Conklin easily wins fourth term in state House 77th district
By Mason Wilson and Ana Zelada
On Tuesday, Rep. Scott Conklin was reelected to a fourth term to serve the 77th legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, defeating Republican candidate Ron Reese by 65 percent to 35 percent.
Running on his promise to fix education and local infrastructure, Conklin was the favorite to be reelected for much of the campaign.
The 77th district, which includes parts of Philipsburg, Port Matilda, State College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Huston, Patton, Rush, Taylor and Worth townships, had a positive turnout from local residents, who saw more than a 25 percent increase in voter turnout.
Volunteer Kelly Diaz, a sophomore, worked the polls Tuesday afternoon at the HUB-Robeson Center.
“I think there was good amount of people that showed up,” said Diaz, a global studies and comparative literature major. “There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm on everyone’s faces. A lot of people are making an impact.”
Born in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, Conklin served as Centre County commissioner from 1999 to 2006 prior to representing the 77th district.
The owner of Conklin’s Corner Antique Mall, Conklin has been in carpentry business for almost 20 years. He and his wife, Terri, have one child.
“I think he’s been a decent representative for us,” said senior Madeline Chandler, a film major from State College. “But he can’t appeal to both sides like he always has. I want to see him make some tough decisions.”
Conklin’s opponent, Reese, entered the race after the Republican Party was left without a candidate after the primary. Patton Township Supervisor Josh Troxell withdrew in March after the validity of his petition signatures was brought into question.
Reese gained a place on the ballot in May, campaigning to cut spending and lessen government control on agriculture and other programs.
A retired dairy farmer, Reese has served as Centre County Farm Bureau president, Worth Township Supervisor and Planning Commission Chairman before his campaign for representative. He resides on a sixth-generation farm in Worth Township with his wife, Jane.