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Maria Collett

Early vote counts indicate the next senator from the state's 12th District will have a new name, as Democrat Maria Collett appears to be ahead of Republican Stewart Greenleaf Jr. for the seat held since 1978 by Greenleaf's father.

"I feel great. We're very excited — my opponent called me and congratulated me and said that he is excited that I will do good things for the district and said we disagree on some policy issues, but he's excited to see me represent the district," she said.

Collett, a nurse and former deputy attorney general in New Jersey, led Greenleaf Jr., an attorney and former Montgomery County Controller, by a margin of 54 to 45 percent as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"The voters today said that they were excited about change and that they were ready for something different. A lot of them said that they were voting for women and new voices," Collett said.

Unofficial results posted by Montgomery County had Collett receiving a total of 45,292 votes to 38,045 for Greenleaf Jr., with 31 write-in votes for neither and 62 percent of votes counted.

Greenleaf Jr. did not respond to requests for comment by press time but said on Twitter Tuesday night that he was thankful to "all of the people who worked so hard for this campaign."

"My family and I are overwhelmingly grateful and will never forget it. I just called to congratulate Maria Collett on her victory today. I wish her the best," he said.

The 12th District is located in parts of both Bucks and Montgomery counties and includes parts of Upper Southampton, Warminster and Warrington townships in Bucks County and Franconia, Hatfield, Horsham, Lower Gwynedd, Lower Moreland, Montgomery, Upper Gwynedd and Upper Moreland townships and Ambler, Bryn Athyn, Hatboro, Hatfield, North Wales, Souderton and Telford boroughs.

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