SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (CBS) — Former regional US attorney Patrick Meehan held a steady lead in pre-election polls, and those numbers held up for the Republican as he beat Democrat Bryan Lentz in the race for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District seat.

That’s the seat that was held by Joe Sestak since 2006, who decided to vacate it to run for US Senate.

On Tuesday night Meehan celebrated what he called “a great victory,” but reminded his supporters of some big challenges that lie ahead:

“The issue of unemployment. The issue of economic uncertainty that touches so many lives. The big challenge: going to Washington and recreating a sense of hope and opportunity and prosperity and belief in the future of America.”

Meehan, 54, was a local district attorney before becoming the region’s top federal prosecutor and overseeing some big Philadelphia corruption cases.  Meehan has deep roots in the area and deep campaign pockets.

Lentz, 46, is an Iraq War veteran, a former Airborne Ranger, and a one-time Philadelphia prosecutor. His shoe-leather campaign included 25 town hall meetings focused on jobs.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060.



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