Author Topic: How a Pennsylvania state Senate race could throw the House into more chaos  (Read 1039 times)

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Offline Timber Rattler

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If House Republicans are successful in getting the special elections for two Allegheny County-based House districts delayed until May, the results of a Senate special election could lead to a whole new level of chaos in the power struggle in the state House.

Republicans are clinging to a 101-99 advantage, with three special elections looming in seats vacated by Democrats. If Democrats win all three of those races, as expected, the Democrats will reclaim the majority in the chamber for the first time in more than a decade.

One of those special elections — to fill the vacancy created by the death of Rep. Tony DeLuca of Penn Hills — is set for Feb. 7, as both House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler and House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton (each claiming the authority to set the election date as majority leader) have set that date for the election. Ms. McClinton has also set Feb. 7 as the special election date for the other two vacancies — created by the resignations of Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport and Rep. Summer Lee of Lawrenceville, who were elected to other offices while also running for re-election to their House seats.

Mr. Cutler, on the other hand, is seeking to have those two special elections set for May 16, the date of the spring primary. He filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction preventing Ms. McClinton’s writs from being used to schedule the special elections, claiming that because of the vacancies, she’s not the majority leader and lacked the authority to schedule the elections.

The move to delay those special elections has led to widespread speculation that the House GOP will try to muscle through a vote on proposed Constitutional amendments — including a measure specifying there is no right to abortion in the state Constitution.

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