Republican hopeful Dan Meuser thanks his supporters at the Ramada in Clarks Summit on Tuesday evening.S. JOHN WILKIN/the times leader
CLARKS SUMMIT – Dan Meuser refused to concede Tuesday night, even though projections had his opponent winning the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District.
Meuser remained hopeful at midnight, even though Chris Hackett was declaring victory in the hotly contested race. The Associated Press had declared Hackett the victor.
The latest results showed Hackett with 52 percent of the vote to Meuser’s 48.4 percent.
At 10:53 p.m., Meuser entered the room at the Ramada Inn, Clarks Summit, and told his supporters that “We have a very tight race.”
He thanked his supporters for their hard work and dedication to his candidacy.
He returned at 11:30 to say he believed the race was too close to call. As he walked from table to table, people offered words of encouragement, but the mood had definitely changed and many had left.
Frank Golden, chairman of the Wyoming County Republican Party, said there isn’t much that can be said.
“It’s terribly close,” Golden said. “I think it’s going to be a while before we will know who’s the victor.”
Meuser spoke to the media and said he was still planning to run in the general election as the Republican nominee.
“I remain optimistic,” Meuser said.
His brother, Scott, and sister-in-law, Susan, were holding out hope that the numbers would soon start to change in Meuser’s favor.
“He’s been in tight races before,” Scott Meuser said. “Not in the political arena, but in athletics. He can handle this.”
Susan Meuser said, “It’s been a battle, but we still think he will win.”
After all the thank-yous, Meuser predicted it would be a long night because the race is close.
“We’re not giving up,” he said. “There are still a lot of votes to be counted.”
The winner will take on freshman incumbent Democrat Chris Carney in the November general election.
Carney, of Dimock Township, received 61,367 votes to earn the Democratic nomination, according to unofficial results.
Meuser, of Harveys Lake, spent more than $1.5 million in the heated campaign, while Hackett, of Kingston Township, spent over $800,000.
When Meuser met with the media around 9:15 p.m. in his room at the Ramada, he was cautiously optimistic as he awaited returns.
Meuser said he felt he got his message out in all the district’s 14 counties. He said he visited polls in five of those counties on Tuesday and was in 13 of the 14 counties over the last two days.
The 10th District had been Republican for more than 40 years prior to Carney’s victory over the beleaguerd Don Sherwood in 2006. Sherwood held the seat for eight years and former U.S. Rep. Joe McDade held it for 36 years before that.