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In races of interest to the bike world, Dean wins and Nothstein loses in Pennsylvania

Published November 7, 2018
In twist, Nothstein could still go to Congress, briefly.

PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — In two U.S. House races of interest to the bike industry — oddly, both in Pennsylvania — Democrat Madeleine Dean won the race in the state's 4th District, while Republican Marty Nothstein lost his race to represent the state's 7th District, although there's still a chance he could serve the remainder of the term of Rep. Charlie Dent, who resigned a seat earlier this year.

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Dean is the wife of industry veteran Pat Cunnane, who is the CEO of Advanced Sports Enterprises, the parent company of Performance Bicycle and ASI, the distributor and owner of bike brands including Fuji, Kestrel, SE and Breezer. Dean has served in the Pennsylvania House since 2012. 

Dean won the 4th District race over Republican Dan David, taking more than 63 percent of the vote. Cunnane's business briefly became an issue in the race after David questioned Dean's commitment to a $15 minimum wage in light of the wages paid at some Asian bike factories connected to ASE. David also tried to make a campaign issue out of the fact that, during the campaign period, Chinese investors had pumped millions of dollars into a company associated with ASE. 

Nothstein, an Olympic medalist and former world champion on the track, lost his race in the 7th District to Democrat Susan Wild. Nothstein got about 44 percent of the vote in that race.

But Nothstein also was on the ballot for a special election in the former 15th District, which has been vacant since Dent resigned in May. Districts in Pennsylvania were redrawn under court orders earlier this year. As of Wednesday morning, the race in that special election was still too close to call. If the count goes in Nothstein's favor, he would fill the 15th District seat until the new delegation is sworn in on Jan. 3. Nothstein was running against Wild and Libertarian Tim Silfies in the special election. 

Other issues

There also were a number of ballot measures and propositions around the country related to cycling that were being monitored by PeopleForBikes.

  • California residents voted to continue paying a gas tax that funds major transportation and road repair projects, including some bike infrastructure initiatives. If passed, Proposition 6 would have repealed a recently imposed 12 cent per gallon tax on conventional gasoline and a 20 cent per gallon tax on diesel, as well as a license fee on vehicles ranging from $25 to $175, eliminating about $5.2 billion in total transportation funding. This includes around $100 million each year for the Active Transportation Program, which provides funding for bike and pedestrian facilities.  With a requirement that future fees and taxes would have to be submitted directly to voters, the passage of Prop 6 also could have made it more difficult for lawmakers to tax drivers in the future. According to the California Bicycle Coalition, about 6,500 road and bridge repair and improvement projects and other transportation investments to make walking and biking safer were in jeopardy of losing funding had Prop 6 passed Tuesday.
  • In Colorado, voters had the opportunity to vote on two transportation propositions, one favored by bike advocate and one opposed by the advocates. Both failed. However Denver voters approved an increase in the city’s sales tax that will allocate about $45 million a year to the city’s parks, including the creation and maintenance of new bike trails.
  • In Georgia, voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, which will set aside 90 percent of existing sales taxes on sporting goods for conservation efforts. The program could raise $200 million over 10 years and was favored by bike and conservation groups.
  • Rhode Island voters passed Question 3, which allocates $47 million for environmental projects, including $5 million toward a state bikeway project.
  • In Austin, Texas, voters approved Propositions C and G, which allocated funds for parks and transportation projects, respectively.
  • In Florida, Sarasota County voters passed a referendum to issue $65 million in bonds to extend the Legacy Trail. Voters in Doral, Florida, passed a $150 million bond to improve city parks and amenities including bike paths.

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