Voters In Part Of Westmoreland Co. Will Pick New State Rep. In Special Election On May 18

We're two weeks until Pennsylvania's primary election day, but for some voters, it's like a general election with residents choosing a new state representative; KDKA's Jon Delano reports.

Video Transcript

- Two weeks from today is primary election day, but for some voters, there are also special elections for state representative on the ballot. Here's political editor Jon Delano with a look at one of those races.

JON DELANO: When State Representative Mike Reese died suddenly at age 42, it left an unexpected vacancy that voters will fill on May 18. Chosen by their party leaders, three candidates are on the ballot. Mike Reese was a well-liked rising star in the state house. Who will replace him is now up to voters in the 59th district of 19 communities, mostly, in Westmoreland and a small part of Somerset County.

LESLIE BAUM ROSSI: I've never lost touch with the voters, the issues, or what is most important to them.

- The Republican nominee is Leslie Baum Rossi, a realtor, who became known for her Trump house that promoted the former president. Rossi, who talked to me in February, but was not available this week, is a strong supporter of Donald Trump.

- I loved everything he did. I really loved the America First platform and agenda, and I'm really behind that.

- Rossi says, through both the Trump house and subsequent door knocking, she developed strong ties to local residents.

MARIAH FISHER: I've lived here. Actually, my family's lived here for generations. I actually lived down the street from my mother about two blocks from my grandmother.

- Mariah Fisher is a Republican turned Democrat and a Ligonier council member. She cites her government experience and says she's passionate about this district. One goal, improved broadband service.

- In order to get jobs, or companies, or young people even moving here, so that they could telecommute, that is something that we have to have.

- Robb Luther is the libertarian candidate, who says his party is the conservative alternative.

ROBB LUTHERS: I'm feeling somewhat disenfranchised by the Republican Party, because I feel like there is some false advertising going on as far as the fiscal conservative aspects of the Republican Party. They tend to be huge spenders.

- This is a special election, so all voters, regardless of party, get to choose among the three candidates. Jon Delano, KDKA News.