Marty Nothstein

Marty Nothstein
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Olympic cycling champ loses congressional election by 759 votes

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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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Olympic cycling champion running for Congress

Marty Nothstein
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Olympic cycling gold medalist Marty Nothstein is the latest to announce he’s running for the eastern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Dent.

Dent, a former state senator, is a centrist Republican who has held the seat since 2005. He’s retiring after his term expires next year.

Nothstein, who won sprint silver in 1996 and gold in 2000, is the only American track cyclist to win an Olympic title at a fully attended Games.

Two Republican state representatives, Ryan Mackenzie and Justin Simmons, previously announced they’re running for Dent’s 15th District seat.

Democrat Bill Leiner, a former Lehigh County commissioner, is also running.

Dent’s district includes Allentown and all of Lehigh County, and parts of four surrounding counties.

Republicans in 2011 stretched the district almost 90 miles to the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania to make it more Republican.

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