Moffa concedes, Hogan takes 142nd state House district in Bucks County with 53-vote difference

After a tight race, Moffa conceded on Thursday evening. He said there weren’t enough challenged provisional ballots for him to gain the majority.

On the left, Mark Moffa poses. On the right, Joe Hogan poses.

Mark Moffa (left) and Joe Hogan, candidates for Pa.'s 142nd state House district. (Mark Moffa campaign; Joe Hogan campaign)

Democrat Mark Moffa has conceded the race for the 142nd state House district seat in Bucks County. Republican Joe Hogan wins with 53 votes over Moffa, according to Bucks County’s unofficial election results as of Friday afternoon.

The balance of power in the Pennsylvania House was left up to two tight races in the Philadelphia suburbs — Moffa and Hogan, and Todd Stephens and Melissa Cerrato in Montgomery County’s 151st district. Democrats needed just one more district to take control of the House. Now that Republican Stephens has conceded, Pennsylvania Democrats have won for the first time in more than a decade. Democrats picked up 12 new seats.

Moffa was leading by just two votes, until the county discovered they had not included votes from one precinct, which then gave Hogan a 114-vote lead. After provisional and mail ballots were considered, the race tightened, but Hogan remained ahead.

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Hogan announced his victory on Facebook Thursday evening, after Moffa called him to concede.

“Democracy is better when voters have a choice between determined and highly qualified candidates,” Hogan wrote. “The results of this election have made it clear that the voters of the 142nd were faced with such a choice.”

“As I said to Mark on the phone,” Hogan added, “I am looking forward to working with him and anyone else in improving the lives of each resident in the 142nd. There is much work ahead and many areas where we can find common ground and shared goals. I will strive to be a bridge builder.”

Moffa wrote in his concession statement on Thursday night that although he wants to “further narrow Joe Hogan’s current 53-vote lead, the ballots remaining in contention do not appear to be enough for me to pull ahead.” Moffa said he objects to the exclusion of “naked” mail and provisional ballots, and ballots with missing or incorrect dates: “We are disenfranchising voters with these irrelevant rules, and this needs to change.”  47 provisional ballots were originally going to be challenged. The hearing for any remaining challenges will occur on Tuesday.

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The race was one to watch. Incumbent Republican Frank Farry left his seat open to run for Senate, and the district had a new Democratic lean, post-redistricting.

Moffa, 44, is a journalist and was a council member in Penndel Borough. He focused on reproductive and voter rights, public education, and “making life more affordable” for Pennsylvania families.

Hogan, 34, is an economic planner and is the program director for the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority. He identifies as “pro-life” and said he hopes his “blue-collar” background will help him increase bipartisanship. He supports boosting the economy by using all of the state’s energy sources, including fracking.

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