Democratic challenger Cerrato takes 37-vote lead over incumbent state Rep. Stephens

Rep. Todd Stephens and Melissa Cerrato

Rep. Todd Stephens (left) and Melissa Cerrato, candidates to represent Pa.'s 151st district. (GK Visual; Melissa Cerrato campaign)

After Montgomery County elections officials tallied more votes Wednesday afternoon, Democrat Melissa Cerrato gained a 37-vote lead over incumbent Republican state Rep. Todd Stephens in the race for the 151st state House district, according to unofficial results.

Montgomery County spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco told WHYY News that all of the district’s outstanding ballots are now reflected in the results — except 59 provisional ballots that are subject to a Friday hearing.

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The competitive state House seat in Montgomery County is one of two remaining too-close-to-call state Legislature races — along with the 142nd state House District in Bucks County. If Democrats win just one of the suburban contests, the party will seize control of the chamber for the first time in more than a decade.

Republicans will need to secure victories over both seats if they are to maintain a slim majority in the state House. With such high stakes, attorneys for candidates in both races have been engaged in a legal battle over the counting of certain provisional ballots.

Although there were many votes left to count last Wednesday, House Democratic leaders preemptively declared victory in front of Independence Hall and celebrated.

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