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Incumbent Carroll easily defeats Best

State Rep. Mike Carroll gets a hug and a kiss from his wife, Kelly, as he arrives at the Dupont VFW on Tuesday evening.

Don Carey/the times leader

State Rep. Mike Carroll won the Democratic nomination for the 118th Legislative District, with an overwhelming win over challenger P.J. Best in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results.

The district consists of portions of Luzerne and Monroe counties.

Carroll, a freshman lawmaker from Avoca, received 6,680 electronic and absentee votes or 80.46 percent of the vote, compared to Best’s 1,612 electronic and absentee votes or 19.42 percent in Luzerne County.

In Monroe County, Carroll garnered 2,698 votes to 580 for Best, with all eight precincts reporting.

Carroll, 45, will retain his seat – barring any unexpected successful write-in opponent. There were no candidates on the Republican ballot.

“I am very honored that the voters support me and am very honored to continue my service,” Carroll said at an election party in Dupont. “I am hopeful we don’t have to wait until January to solve some of the problems that need to be solved. We can work immediately on solving the health-care problem, creating jobs and providing property-tax relief.”

Carroll has more than 20 years experience in Pennsylvania politics from when he worked as a chief of staff for Rep. John Yudichak of the 119th District, a legislative liaison for Gov. Robert Casey and district staff member for U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke.

This was 23-year-old Best’s first political campaign. He campaigned on reforming state politics, focusing on how tax money is spent.

Best might have lost, but he is not giving up. He vows to keep working to make government accountable to the people and give it back to them.

“If I lose, I am coming back in two years as a 25-year-old attorney instead of a 23-year-old law student,” Best said.

The 118th District consists of portions of Luzerne and Monroe counties. In Luzerne County that includes Pittston, Buck and Jenkins townships, part of Bear Creek Township, and Avoca, Bear Creek Village, Dupont, Duryea, Hughestown and Laflin boroughs.

“If I lose, I am coming back in two years as a 25-year-old attorney instead of a 23-year-old law student.”

P.J. Best
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