HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania both have something to celebrate in Tuesday's election. But overall, political experts say it was a better night for Republicans.
After the votes were counted in Pennsylvania, both Democratic strategist Mike Mikus and his Republican counterpart Mike DeVanney felt the same way.
"A clean sweep of Republicans in appellate court races, winning a Supreme Court seat that was just critical, and really looking down at a number of local races where Republicans came out," DeVanney told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
"There's no doubt that it was a good day for Republicans and a very bad night for Democrats," added Mikus.
Statewide, Republican judicial candidates beat Democrats, in part, because of low turnout in Democratic Philadelphia. Just 18 percent of voters voted there compared to 32 percent in Allegheny County.
Locally, the once Democratic counties in this region have turned bright red Republican.
"Places that were historic Democratic strongholds like Westmoreland County, Washington County. We've seen the Republicans chip away at each and every election cycle, and I really think this last one probably solidified these counties as Republican counties for the long-term," says DeVanney.
Democratic incumbents in outlying counties lost like Westmoreland District Attorney John Peck, who was defeated by Republican Nicole Ziccarelli.
"All across this country, voters are becoming much more partisan, so they're not splitting tickets as much," says Mikus.
One local bright spot for Democrats was Allegheny County where Democrats swept six County Council seats and won all ten local judge spots with six women and four African Americans.
"That's a historic result. Allegheny County has never seen it. It's going to change the face of the Courthouse," says Khari Mosley, a local Democratic analyst.
The other big win for Democrats was the elected of state Rep. Ed Gainey as mayor of Pittsburgh, the first Black mayor in a city that is 66 percent white.
"The overwhelming landslide victory for Ed Gainey sends a signal for people across the city that Pittsburgh is in a transformational phase, and we can come together," says Mosley. "That was part of Ed Gainey's message. It was a unity message."
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