The much-hyped Democratic blue wave may have fizzled nationally on Election Day, but it washed away the political career of a longtime state senator who represented part of Berks County.
State Sen. John Rafferty Jr., 65, seeking re-election to a fifth term, was ousted by political newcomer Katie Muth in the 44th Senatorial District.
The sprawling district is located mostly in Chester and Montgomery counties, but it also covers Amity, Douglass and Union townships in Berks County.
While Rafferty received more votes than Muth in Berks County — 4,643 (58 percent) to 3,379 (42 percent) — he lost in both the Montgomery and Chester portions of the district, where heavy turnout by Democratic voters casting straight-party votes ousted several longtime Republican state lawmakers.
Muth, 34, a Royersford resident, is an athletic trainer and adjunct professor of kinesiology who has never held political office at any level.
Rafferty's loss could hurt constituents with transportation issues because he was chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Republicans will still hold a solid majority in the state Senate in 2019, so a freshman senator like Muth will have very little influence in Harrisburg.
Another state senator whose district stretches into Berks County fared better on Election Day.
State Sen. Bob Mensch defeated his Democratic opponent to win a third term in the state Senate representing the 24th District, which covers portions of Berks, Bucks and Montgomery counties.
In Berks, the 24th District includes the boroughs of Boyertown, Bally and Bechtelsville and the townships of Colebrookdale, Earl, Washington, Hereford, Pike, District, Rockland and Longswamp.
Mensch defeated Democratic challenger Linda Fields of Pottstown. He did especially well in Berks, outpacing Fields by a vote margin of 7,904 to 4,836, or 68 percent to 32 percent.
In Congressional races, Berks County will now be represented by two Democratic women and a Republican man. All three are new to Congress after the Democratic majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the Congressional boundaries in January.
In the 4th Congressional District, which is most of Montgomery County and Boyertown, Bally and Bechtelsville boroughs plus Colebrookdale, Douglass and Washington townships in Berks, state Rep. Madeleine Dean defeated Republican businessman Dan David.
In the 6th Congressional District, which is all of Chester County, most of southern Berks County and the City of Reading, Chrissy Houlahan easily defeated Republican Greg McCauley. The seat was open after Congressman Ryan Costello decided not to seek re-election.
And the rest of Berks County will be represented by Republican Dan Meuser, who was elected in the new 9th District over Democrat Dennis Wolff. The 9th Congressional District covers parts of eight Pennsylvania counties.