Outpaced in primary, Pa. legislator is counting on absentee ballots

    Five Pennsylvania House incumbents have lost their seats in the primary, according to the latest vote counts.

    One longtime Republican lawmaker, however, is holding out until the absolute last vote is counted.

    Rick Geist has been in the Legislature for 33 years.

    A Tuesday night concession speech may not be the last word for the House Transportation Committee chairman, who is currently down by 196 votes to Republican opponent John McGinnis.

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    There are some 470 absentee ballots that have yet to be counted.

    And Geist says that speech, on Tuesday? Not a concession. He’s waiting to see what those absentee ballots hold for his future as a Republican candidate,

    “I will anxiously await and then I’ll decide whether to fill out my retirement papers or see what we’re going to do in the fall,” Geist said last week.

    Geist has another iron in the fire, as well — as a potential Democratic candidate.

    He ran a write-in campaign and needs at least 300 votes to seal that nomination.

    Four other House incumbents lost their primaries, all Democrats: Philadelphia’s Babette Josephs, Joe Preston of Pittsburgh, and Kevin Murphy and Ken Smith, both of Lackawanna County.

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