WILKES-BARRE — It will be Democrat Matt Cartwright versus Republican John Chrin in November for the 8th Congressional District seat that covers Luzerne County’s four cities — Wilkes-Barre, Nanticoke, Pittston and Hazleton — plus a big swath of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
According to unofficial results with 95 percent of districts reporting, Chrin, 54, of Northampton County, out-distanced Joe Peters, of Scranton, and Robert Kuniegel, of Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, to earn the GOP nod. Chrin received 15,136 votes (48 percent) to 10,927 (35 percent) for Peters and 5,218 (16.6 percent) for Kuniegel, the unofficial tallies show.
Cartwright, 57, of Moosic, who was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary, received 36,040 votes in the Democratic primary. Cartwright is seeking his fourth term.
Chrin, criticized for being a Wall Street banker by his primary opponents, said Northeastern Pennsylvania is uniquely positioned to harness its assets and capitalize on businesses fleeing high costs of living. He said the region offers a dedicated and talented workforce.
“But we need a plan for success,” Chrin said during his campaign. “The decline of manufacturing and industry jobs in our area makes it a necessity to provide re-training programs for individuals who need additional skills to succeed in the workforce.”
Chrin said public education is not living up to its potential throughout the country and said he would reassess curriculum so that K-12 students have the technical, quantitative, writing, and speaking skills to succeed in the workforce.
”Pennsylvania currently has the highest average student loan debt per borrower of any state in the nation,” Chrin said. “We need a plan to reassess student loans to lower the burden of pursuing college or vocational school.”
Chrin also said the country’s immigration system is broken and that we need to secure our borders. He strongly opposes sanctuary cities.
Cartwright said his top priority is to help bring additional good-paying, family-sustaining jobs to the region. Second is strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to provide health and retirement security for seniors and the most vulnerable.
“I also favor making health care affordable for working families, which includes bringing down the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs,” Cartwright said. “And we must ensure we are giving America’s veterans the respect, benefits, and medical care they deserve.”
Cartwright serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He said he will continue to push legislation and reach across the aisle to accomplish the things that are most important to his constituents.
“I’ve introduced more bipartisan bills than any other Democrat in the U.S. House,” Cartwright said.