The election results deciding the Republican nomination in the 83rd District left both winner and loser stunned Tuesday night.
Former State Rep. Steven W. Cappelli came up short in his comeback bid for the nomination and a shot at winning back his old House seat despite polls that suggested he would win big.
The winner by 90 votes was David Huffman, who lost in 2008 to incumbent State Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport.
Huffman was clearly stunned when interviewed after the unofficial count showed him upsetting Cappelli with 3,086 votes to Cappelli's 2,904.
He said his polling indicated he would lose by a big margin and had admitted as much Tuesday afternoon in a phone message left with the Sun-Gazette saying he planned to be "out of town" election night.
"I don't believe its going to work out for me," he said at the time. "I've been around long enough to know the score."
As the results revived his optimism election night, Huffman returned to the city from Union County and was with supporters when the final precinct reported.
"I think I'm going to wake up any minute now from a dream," he said. "It just goes to show, you can't rely on polls."
Huffman said his campaign strategy was to wait until almost the end to run television, radio and newspaper advertising and put out the bulk of his yard signs. "We peaked at the right time," he said.
Huffman said he admires Cappelli's decision to attempt a comeback. "I wish him the best," he added, "and thank him for his service in the past."
Cappelli was as surprised as Huffman by the results.
"I don't have an explanation for it," he said, speculating it may have been the low turnout or being viewed as part of the political establishment.
"It's probably the end of my elected public office career," he said. "I don't see myself running for office in the future."
Cappelli said he has been "happy in the private sector" and will continue as vice president of a local insurance company and spend more time with his family.
Huffman, meanwhile, gets a rematch with Mirabito, who was unopposed and had 2,817 votes for the Democratic nomination.
Also unopposed was state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, who garnered 6,158 votes and is not expected to face a Democratic challenger in the 84th District.