Marty Nothstein, the last U.S. Olympic track cycling gold medalist, lost one congressional election last week and then lost another on Thursday in a rare political twist.
The Republican Nothstein, who earned sprint silver in 1996 and gold in 2000, was beaten by Democrat Susan Wild for a Pennsylvania House seat in last Tuesday’s midterms.
But Nothstein and Wild were much closer in a special election to serve out the remainder of a term under a previously drawn district — an election that came down to absentee ballots after Nothstein held a 58-vote lead last week.
Wild ended up with 130,353 votes to Nothstein’s 129,594, according to the latest unofficial results. Wild claimed victory on Thursday evening.
If Nothstein had won the special election, he would have been in line for one of the shortest political stints, serving the remainder of retired Republican Charlie Dent‘s term until the new congress is sworn in Jan. 3. Nothstein, 47, is currently chairman of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.
At least five Olympians have served in the House of Representatives: two-time decathlon champion Bob Mathias, four-time sprint medalist Ralph Metcalfe, 1968 1500m silver medalist Jim Ryun, 1972 basketball silver medalist Tom McMillen and judoka Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
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