May 22 (UPI) -- Republican Fred Keller became the newest member of the U.S. House late Tuesday, winning a special election in Pennsylvania to fill a seat that's been vacant for four months.
Keller, running in a solidly Republican district, defeated Democrat Marc Friedenberg with 68 percent of the vote. The seat has been open since Republican Tom Marino left Congress at the end of January. Keller will serve out the remainder of Marino's term, which ends in 2021.
Keller's district covers much of Pennsylvania's rural northeastern region.
President Donald Trump stumped for Keller, having won 66 percent of the district's votes in 2016. Winning Pennsylvania was key for Trump's election and the state is expected to be critical for his re-election bid next year.
"Great news for Republicans: Fred Keller has just won the hard fought for Pennsylvania Congressional contest in a landslide, over 70 percent of the vote," Trump tweeted.
Keller had served in the Pennsylvania legislature for five terms, starting in 2010.
Keller's was one of several races in Pennsylvania Tuesday.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney won a three-way Democratic primary in his bid for re-election. As the city is a longtime Democratic stronghold, the win virtually assures Kenney another term. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Pittsburgh's top prosecutor, fended off a primary challenge. Republicans also held onto three state legislative seats.