HARRISBURG (AP) — Republican Stacy Garrity, a retired U.S. Army Reserves colonel and a graduate of Sayre High School, claimed victory Tuesday in the Pennsylvania state treasurer’s race.
Her Democratic opponent, incumbent Treasurer Joe Torsella, conceded Tuesday in a phone call to Garrity and posted a video message on Twitter.
The Associated Press has not called the race because it is not clear if Garrity will finish with a large enough lead to avoid an automatic statewide recount.
“We were outspent 10 to 1,” Garrity said Tuesday in a phone interview. “I have to give credit first to God, but also to the thousands of amazing and hardworking Pennsylvanians who spread the word about our campaign and our message.”
She said Torsella was “extremely gracious and helpful” in a phone call to concede.
Garrity repeated her campaign message that a major goal was to use the Treasury Department’s leverage to push lawmakers and the governor to limit state government spending to money that has been formally appropriated by the Legislature.
That would end what has been a regular practice of the executive branch spending money outside the pre-approval process.
Garrity is currently one of two female vice presidents at Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. She also has a degree in finance and economics and a certificate from the Cornell University Business Management Institute.
The Athens resident has a lead of about 3.24 million votes to Torsella’s 3.16 million, or a margin of 48.9% to 47.7%. Green and Libertarian candidates took the remaining vote.
Torsella, 57, of Flourtown, has been considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination in two years for governor or U.S. Senate. Garrity referred to his political ambition during the campaign when she promised to finish the office’s four-year term.
“Like anyone who runs for elected office, I really wanted to win my race,” Torsella said in a video posted to Twitter. “And I’m really disappointed that I didn’t. It’s hard to lose. It’s especially heartbreaking when it looks like it’s going to be by such a tiny margin.”