Republican John Persinger, a newcomer to Erie politics with an impressive resume, sailed to an easy victory over his opponent Jon Whaley.

Persinger a 35-year old attorney, celebrated victory at Brewerie, alongside his wife Sarah and his team of supporters. Educated at Harvard and Notre Dame law, he has worked in the west wing of the White House as an aide to the deputy counsel under George W. Bush, and as chief of staff to the U.S. Ambassador to Australia.

His slogan, let's get Erie working again, earned him 66% of the vote, to Whaley's 26%, launching him into the real race in the fall. His message that Erie has been in 60 steady years of decline and needs new leadership, resonated with voters, and that message won't change as he faces democratic nominee Joe Schember.  "They look around and see underfunded schools, drugs, gun violence, loss of jobs in industry and they know these issues didn't pop up overnight, they've been around for sometime," Persinger said.  "So the only way that we're going to get out of this economy, get the city growing, get the city thriving again...is new leadership, because these issues haven't gone away."  Persinger believes he represents that new leadership.  He is committed to Erie and raising his two daughters, 6 and 4-years-old, and his 2-year-old son here.

Persinger said John Whaley was gracious in calling him to concede, and said he would have his support as he moves forward into the general election.