Scanlon 'Lazers' in on big numbers in Delco to win Dem 5th race

The early numbers coming in last night in the hotly contested new 5th District Congressional race likely sent a few shivers down the spines of Delco Democrats.

This is what many had feared.

Rich Lazer, coming from the South Philadelphia section of the new district that was created by the state Supreme Court after the old districts were chucked as an unconstitutional gerrymander, bolted to an early lead.

Meanwhile, the frontrunner in many polls, former Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board member and attorney Mary Gay Scanlon, and former U.S. Attorney Ashley Lunkenheimer, were duking it out for the Delco vote.

The fear was that after complaining for years that the county was split in terms of its congressional delegation, now that the entire county was under one roof in the 5th, the nomination might go to someone outside the county.

It didn't happen.

Lazer's early lead was based on the first results in, which came from friendly polling places in South and Southwest Philly. Once the numbers started from Delco precincts started to roll in, Scanlon quickly overcame Lazer and rolled to a surprisingly easy win. The final tallies show her with about a 7,000-plus vote margin.

And that is even with Lunkenheimer coming in a strong third.

None of the other seven challengers, including state Reps. Greg Vitali, Margo Davidson and Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, even came close.

One down note for Democrats? Even with what likely was the most hotly contested fight in the region, turnout still was dismal. Democrats had 10 candidates seeking the nod. They only got about 22 percent of registered voters to the polls. Republicans, who were picking their choice to face incumbent Democratic governor Tom Wolf in November, didn’t fare any better. They had a 21 percent turnout.

Scanlon's win means one certainty in November. Pennsylvania's long drought in terms of women in Washington will come to an end. The state delegation currently does not have a single woman in the U.S. House.

That will change when Scanlon faces Republican Pearl Kim, who ran unopposed on the Republican ballot.

And not even an early scare from Rich Lazer can change that.

Get all the details here.