual salary of $174,000.
Staff writer Michael P. Rellahan contributed to this story.
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