Democrat Dan Miller of Mt. Lebanon easily defeated two other candidates in a special election for a state House seat in the South Hills.
Mr. Miller swept to victory over Republican Dan Remely and Libertarian George Brown, both also from Mt. Lebanon.
Once the results are certified, Mr. Miller will hold the 42nd District seat through 2014. The seat became available when former state Rep. Matt Smith, a Democrat, moved up to the state Senate.
Mr. Miller. 40, is an attorney specializing in special education issues and served one term as a Mt. Lebanon commissioner, including serving as president of the board.
"I'm proud of our efforts at the doors [of voters]," he said. "I just think in the end the people whose doors we visited lined up more with my values and what I want to try to do in Harrisburg."
Mr. Smith sent a letter to voters Monday urging them to vote for Mr. Miller, "a partner I can work with" in Harrisburg.
Mr. Miller will step into a number of important issues in Harrisburg, including passing a budget by June 30. The Legislature also is considering bills to provide substantially more money for transportation, to privatize liquor stores and to expand background checks for gun sales.
"I think June is going to be an interesting month," Mr. Miller said. "I'd like to say that I'm going to go in there and push some education issues that I strongly believe in. But that budget the governor put forth is going to command a lot of attention."
Mr. Remely said the biggest difference in the race was the amount of money and organization Mr. Miller had.
"We just never had the money to run a full-fledged campaign," he said. "He had more organization and several mailings. I was doing it door-by-door."
Mr. Remely, 62, is a developer whose speciality is taking over financially troubled projects and has been a member of the Mt. Lebanon School Board since 2005. He also was on the ballot for renomination to the school board and easily lead the Republican ticket there.
"I think that might have been a problem. I had a lot of people tell me, 'Dan, we don't want you off the school board because you're doing such a good job there,' " he said.
Mr. Remely said he called wish Mr. Miller to wish him well because "in the end, we both have the best interest of the 42nd District in mind."
Mr. Brown, 52, is a software engineer making his first run for public office.
The seat covers Mt. Lebanon, Green Tree, Thornburg and Rosslyn Farms and parts of Bethel Park and Scott.
Ed Blazina: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1470. First Published May 22, 2013 5:00 AM