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Samuelson Coasts to Victory in 135th District

Bethlehem incumbent wins eighth term in state House, besting challenger Barreto by 2-1 margin.

 

State Rep. Steve Samuelson coasted to victory, easily defeating Kenneth Barreto to secure his eighth term in the Pennsylvania House.

With 28 of 33 precincts reporting, Democrat Samuelson held a nearly 9,000-vote edge over his Republican challenger. Samuelson held a better than 2-1 edge in votes with 85 percent of the precincts reporting.

It was a pretty subdued campaign that lacked much in the way of advertising or social media buzz.

The two men met in a 15-minute candidates forum at PBS39 on Oct. 11. They appeared to agree about much, including closing the Delaware loophole for companies that do most of their business in Pennsylvania but locate in the neighboring state to avoid corporate income taxes.

Samuelson decried reductions in the state education budgets that have cost the Bethlehem Area School District $6 million.

First elected to this seat in 1998, Samuelson is the minority chair of the House Ethics Committee and also serves on Aging and Older Adult Services, Appropriations, Children and Youth, and State Government committees.

Barreto, a guard in Lehigh County Prison, is an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, winning a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge. This was his second political campaign that fell short of its goal. He unsuccessfully ran for Bethlehem Area School Board in 2011.

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