CNN projects GOP state Rep. Fred Keller wins Pennsylvania congressional special election

Rep. Fred Keller, R-Snyder, right, speaks as President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa., Monday, May 20, 2019.

(CNN)Republican state Rep. Fred Keller will beat Democrat Marc Friedenberg to win Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District seat in a special election Tuesday night, CNN projects.

Keller, a five-term state lawmaker and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, was largely expected to best Friedenberg, a lawyer and cybersecurity professor at Penn State. The heavily Republican district represents a wide swath of northern and central Pennsylvania.
Keller will serve through 2020, completing the term of former Republican Rep. Tom Marino. Marino, who had won 66% of the vote in November, officially stepped down in January to accept a private-sector job. President Donald Trump had nominated Marino, an early Trump supporter among congressional Republicans, to be his drug czar, but Marino withdrew after a joint CBS "60 Minutes" and Washington Post report revealed that he had taken nearly $100,000 in contributions from pharmaceutical lobbyists.
Trump publicly backed Keller, tweeting his endorsement several times this month.
    "Pennsylvania - Don't forget to get out and VOTE TODAY for Republican Fred Keller for Congress," he tweeted Tuesday morning. "Fred is Strong on Crime, Second Amendment, Military, Vets, and Healthcare. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"

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