The surprising flip of the state House to Democrat majority will not be cemented until three special elections are held, which are expected to give the Democrats back the 102-101 majority they won in the November elections. However, the Democrat Caucus is already actually down to 99 members because
of the October death of Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) and resignations of Rep. Summer Lee and Austin Davis. Lee has been elected to the U.S. House from Pittsburgh, and Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny) is set to be the state’s new lieutenant governor. Special elections will be required to fill all three seats, and although they all will likely be filled by Democrats, Republicans are not conceding the majority just yet.
Indeed, both Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) conducted separate swear in ceremonies as House Majority Leader for the 2023-2024 session. They have also both scheduled the special elections for the 3 vacant seats. McClinton set all 3 special elections for February 7th. However, Rep. Cutler issued two writs of election for the 34th and 35th Legislative Districts to be held on May 16th the same day as the primary election day.
Previous to this action, the House Republicans filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court that challenges McClinton’s authority to set the date of the special elections due to lack of clear majority. Indeed, most of these actions will be challenged in the Courts, and this likely includes when the Caucuses will face off against each other when the House convenes on January 3 to potentially elect a Speaker for the new session.
Amongst all of this turmoil and uncertainty, the House Caucuses elected their new Leadership teams.
House Democratic Leadership:
Leader: Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia)
Appropriations Chairman: Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery)
Whip: Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia)
Caucus Chair: Dan Miller (D-Allegheny)
Caucus Secretary: Tina Davis (D-Bucks)
Caucus Administrator: Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh)
Policy Chair: Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie)
House Republican Leadership:
Leader: Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster)
Appropriations Chairman: Seth Grove (R-York)
Whip: Tim O’Neal (R-Washington)
Caucus Chair: George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland)
Caucus Secretary: Martina White (R-Philadelphia)
Caucus Administrator: Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland)
Policy Chair: Josh Kail (R-Beaver)