Nazareth attorney Mark Aurand clinched the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania’s 40th senate district in Tuesday’s primary.
According to unofficial results, first-time candidate Aurand took home 41 percent of the votes, with 95 percent of precincts reporting.
Coming in second was Northampton County Councilman Scott Parsons, of Wind Gap, with 36 percent, followed by Bangor Mayor Joe Capozzolo, with 23 percent. Aurand said he expected a close race.
“They were both good opponents,” he said. “They’re good men, good candidates.”
He credited his campaign staff for getting his name and message out, and said the people of Monroe County were receptive to what he had to say.
This fall, Aurand will face off against Republican Mario Scavello, the longtime Monroe County state representative, who had been unopposed in his party’s primary.
Aurand’s campaign platform had focused on increasing education funding, raising the minimum wage and women’s rights.
Scavello said he’ll be targeting school property tax reform, job creation and improving infrastructure.
Scavello said he wasn’t concerned about name recognition in Northampton County when he faces off against Aurand this fall.
“I have a very good name ID down there. Today I worked all day in Northampton,” he said. He also noted that a number of Northampton County residents work in his district, either at Pocono Medical Center or Easton Stroudsburg University.
The 40th district was moved from western Pennsylvania to Northampton and Monroe counties in 2012, and includes all of Monroe except for three townships: Coolbaugh, Barrett and Price.
It includes the Northampton County communities of Allen, Bushkill, East Allen, Forks, Hanover, Lehigh, Lower Mount Bethlel, Lower Nazareth, Moore, Plainfield, Upper Mount Bethel, Upper Nazareth and Washington townships, along with the boroughs of Bangor, Bath, Chapman, East Bangor, Nazareth, Pen Argyl, Portland, Roseto, Walnutport and Wind Gap.