PA Democrats 'in a stronger position to block' GOP laws after special election success: report

PA Democrats 'in a stronger position to block' GOP laws after special election success: report
Pennsylvania State Rep.-Elect, Joe McAndrew, Image via Twitter
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Three Democrats in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County and home to Pittsburgh, won House seats in the state's special election, NBC reports.

The special election came after Democrats won the seats in November, but due to the candidates either "not taking office or quickly [stepping] down," as the New York Times reports, all three of the seats remained unfilled leading the legislature to agree on "a bipartisan 'independent' speaker arrangement," according to NBC.

The successful candidates include Joe McAndrew, executive director of Allegheny County Democratic Committee who will represent the 32nd District; Abigail Salisbury, an attorney who will represent the 34th District; and Matt Gergely, a chief revenue officer of McKeesport, PA, who will represent the 35th District.

READ MORE: PA special elections could allow Democrats to 'block' laws 'Republicans have been advancing': journalist

All three state officials were expected to win due to Allegheny County's trending majority Democratic in the 2020 presidential election. Per NBC, President Joe Biden won the county by "least 16 percentage points."

Now, the New York Times reports that the Democrats can "put operating rules in place and start passing legislation after a month of parliamentary paralysis."

The legislature has been "at a standstill" since state Rep. Mark Rozzi, "a moderate rank-and-file Democrat who promised to operate as an independent," was sworn in to lead the members. NBC reports that GOP members called on the congressman to resign "alleging that he did not honor a commitment to register as an independent."

Moving forward, with full reign over the House, the Democratic members are in a position to nominate their "preferred" speaker, Rep. Joanna McClinton.

READ MORE: Pennsylvania GOP candidate echoes Trump’s election conspiracy theories with new election lawsuit targeting mail-in ballots

Furthermore, the members are also "in a stronger position to block" GOP-backed bills, including restrictive voting measures, as well as a "constitutional amendment that asserts there is no constitutional right to abortion in the state."

READ MORE: 'Particularly notable': How two Pennsylvania GOP officials’ political moves majorly influenced Jan. 6

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