CRANBERRY TWP — Democrats in the 12th District have chosen Dan Smith as their candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Daryl Metcalfe in November's general election.
According to unofficial vote counts Tuesday, Smith defeated Honora Rockar, 1,494 to 920, earning him nearly 62 percent of the vote.
“It feels great after all this time working and getting to this point. I'm looking forward to hopefully being the kind of representative that the people want me to be, that the district needs,” Smith said Tuesday night. “I'm going to continue doing what I've done throughout the primary. I'm going to continue working with the district leadership and finding the issues that need help.”
Smith is running on a platform of eschewing partisan politics and focusing on local issues including improving infrastructure, fighting for first responders, allowing hunting on Sundays and equality for all.
“Daniel's worked really hard, as a first-time candidate especially. He's inspired people, and what's great about what he's doing is he's inspiring people across party lines,” said Mitch Kates, the Smith campaign's political adviser. “We get back to work tomorrow, and we start with a completely different game plan. ... We're going to run a very smart, focused, local race.”
Smith said he and his staff are up to the challenge.
“We have a good team in place. We have wonderful volunteers. We have the support of Democrats, Republicans and independents. It's been very humbling and we're looking forward to it,” he said. “It's going to be an interesting time, I'll tell you that.”
Smith grew up in Zelienople and now lives in Adams Township with his partner, Don, and their 8-year-old retriever greyhound mix, Star. He has spent the last 14 years at Bank of New York Mellon where he is a senior supervisor.
Meanwhile, Rockar of Cranberry Township, said the campaign was “a terrific learning experience.”
“I learned a lot about the boroughs and townships in District 12,” she said, adding that she was appreciative of her volunteers for their hard work.
Unofficial results indicate Rockar won seven of the 22 precincts in the district, all of which were in Cranberry Township. Though she outgained Smith by a 503 to 405 margin in those precincts, Smith carried the remainder of the district by a 1,089 to 417 count. Eight write-in votes were also cast in Tuesday's primary race.
Smith will now face the incumbent Metcalfe, who was unopposed in Tuesday's primary. He received 4,029 votes Tuesday, with 288 write-in votes cast.