PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The race for Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District is one of the most sought after and closest races in the commonwealth, and it could have a hand in deciding who becomes President, well after election night is over.
Republican incumbent Scott Perry is seeking a fifth term in Washington D.C., and for the second consecutive general election, is facing a tough campaign from a Democrat. Two-term Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is looking to win the seat which covers all of Dauphin County, plus the eastern half of Cumberland County and northern York County.
"People know my record, and they know I'll fight for them," Perry told FOX43.
DePasquale believes he is the best choice because of his work auditing both Democratic and Republican governors in his tenure as the state's fiscal watchdog. His campaign is not without some controversy though, as he has accepted campaign donations from Governor Tom Wolf amidst an audit looking into the Democratic governor's handling of business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winner of this race could tip the scales in Pennsylvania's Congressional majority to give his party a 9-7 edge in the House of Representatives. That is only relevant in rare cases where the Presidential election ends in a 269-269 Electoral College tie. Under those circumstances, which has only happened three times -- 1801, 1825, and 1837 -- the House of Representatives, under the 12th Amendment, decides the President. When this occurs, each state gets a single vote, which in all likelihood would be cast based on the majority party in that state. Currently, Republicans hold majorities in 26 states. Democrats hold majorities in 22 states. Two states, Pennsylvania and Michigan, are tied.
Perry believes the COVID-19 response and restarting the commonwealth's economy are the two biggest issues facing voters in the 10th District. Yet, he also is making public safety a campaign priority.
"We're used to disagreements. This is America. This is the normal course of things," Perry said. "But when it turns violent and you have to put a sign in your yard saying you support the police, that's a very different look and feel for a lot of people."
DePasquale touts his upbringing working for his family's small business in Pittsburgh. He also wants to increase attention on veterans' care, citing his father's addiction and incarceration after he returned home from Vietnam. However, health care is his top priority. He says he wants to create a public option to make health care available for everyone, while allowing people to keep their private insurance if they choose.
"I lost a brother to muscular dystrophy. I know what its like. It was horrible as a family that we were never able to have health insurance for him because he had a pre existing condition," DePasquale said.