PLYMOUTH – Incumbent freshman Democrat Gerald Mullery scored an impressive victory over Republican Rick Arnold to win his second term in the state legislature.
According to unofficial results, Mullery, 42, of Newport Township, defeated Arnold, 49, of Rice Township, 12,513 to 8,030 in the 119th Legislative District race.
It was the second straight victory for Mullery over Arnold. In 2010, Mullery won in a closer race, 8,621 to 7,263.
I'm very honored that the people of the 119th District have elected me to serve them for two more years, Mullery said at his victory celebration at Uncle Buck's BBQ in Plymouth. It's an even greater feeling because of the large voter turnout – setting records in some areas.
Mullery said he will continue to work on critical issues.
The people I represent want family-sustaining jobs, quality education for their children, safe neighborhoods, protection from the Marcellus Shale industry and protection of Second Amendment rights, he said.
Mullery said he will be a staunch advocate for reform of the state legislature by reducing its size and making the position part-time.
Mullery said he had strong support in the West Side communities of Edwardsville, Larksville, Plymouth and Plymouth Township, but his strongest showing came in Nanticoke and Newport Township.
Mullery took issue with Arnold's property tax problems. He released information that showed Arnold and his wife were behind more than $16,000 in taxes on three properties.
Arnold, a building contractor, explained that the county reassessment, the down economy and his wife losing her job contributed to the problem. He said he worked out a payment plan with the county and there were no liens on any of his properties.
Arnold did not return calls to his cellphone.
During the campaign, Mullery touted his use of the Constituent Tracking Service in Harrisburg that showed his office is one of the top 10 busiest offices among representatives. He said the service will continue to be a valuable office tool.
Mullery said he has been vocal, despite being the youngest member of the Luzerne County Democratic delegation in Harrisburg. He said he has been outspoken on issues such as redistricting, flood relief, budget cuts and Act 13, which he voted against. The act removes local control of where natural gas wells and equipment can go.