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Rigby earns another chance at Barbin’s seat

May 16, 2018 GMT

Jim Rigby is poised for yet another chance to unseat state Rep. Bryan Barbin.

The 58-year-old Ferndale police chief topped two fellow Republicans in the GOP primary Tuesday to keep his hopes alive to represent the 71st Legislative District. He earned 49 percent of the vote in Cambria County. In Paint Borough, his only municipality in Somerset County, he had 70 percent of the vote.

Rigby said plenty of hard work remains.

“As I told my volunteers here today, we haven’t won anything yet,” Rigby said. ”(But) we have an opportunity.”

Rigby’s matchup against Barbin — who was unchallenged during the primary Tuesday — in November will mark the fourth time the two appear on the same ballot. He came within less than 200 votes in 2008 and 2010 of beating Barbin before losing to him by more than 700 in 2014. No other Republican candidate came as close since that time.

On Tuesday Rigby had 2,003 total votes, with Justin Capouellez finishing with 1,426 and Matt Sernell with 628.

Capouellez, a 25-year-old Stonycreek Township resident who is a two-time powerlifting champ and former student government president, said he was a little surprised by the results.

“I worked as hard as I could,” said Capouellez, who knocked on more than 7,000 doors across the district during his campaign. He added that his solid second-place finish was encouraging in some ways for the younger generation.

“It really shows how eager folks are for change,” he said.

Sernell, the 34-year-old Geistown Borough president, said he plans to help Rigby moving forward.

“I’m extremely happy for Jim (Rigby),” he said regarding the voting results. “He’s a good guy.”

Sernell also thanked his small “ragtag” team of supporters for their help.