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Martina White keeps her Northeast Philly State House seat

The Republican party has held onto a state House seat, and controversial Rep. Martina White will represent Northeast Philly for at least two more years in Harrisburg.

White won the 170th district in Northeast Philly by about 2,000 votes with all but one precinct reporting, according to city election returns. She topped Matt Darragh, a former auditor and her Democratic challenger. Her win was critical for Republicans, who won the seat last year in a special election despite a two-to-one Democratic registration advantage in the district.

White overcame that Democratic registration advantage last year and cruised to a stunning 14-point victory over Democrat Sarah Del Ricci. White became the youngest woman in the Pennsylvania House and the second Republican to represent the city in the legislature.

In the last year, White has become a polarizing figure in the city, sparring with the mayor over her sanctuary city legislation, sponsoring a bill that would make it harder for public officials to release the names of police involved in shootings and arguing in her office with immigration activists.

White’s appeal to voters was simple: Harrisburg is controlled by Republicans. And Philadelphia deserves a seat at that table by sending a Republican to Harrisburg.

“I think there’s no question the Democratic machine in Northeast Philadelphia is coming for my seat,” White told The Inquirer. “I’m sure I’m one of the top seats that they’re gunning for, in terms of the state Democratic Party.”

Clearly, their efforts weren’t enough to topple White.

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